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
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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
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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!
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