Squidinky – Emma Trenberth Artist Celebrates Australia with Beach Art

emma trenberth australian artist

When did you come up with the idea of beach paintings?

I starting painting and drawing these things as a child, documenting things I found on the beach. Painting beach things has evolved over time because the beach is a big part of my lifestyle. I am really just painting the things that are around me, the creatures in my local environment.
A lot of these sea animals are linked to various memories of the beach combing adventures, from my childhood.
I also like painting beach things because they have beautiful colours and are often interesting textures and shapes. There is also a never ending supply of inspiration for beach inspired paintings.

Why did you choose the name Squidinky?

I have a bit of a fascination with squid they are very quirky little creatures. They swim backwards, and produce their own ink. I like that squid are a sea animal because that represents what I am doing, as well as that they produce ink which makes me think of art and pen and ink sketches.
“Squidinky”-I wanted one word that was quirky and represented both the sea and beach art.

Where do you find inspiration for your creations? Who or what inspired you to create this collection?

I get a lot of inspiration from beach combing. I have been known to pick up little dead fish and prawns off of the beach and bring them home to photograph or draw. I also like to snorkel. I get a lot of inspiration looking at the different shapes of fish and types of weed.
At times I will also tag along with others fishing, for the purpose of observing reef fish and squid swimming in buckets.

What do you believe is a key element in creating a good painting?

I tend to make the composition of my pictures really balanced. I also really like that quality in other peoples art work. I think a lot of the art works that I am drawn to have a contrast in textures as well as colour.

What is the best part about working with acrylics?

I specifically like acrylics because they dry quickly and I can paint a picture while I’m inspired by it. I use specialist sign writers’ acrylic. I love that I can just keep painting this helps me keep my idea fresh. Acrylics are also very bright and vibrant.

How long have you been painting for?

I have been painting and drawing since I was a child and never stopped. I come from quite an art rich environment because my father is a wood carver. So, creating things and experimenting with different materials just seemed normal to me.
I think that I was lucky because I was never discouraged from painting even when I painted horrible wonky looking things on the walls.

How has your style changed over the years?

My style is getting more confident and free. I used to worry a lot about trying to make things look really realistic. I’ve since decided that more interesting things evolve in their own way if I just paint things how I think they should be and forget about how people might be judging my work for not being perfect.
I realised you can’t be true to yourself and have your own style if your too busy trying to be like everyone else.
I’m using a lot more techniques now. I like splashing paint around and creating paintings that have a life or energy about them. My previous paintings were quite static in comparison.
I am really enjoying the freedom of being a bit more modern and creative.

Can you describe your collection using 3 words?

Bright, honest, Australian

What piece of your collection has been inspired by Australia Day?

I have created a piece specifically for Australia day. Capturing the essence of enjoying a day off of work at the beach. It is called “kicking back at back beach” .

Where would you like to see your business in the next 12 months? What is next for you?

I’d like to look at expanding my product line in the future – perhaps making some gift cards or printed coffee cups.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business like yours?

You need to do a lot of research. Selling things online can be a lot of work. You really need to think about what people will want to know about you and your product.

Is there anything you would recommend for designers starting up to avoid?

The best advice I’ve heard is “don’t doubt and undervalue yourself”. If you undervalue and under price yourself, buyers can think that your product isn’t worth anything.

Where is your favourite beach and why?

Lipson cove, it is absolutely pristine with squeaky white sand and Aqua waters. It is a great place to go for a barbeque or a beach day.

Lipson Cover Jetty Beach

Lipson Cove from Rochelle Berryman

What is your favourite personal quote?

‘Be who you are and say how you feel because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind’. – Dr Seuss

What is your favourite colour?



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Joanne Wadley

About Joanne Wadley

"Hi, I'm Joanne, I graduated top of my class at UCA and have since worked on a variety of Advertising and Branding projects. I am currently juggling copywriting with being a stay at home mother. I have a very creative mind and a passion for copywriting and branding. In my leisure time I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, playing games and partaking in sports and yoga. "

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