In the spirit of summer lovin’, Art Zealous is lovin’ Ariane Fairlie‘s brilliant bathing suit portrait collection.


Her bright and beautiful prints have us dreaming about summer and excited to sport our own suits.  Aside from her pieces being incredibly cute, we love that Fairlie explores what it means to be feminine in her work.  She’s attracted to vibes of leisure, pleasure, and freedom her suits imply – things she personally is always reaching for and feelings she wants to give to others.


Don’t worry, she’s not limited to just bathing suits although she’s very focused on them for the moment being.


AZ spent a minute with Fairlie about her fabulous suits.


Art Zealous: Art background?

Ariane Fairlie: I completed my BFA at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

The artists who inspire me most right now are Ambera Wellmann, Sascha Braunig, and Sojourner Truth Parsons. I’m attracted to artists for the attitude of their work more than their style or aesthetic. So the link might not be obvious between their work and mine, but they’re who I’m looking to as I try to evolve my practice.


AZ: Astrological sign?

AF: Aquarius. To be honest, I don’t know very much about my sign – I would love to know more if anyone wants to be my astrological guide!


AZ: Closet staple?

AF: I’m developing a kind of uniform in my clothing. I’m into colour blocking with big shirts, skinny-leg pants, and a pair of badass shoes. So, probably big shirts? I look for a balance of expression and practicality in my wardrobe, because although I’m very attracted to clothing as an object, I actually value my time making art more than getting dressed. How’s that for ironic?


AZ: Favorite summer anthem?

AF: I really enjoy Mac Demarco’s entire album, ‘Salad Days.’ I can’t imagine a sound more summery than that. I want to live in that album forever.



AZ: Walk us through your creative process?

AF: I collect as many clothes as I can from myself and friends, whatever I’m attracted to. I keep them in the studio with me and bring them out periodically to see how they fit together. When I come up with a piece or combo I like in a position/composition that works, I hang it so I can draw it.


AZ: How do you evoke emotion and character through ‘Clothing Portraiture’?

AF: The emotions and characters I’m portraying through my work are subtle. I set up the pieces, so they declare themselves to the viewer with confidence, but they’re also vulnerable in their exposure and there’s always a sense of evasiveness because the wearer is missing from the clothing.


My process is an intimate exploration of the clothing as I observe and draw, so my process draws out this kind of abstract character from each object. It’s not like: “oh, that’s a happy bathing suit, or that’s an angry one.” They’re complex like people, with different and sometimes contradictory attributes. But like people, you could choose to only take it at face value – just a pink bathing suit. It really depends on the viewer’s experience.



AZ: Currently working on?

AF: I’m working on a series of prints. My drawings are very slow and require a lot of focus and patience, which I love practicing. At the same time, I’m looking for a spectrum of experiences in my practice; sometimes you want to get fast and loose! So right now, I’m exploring how to do that through a variety of mediums, and one great way has been making digital drawings on Photoshop that I plan to turn into large-scale prints!



AZ: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

AF: More work, more work, more work. I think it’s a constant struggle for artists to carve out quality time to create for any variety of reasons. I work full time for another artist, so trying to balance that with my own practice is a challenge, but I think the more time I spend making, the less pressure there will be to make a “successful” piece of work, and I’ll be happy to take more risks. Hopefully my future’s full of failures that lead to stronger work.


Follow Ariane on Instagram.


images// courtesy of the artist