Virtual Art Gallery: Cat Babbie
About the artist:
Cat Babbie describes herself as a fiber artist inspired by color movement and patterns and says ever since she was a kid she knew being an artist would be a part of her identity.
Babbie says “I’ve always made art of some sort, when I was little art supplies were always available, crayons, collages, etc. I have some of those childhood pieces still (thanks, mom!) and it’s crazy how it still connects to my work as an adult. Big swaths of colors and patterns are still a big part of what I create these days.”
Babbie says she takes an intuitive approach when creating her art, and sometimes sketches out works in watercolors first to become more familiar with the colors she is working with.
Once Babbie starts tufting or stitching, she says she makes decisions on the fly about what’s next and takes a “work, work, work; stand back and think” approach.
Babbie says “Since I dye all of the wool yarn I tuft with, color balance is something that’s really important to me, and occasionally I’ll have to pause a piece while I cook up a missing color.”
Babbie says she is motivated to create art for her own well being and is at her best when she is working on her art everyday, even if it’s just a simple watercolor doodle.
She says besides being her own motivator, it bring her joy to see people interact with her art.
“Beyond myself, though, I am motivated to create my art because watching people interact with it is deeply joyful. There’s something about fiber art that pulls people close to the work, I think it’s that we subconsciously know that we constantly interact with fibers and textiles, but as soon as it’s hanging on a gallery wall, it becomes ‘untouchable’. The tension of knowing you’re not allowed to touch the art and wanting to touch my work is really interesting and exciting to me,” Babbie says.
Babbie says she got into fiber art originally through knitting (although she never finished her first scarf…), and took a class on weaving and surface design in college that planted the seed for her future love of fiber art.
Babbie says “I loved the looms, creating color combinations in the dye pot, it was absolutely inspiring.”
After taking that college course, Babbie says she ventured into pottery making and thought she would be a potter for the rest of her life.
Babbie even went to a residency before realizing pottery wasn’t for her, but says she doesn’t regret venturing out as learning different art forms has helped her become the artist she is today.
Babbie uses social media to share her work, but says doesn’t pay much attention to the numbers.
Babbie says “Being able to easily share my process and work (and the cats, if I’m being honest) is the valuable aspect of social media for me.”
Babbie enjoys making all types of art in her free time, baking different breads and sweets, and binge-watching the Repair Shop TV show.
Cat Babbie is currently balancing a full time job on top of her art, family, and other projects, and says in the future she would love to be able to spend more time with her art during the day.
Anyone looking to purchase her art or commission a piece can click here and support Babbie.
Babbie says others can also support her by sharing her art with family and friends, and also can’t wait to invite people into her studio once again to watch her process and see her art once everyone is vaccinated.
Babbie offers advice to any aspiring artist to practice as often as they can, as creating anything is more about muscle memory.
She also suggests trying new things and allowing yourself to find the freedom to fail as everything takes practice.
Babbie says “Art can start important conversations and connections. When you look at art, it invites you to think about the world from a different angle. It gives us permission to imagine, while making art and viewing it.”
Facebook: Cat Babbie