Emma Kidd of Benconservato

You don't often think of a giraffe with wings, or see a cat playing on the back of a winged horse,
but when you first see these magical paper-creatures you might wish they were real!
When I first laid eyes upon the work of Benconservato, a few years ago, 
I knew I would one day carry her beautiful winged creatures in my (future) store. 

Emma Kidd is the artist behind Benconservato
& the maker of the shimmery-winged Thylacines & Dugongs above . . .
an Australian-fauna collaboration between two Emmas!

Read on for a belated interview post about Emma & her creative life! 

Tell us about your art background

My background / studies are Associate Diploma at TAFE (printmaking and photography). I was a bad student in the last two years of school and although I was funny about going to TAFE, I am sure it actually suited me. 
I then went to Italy to study multi-plate etching . . . that lead to me going back for years every Summer to do photographic etching, which was the perfect medium for how I liked to create my work. After that all I can really say is I travelled and studied a bit and got myself into trouble in different ways.

handmade from beginning to end - each creature is drawn, cut & painted by hand . . . 
all are signed & numbered by Emma

how did your winged creatures first come about?

Strangely, when I decided I liked the idea of kind of not knowing what they were going to look like, apart from the beginning . . . apart from a vague idea of what I wanted. The winged horses came about after I made a Pegasus for someone and was then asked to make a display for a pop-up I was involved with for Melbourne Cup. It escalated from there!

what is the one medium you can't live without?

I love gouache. I don't use it very often the way you were taught in commercial art class, all thick and flat, but I like that it can do that if you want it to.

'mythical monsters' - gouache on cotton rag
(Emma's illustrations are available on her website

what's the most exciting thing to happen so far in your creative career?

So many things are exciting in different ways. It is hard to pin point it. I am happy where I seem to be heading.

is there anything you hope that your artwork gives to people or the world?

I like to think that it gives people a little boost of imaginary or creativity in their lives.

what do you love most about Australia?

I am biased about Australia as it is where I am from. I travelled here first, for two months, and saw such beautiful places and learnt new things . . . yet only scratched the surface. It has amazing flora and fauna, past and present.

Watch this space for more winged native-fauna collaborations!