A popular corporate and private commission artist, Marika Jones has achieved great success both here at home (with numerous sell-out shows) and in the United Kingdom. From her home studio in Kerikeri, Marika captures the images and stories of New Zealand’s history. In her most recent series, she pays homage to those icons of our past that are Gone But Not Forgotten – from the Pink and White Terraces to One Tree Hill. These lush art prints are in the style of the ‘cabinet card’ portraits that were de’ rigueur in New Zealand homes in the late 1800s and early 1900s…
Tell us about how you go about creating a print – where do the ideas come from and how do you develop them?
Because I love stories, that’s where I start – maybe from a history book, online or from someone I meet. Most of my work is based on NZ History. I troll around for interesting and humorous facts – the Daily Southern Cross Newspaper is a great source of humorous historical information.
Then I put images to the stories I find – some are real and some are made up. I pass the story through my own creative filter until I end up with a visualised story in images. Once the story is in image form, I start to create a whole backstory for the print. For example, in my mind the Moa has gone from a huge NZ bird hunted to extinction to a modern day women with 21st century issues! At the moment she’s on day 3 of walking every day and giving up smoking, I think she’s doing the whole Paleo thing too.
Some of the Gone But Not Forgotten art prints on display in Marika’s home
You’re a full-time exhibiting and commissioned artist. What’s been the highlight of your art career so far?
A few years back when I travelled to London to see my family, I left with two galleries representing my work. In such a competitive art market like London I couldn’t believe they took me on. To be honest I’m just amazed that I’m an artist at all.
What or who inspires you?
Other creatives, books, humour, the natural world and travelling – being amongst different cultures I find very inspiring.
Vintage architects drawers make the perfect stow space for Marika’s art prints
Proof reading the story that accompanies her new Rainbow Warrior gift cards
Security Crew! Pete and Dougie (with visiting friend Paddy).
What’s your favourite music/sounds to create by?
The National Programme, BBC & singer-songwriters… anything with a bit of a story.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m about to launch Adam & Eve “Last seen in the Garden of Eden” and the Rainbow Warrior. There’s a lot coming up with new product lines and images also a range for the UK market.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing do you think?
…Organising my houses and staff in different corners of the world… or I’d be an animal rights activist.
Delicious detail from one of Marika’s art prints