PEACH x QM Arts Society present: Creator of the Month – Maya Barter
We are so excited to introduce our April Creators of the Month! Every month, we will be spotlighting creators from the QM student community across different art forms. Our April Creators of the Month are the incoming Editor in Chief and Deputy Editor of the 2021/22 PEACH Team, Maya Barter and Alexandra Craveiro!
Scroll down to check out our interview with Maya and to read more about her and her work!
Maya Barter (she/her)
I am a writer and visual artist who can never settle on one preferred artistic medium. I love to experiment with different forms of expression, everything from poetry and playwriting, to filmmaking and fine art. Lately, I have fallen back in love with digital painting and I am so excited to continue exploring the possibilities that come with creating digital artwork!
Congratulations on your election as the incoming Editor in Chief of PEACH and on being chosen as one of the Creators of the Month! Your bio states that you are both a writer and a visual artist. Tell us more about your work, the themes you approach and how your work navigates the relationship between them!
Thank you so much, I am so incredibly excited about being elected as next year’s Editor in Chief of PEACH! It’s an honor to be chosen as one of PEACH’s creators of the month!
In terms of themes in my written work – the pieces I write usually reflect my mood, so my focus tends to be on capturing a certain feeling. I think the same can be said for the artworks I create. It can be anything from trying to capture the feeling of being on a summer picnic, to bad days and the feeling of yearning to escape.
What is it about the relationship between visual and written media that draws you towards their collaboration in your own artwork?
I have always perceived visual and written media as almost inseparable, ever since reading illustrated story books when I was little. In my mind, the relationship between visual and written media works so well it doesn’t make sense to separate them! For some pieces, the relationship between the two is so important, that if both weren’t present it would be like watching a music video with no sound!
The relationship between the two adds another layer to the work, which for some pieces is absolutely vital. For example: for my poem titled ‘She comes home’, I painted wet shoes to accompany the text – in order to further capture and convey the feeling of standing in a dark, damp hallway to the reader. If the illustration wasn’t there it would feel as if there was something missing.
What lead you to your recent re-foray into digital painting, and how do you feel it has developed your expression as both a writer and a visual artist?
I have tried working digitally in the past, but I never really got into it. I always planned on coming back to it, so I gave it another go and ended up really enjoying it!
After working on capturing realism in my digital paintings, I realised that the way to make things look realistic is to focus on the details. Getting the basic shapes right, capturing how the light reflects, observing where the shadows fall – it’s the attention to small details that really help a painting look true to life. However, I’m not striving for complete realism. It’s very important to me that my paintings still have a recognizable style and some element of non-reality. With my strawberry painting, this takes the form of the picnic blanket dissolving into individual pixels.
I apply the same idea of focusing on details in my writing. It’s the characters that drive my stories, so if I haven’t figured out the vital details, such as what they want and how that influences their actions – the story won’t happen!
Where would you like to see your writing go beyond now? This can be answered in regard to both career trajectories or/as well as style and personal development.
I adore writing plays and I would love to work as a professional playwright one day. I think the process of staging a play, and seeing your story and characters come to life is one of the most exciting things ever!
I would like to work on more short stories, as well as putting together a cohesive anthology of my works. I have also started drafting a novel – so getting it published would be a dream come true!
I think I would also like to establish some sort of a loose routine with my writing, as currently, I write whenever the mood fits. Although, to accomplish bigger projects I do have to put the work in – so making a habit out of writing (almost) every day is something I think I need to work towards.
Finally, as the incoming Editor in Chief of PEACH, what are you hoping to bring to your time at PEACH as both an artist and a principal officer?
PEACH has felt like a second home to me ever since I went to my first PEACH workshop as a fresher. As a principal officer, my biggest priority is to make all new and existing PEACH members also feel like they can find a home here. I will do all I can to maintain the wonderfully creative, safe and inclusive space that is PEACH.
As an artist, I know how daunting a blank page can be, so next year I would like to introduce ‘Peach Pip’ zines (yes, officially it’s a peach pit, but creative license is on our side). These zines are going to be another creative outlet, along with our regular themed publications. ‘Peach Pip’ zines are going to be free of themes, so our members can share absolutely any work without any pressure!
You can also find Maya’s work in our most recent print-edition, here!