Today we’re talking to Australian artist and illustrator Claudia Osborn (AKA Maus Haus), whose earthy tones and eye-catching color combinations have proven incredibly popular with audiences online.
So popular, in fact, that she recently left a successful design career to focus exclusively on her artwork!
Tell us about yourself. What do you make? What do you consider your best or favorite work?
I am an artist/illustrator based in Brisbane, Australia. I mostly produce digital art, as well as painted pieces.
A lot of my work is inspired by nature and landscapes and the way I remember the experiences of being out in nature, by using colour blocking and colour theory.
I also occasionally enjoy translating this method over to other objects like greek busts, still life setups and skeletons.
Tell us about your workshop or workspace
I’m currently set up in our small 2 x 3m spare room. I have been using it for about a year now, and have had to get very efficient with the space.
However, at this time I’m not doing any large scale paintings, so this space is actually quite cozy for me.
What is your favorite material or tool to work with?
I exclusively use Jo Sonja’s matte fluid acrylic paint and have been for about 5 years.
I think it works very well for the kind of work that I do, and I have become so familiar with the paint, it would be hard to change over to something else.
For digital works I like to use Procreate or Illustrator, it depends on the kind of design I’m aiming for.
How long have you been doing your craft? Who taught you or where did you learn?
The work I’m doing in particular I have only harnessed in the last 2 years. Before that I have been painting, drawing and designing since I was a child.
Both of my parents liked to paint and really encouraged me growing up. I have played around with so many different styles/mediums in my day and am happy to have landed into a style that I love to work in.
What is the most challenging aspect of your craft or business?
The ‘business’ side of things is definitely challenging. Managing myself, emailing clients, packaging & shipping orders, staying on top of accounting.
There are a lot of different roles I have to play at the moment.
Any advice for beginners to your craft?
I always tell people to just play around and experiment.
If it’s painting, go look at some tutorials and play around with the paint and see how it behaves.
With anything, practice makes perfect as well.
There isn’t too much to avoid, except for when you’re using an artist as inspiration. It’s okay for skill building, however try to hone in your own style at the same time.
No one wants to get that message from an artist saying that you have copied their work.
Who/what inspires you? Any shoutouts to fellow makers?
Like I said before, nature & landscapes definitely inspire me.
I’m also inspired by the De Stijl movement – where they aimed to have visual harmony to art by renouncing naturalistic/decorative elements, and implementing primary colours and horizontal/vertical lines.
While my work doesn’t gear towards that intensity of abstraction, I do like to keep in mind the beauty of simplistic design.
I definitely find inspiration behind other makers on Instagram, here are a few: