Author: Charlotte Bearn

Keeki: The Interview

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Anthropomorphic fruit, sleeping narwhals and orating birds, welcome to the wonderful world of Keeki’s art. Following her latest release of limited edition prints, Keeki (accompanied by her cat Maude) talks to artrepublic about getting in trouble for drawing on walls, her favourite vegetable and how she got started as an artist…

Where does your name Keeki come from?

Keeki means cake in Japanese and as I’m influenced by Japanese art and I love cake it seemed the perfect name for me!

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Do you describe yourself as an artist or illustrator?

I would say I’m an illustrator predominantly as my work generally tells a story and usually accompanies some form of narrative.

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Tell us a bit about your new Fruit & Veg prints…

My new Fruit and Veg prints come from my French fruit prints that I sold a couple of years ago. I had so many more ideas for characters in my head and wanted to share them with everyone!

What’s your favourite vegetable?

A potato, they’re so versatile!

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Do you invent characters for your anthropomorphic foods? How important is a narrative element in your artwork?

Yes, each fruit and vegetable lends themselves to a certain character and a slight change in details make them all individuals with their own little story to tell!

Keeki: The Interview | Image

What made you become an artist? My Mum always used to read to me when I was little and my love of books and illustration stemmed from there really, particularly Roald Dahl stories and the illustrations of Quentin Blake.

Keeki: The Interview | Image

How did you get started? I always drew and used to get in trouble for drawing in my books, on walls, my toys, well quite a lot really! I remember copying pictures from The Beano and from a variety of books that I had and my brother and I used to make our own adventure books with illustrations. My sister is really good at drawing as well and it was always the class I most enjoyed at school. When I found out I could do a degree in illustration I was very happy!

How do you approach the actual making of your work? I start with sketches then any research that’s required, ink them up, scan in and then colour up and amend if necessary.

What’s your medium? It varies, I use ink, watercolour, printing and computer aided design.

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Where do you find inspiration? Reading, watching films, visiting galleries, travel and scanning the internet.

What’s your favourite children’s book? The Twits by Roald Dahl.

What are you currently working on? I’m currently working on a couple of commissions for people and Christmas stock!

Which of your works are you most proud of? The Flying Fox and Mr Citron from the French Fruits series.

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Do you care whether people like your work? I think an illustrator would be lying if they said they didn’t care what people thought of their work as it’s the public that they will be selling to.

What memorable responses have you had to your work? The commissions I create for people generally get the best response as they are so personal, especially when they are for children.

When are you happiest? When I’m at home in my pyjamas with my husband and cats drinking tea and drawing.

Keeki: The Interview | Image

Which artists do you most admire? There’s so many that I admire that it’s hard to pinpoint only a few but Charles Addams, Edmund Dulac, Aubrey Beardlsey, Paul Rand, Yoshitomo Nara and Marc Boutavant are all very inspirational and I’m sure I’ve missed lots of others!

Describe an average day in the life of Keeki – I work full time so I get up at 6am, travel to work then head home about 4pm, have a cuddle with my cats and a cup of tea then I either do some sketching, play computer games or finish off any work I have in the evening.

Keeki: The Interview | Image

AFFORDABLE ART

CJP £75

Rewilderness - A3

29.7 x 42cm

£75

29.7 x 42cm

£85

45 x 45cm

£125

42 x 60 cm

Nothing Matters - Remix, 2020 Art Print by Dan Hillier
Exclusive

£98

42 x 42cm

Cats Pyramids

24.7 x 39cm

£35

24.7 x 39cm

Daffy (Red Stripe)

70 x 50cm

£100

70 x 50cm

Reginald Botanical

29.7 x 42cm

£60

29.7 x 42cm

£60

29.7 x 42cm

£100

33 X 48 cm

HOPE THAT KILLS YOU

21 x 29.7cm

£75

21 x 29.7cm

Cherry Drop

35 x 35cm

£65

35 x 35cm

Acne Pink

30 x 42cm

£125

30 x 42cm

Lemon Blossom 3

40 x 40cm

£55

40 x 40cm

£85

50.7 x 45cm

Ellipsis - Remix, 2020 Art Print by Dan Hillier
Exclusive

£98

42 x 42 cm

£100

50 x 50cm

Anyone for Tennis?

29.7 x 42 cm

£115

29.7 x 42 cm

BOUNCE! 2020

42 x 42cm

£125

42 x 42cm

The Sun Rises in the East Art Print by Hooksmith Press
Exclusive

£100

32 x 45cm

Bananas

29.7 x 42cm

£60

29.7 x 42cm

Patrick Art Print by Lee Ellis
Exclusive

Patrick

40 x 40cm

£75

40 x 40cm

Vintage Girl

70 x 100cm

£135

70 x 100cm

MK-Ultra II

19 x 19cm

£65

19 x 19cm

£100

29.7 x 42cm

Gorilla - Neon Pink

42 x 59.4cm

£125

42 x 59.4cm

I Love London

22 x 17 cm

£60

22 x 17 cm

Andy Warhol £22

£22

70 x 100 cm

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