Shalom Life | December 26, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Award-Winning Artist, Kara Bieber

Shalom Life sat down with Bieber to discuss her recent switch from photography to collage.

By: Sara Torvik

Published: December 10th, 2014 in Culture » Art » Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Award-Winning Artist, Kara Bieber

For some, art is a hobby, something they do just for fun. But for others, art is an entire way of life. Kara Bieber is one of those people. She grew up in Sussex, England and is the daughter of Travel Photographer, Joey Bieber.

It wasn’t long before Kara herself decided to try her hand at photography, and as it turns out, she had a natural gift for it. By the age of twelve, she was already having her own work featured in photography exhibitions and in 2005- at the age of 19- she won the Woman Photographer of the Year award at the Venice International Photographic Competition.

These days, she has found herself moving away from photography and into collage artwork. We spoke to her about this switch in mediums and what it was like to find success at such a young age.

Shalom Life (SL): Your collage work is very intricate and beautiful. What inspired you to first start creating this type of art?

Kara Bieber (KB): It was last year, upon returning to London, slightly shell-shocked by the darkest depths of winter, after the most heavenly sojourn in Tel Aviv, that a colourful magazine caught my eye. I reached for our kitchen scissors (IKEA's very own, from my sister's university kitchen starter pack circa 2004!) and I commenced the cutting.

SL: You started out your career as a photographer. How old were you when you first got into that?

KB: Having parents who always included my siblings and I in their intrepid adventures, each of us equipped with our very own 'point and shoot' camera, I can't remember a time when I didn't photograph! However it was at the age of 11 after a particularly epic trip to India that my photographs were desired for more than just a family album, which led to my first exhibition at the age of twelve.

SL: Your mother, Joey Bieber, is also a successful photographer. In what ways has she inspired you and your work over the years?

KB: Growing up with a mother who would never leave the house, even for a country walk without a camera in her pocket, she embellished upon me the magic of capturing a moment and the role that photographs play in preserving and sometimes creating a memory.

SL: Who else would you say has been an inspiration on your work over the years, both as a photographer and a collage artist?

KB: It has been observed that "Life is too serious to be taken seriously". With that in mind, my inspirations are those who are incredibly creative, colourful and confident and exude playfulness. My current favourites include the photographer Tim Walker, fashion emperor Paul Smith, filmmaker Wes Anderson and designer Piero Fornasetti.

SL: You won the Woman Photographer of the Year award at the Venice International Photography Competition when you were just 19 years old. What was it like to receive such a prestigious honour at such a young age?

KB: I was living in Florence, Italy at the time and was totally over the moon, if not a little confused as the winner of the Young Photographer of the Year Award was at least five years older than me!

SL:Besides your art what other passions or interests do you have?

KB: Spanning from food to fashion, innovation to interiors, design, travel and architecture, I am fascinated by much. With thanks to the platform Flipboard I have a home for them all in the form of my magazine 'Yes Please!'; originally started as a keepsake for myself, but has now garnered over 1600 subscribers with the number growing daily.

SL:You’ve lived in many cities around the world. Is there one particular place that stands out as your favourite? Why or why not?

KB: I am totally crazy about Tel Aviv! As well as showcasing my passions above at every hour of the day and night, I find the city radiates a warmth that goes far beyond the weather. For me it is a magnet that I can't resist!

SL: Is there a collage piece you’ve created that stands out as your favourite or that holds a particularly strong meaning for you? Why or why not?

KB: My recently completed commission for Workshop Coffee Co, London particularly springs to mind as it presented the challenge of the professional versus playful, since my only briefing was to create a sign directing clientele to the 'Toilet'! Reimagining the company's merchandise alongside my signature characters from the days gone by, the final artwork can be seen printed onto 5ft x 4ft aluminium in their flagship branch.

SL:Since you’ve been very successful in your career, what advice can you offer to all the young struggling artists out there who are trying to get their work seen and heard?

KB: Don't follow the rules, write your own. Be true to yourself and believe in yourself. I'm with you all the way!

If you would like to learn more about Kara Bieber and her work, you can visit her photography website and view her collages at her official Facebook page.

All of her images are available for purchase in Limited Edition Prints.

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