Since her first post in April 2020, Slime Artist Gabriella Anouk has quickly become a TikTok celebrity, amassing over 400k followers and millions of views on the social media platform. video-based assemblies.
At the age of 27, she is one of the first and most influential young British artists to become famous on the app after sharing her unique artistic journey and behind-the-scenes process.
From greasy peaches to artichokes and avocados, Gabriella adds a touch of sensual freshness to some of life’s most mundane objects, creating intricate and fascinating hand-drawn artwork, some of of which took more than 100 hours to complete.
Gabriella has since cemented her career as a self-made artist and businesswoman, demonstrating how putting artwork on a platform like TikTok can help engage young audiences with techniques. fine arts and introduces a new model of creating, sharing, and owning empowered artwork.
Recently, at the premiere of her first surrealism ‘Slime Series’ – a collection of seven of her hand-drawn works, we caught up with her to learn more about the fascinating world of slime. You simply won’t believe it’s not paint.
On a scale from HB to Prisma, how is 2022 treating you, ha!?
Love the way you said this! 2022 has been the Caran D’ache level so far! It was unbelievable. I’m still buzzing from the Slime Series launch party last month, and I just released them on my website as well, so it’s been a very busy and exciting start to the new year!
A slime artist sounds like the coolest title in the world. The idea came to you first while in lockdown, tell us about how you got in and why does TikTok feel like the perfect platform to share your work with the world?
Around this time last year, I started to feel unsatisfied with my artistic performance and felt like I needed to change. So I started experimenting with dipping household objects in paint and dripping them in slime, photographing them hundreds of times and then painting them. I shared them all on TikTok. TikTok to me is a fun ‘natural’ style video-based platform in which I can openly share my artworks without the fuss. Because of being locked in, that was my only real connection to the outside world. So I started sharing my whole process, from start to finish, and people really seemed to interact with it, more than I’ve ever experienced on platforms like Instagram and Facebook before. . It opened up a whole new world for me.
What is it about working with slime in particular that inspires you?
Texture – I love how shiny and synthetic it is! I also love slime for the way it can completely change, manipulate and transform an ordinary everyday object into something unique and sculpture-like. It’s different every time you use it, and that uncertainty is fascinating to me. I started using paint, dripping and submerging objects in it. However, I find paint to be quite limiting because once you dip something in the paint, you can’t reverse it. Slime appeals to me because it is so versatile. You can drip onto objects, peel them off, and repeat as many times as you like. Another reason I use slime is because it’s so unnatural. It is a unique material to work with.
Congratulations on your Slime Series exhibition! You have achieved so much in such a short period of time. What has been your biggest learning to date both on a personal and professional/corporate level?
Thank you! My biggest learning so far is probably not being too scared to try something new. Before The Slime Series, I worked mainly on commission-based works and lost my own ‘artistic voice’. The Slime line was very different and intimidating for me but I’m so glad I joined. From a business level, my main learning so far has been to surround yourself with people you 100% trust and that together can make great things happen.
How instrumental has TikTok been in providing you with a platform to showcase your work and reach new audiences?
A hug. TikTok in particular has a very high engagement rate. Some of my videos have over 30,000 comments with one video reaching over 17 million views. This type of interaction is amazing and the responses incredibly encouraging for me and has become the driving force behind my practice, sparking my creativity in unusual ways. Quid pro quo!
Disruption, chaos, gravity, spin and physics are important themes throughout your work, can you tell us more about that and the nature of your surreal work? ?
Since my drawing is controlled and takes a long time, it is important to me that the actual subject I am drawing is interrupted in some way. The combination of a beautiful, natural piece of fruit against a synthetic, almost vulgar, shiny slime is appealing and enjoyable. I draw a lot of inspiration from Dali’s work and his irrationalism. I found it very attractive. I have always loved his absurdist and surrealist style, the creation of monstrous images of the mundane and everyday that naturally bring about these paradoxes. I also enjoy exploring the role light and reflection play on a subject, to capture that the subtle interplay of light on a surface is crucial in creating a work that looks surreal.
Conundrum but out of the seven works being worked on in the Slime Series, which one do you have a favorite…
In fact, it was a super easy one for me! This is the first in the Avocado Dali series. It saved me from a dark place and was the catalyst for The Slime Series. I owe that piece so much and I don’t think I’m going to throw it away.
Some of your projects take more than 100 hours, how do you handle it? I think I got blisters when I wrote in pencil for an hour at a time.
Haha I do have blisters but my fingers are deformed and stiff in certain places so blisters don’t happen too often but I have weird cramps all over my arm and elbow I’m really bad right now!
Longest time you’ve drawn for anyone?
200 hours. Pomegranate Amour, the last drawing in the Slime Series.. I was also halfway with COVID so decided to isolate for ten days in the studio and paint. That went pretty well! It was quite a special piece for me.
Emojis are often a reference point for your drawings. If you could make one emoji, what would it be?
A pomegranate!! Why there isn’t one yet I don’t know. It is a cool fruit and has many symbols of love.
You often ask your followers what they want to see you in slime next, what is your most popular request?
Ooh hard one !! Bananas are a very popular request so I did that but some of my favorites are carrots, beets, and cherries. I think if I could watch the Slime Series again, I would draw one of those three.
Talk to us about your creative process and technique – do you create slime-looking artwork using pencils and pencils only? Makes sense haha, I’m annoyed!
I love working in three dimensions to start, really getting to know my subject from all angles, taking photos and videos in the process. And then I used crayons, no solvents or blending tools to draw it. I use a technique where I layer the pencil color on top of the pencil color very gently until it forms a bold color. It is very time consuming but a very gratifying process. I think I like the challenge of creating something with a tool – or I just love making it hard for myself.. who knows!
Pink increases in your work a considerable amount. Do you have a favorite color to work with and why?
Good eye, pink is my favorite color. It just spoke to me and I was hooked on it (pardon the pun!). It’s a very sexy color but sexy and sweet. Be prepared for more pink in the next series, that’s all I’m saying!
What is your vision board for 2022, what’s next for you?
Introducing Slime Series in different parts of the world. Working on some exciting commissions, NFT and of course the start of my next series!
Your best advice to any aspiring artist out there?
Try and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are the best way you will learn to master a new craft. I wish I had learned that sooner.
If you guessed it, how many pencils are there in your office at the end of a working day?
Ooooh.. this is hard!! My pencil sharpener turns debris into dust, so can I say maybe a glass is full of pencil dust?!
One thing everyone assumes about you is…
I really have no idea! But one thing people often assume about my works is that they are made with paint.
Who inspires you?
This changes all the time but for The Slime Series, Dali was a huge inspiration.
Is an artist block a thing? What do you do on days when you no longer have the creative inspiration to pick up a pencil?
Artist block is definitely a thing, yes! I struggled with it pretty badly right before starting The Slime Series.. My best advice for this is 1. go ahead and create some really ugly piece of art. Set out to create the ugliest drawing you’ve ever drawn. It helps to remove negative energy and free up space for fresh art.. I hope that makes sense. 2. Another way to break out of the artist rule is to do something outside of your comfort zone. For example, if you’re a crayon artist, try using paint or charcoal and just go crazy with it. That usually helps me! 3. And finally, get out of your ‘space’, go for a walk, go to the kitchen and grill or meet up with friends. Just doing something completely different and ‘not art related’.
Describe your job in 3 words. To go!
Colorful, sexy, adventurous!
In which home would you most like to see your artwork and why?
I love Anthony Hopkins. I thought I would die if he still saw my work. Even so, I think Peachy should probably belong to Kim Kardashian…
And finally, what is the proudest moment of your career to date?
Maybe the Slime Show that just happened in London… It’s a big thing.