You might not think you are familiar with THAT GIRL, but if you’re partial to the odd late night kebab and chips on a night out in town you might just know her work.
“Shiraz on Hardman St is my gallery,” she says. “I’ve got so much work in Shiraz!”
And while that fine establishment displays many of the posters she has created to promote Harvest Sun’s gigs, Bido Lito! are speaking to That Girl ahead of a month-long display of her artworks at the – dare we say, slightly more illustrious – East Village Arts Club.
It will be an opportunity to show the range of this dynamic artist, who prefers to go by her alias, and says: “I’ve always liked to experiment; I do collage and hand drawing, lino cuts, screen printing… Because of that sometimes my work might not look cohesive, but I hope when it’s all up you’ll be able to tell it’s been by me.”
There are certainly common themes that can be detected in the work of the effervescent 23-year-old, including an apparent fascination with insects, patterns and women, as well as a penchant for hand-drawn fonts. Her main passion and inspiration, however, is music; to this end she has had a close association with prominent Liverpool gig poster artist Horse, he of Percy Gulliver pop-up shop and Screenadelica poster show renown.
It seems he’s been something of a mentor. That Girl says: “I met him when I was in my second year in Uni, at Chibuku. He’s really helped me get to know the poster scene, and given me opportunities. It’s helped give me a proper kick up the ass.”
The calling to follow the Horse’s path came when, after finishing her Graphic Arts degree at LJMU a year back, she forewent the usual end-of-uni celebrations to join the Screenadelica screen print exhibition at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona.
Says That Girl: “I missed all the Uni parties but had an amazing time there. It taught me so much that weekend, seeing so many amazing artists’ work and how good it can be. That’s what made me think: ‘Right, when I finish Uni, I’m doing this. I want to make screen prints like these people’.”
Since graduating she had been busy at that pursuit, doing work for artists as varied as Ethan Johns and Rolo Tomassi, and most recently producing a gorgeous screen print for the launch of Dan Croll’s new single.
As far as personal music tastes, she says, “It sound dead pretentious, but I really like shoegaze”, with dream gig poster commissions including Dinosaur Jr and Little Dragon. The ultimate goal is to build up a body of work to be able to take to the SXSW Festival in Austin. “Because not only are all the amazing poster artists going to be there, it’s an amazing music festival as well.”
As well as music, literature is a passion for That Girl, who cites the likes of Kurt Vonnegut and Jonathan Livingston Seagull as favourites. She is also a collector of old photography annuals and encyclopaedias, and while her weapon of choice is a graphite pencil she also admits to being partial to Photoshop. She says gleefully, “I like meddling with everything!”
The That Girl moniker came about just over a year ago, appearing to her in one of those special moments of inspiration that occur as you’re about to drift off to sleep. “It came to me randomly and then I could not stop thinking about it. I was thinking: ‘Do I like this? Do I want to work under that name; do I want to be that girl?’ Some people don’t want to be that girl. I am That Girl.”
Though That Girl is not a Liverpool native – she relocated from Stoke-On-Trent for her degree – she is now a firm fixture in the city and has lots of ambitious plans. In her second year she curated an exhibition of fellow students, an experience which she says was highly rewarding and which she hopes to repeat. “With a lot of creative people there’s a lot of wanting your own space. There are a lot of lonely illustrators out there locked in their bedrooms, not really showing anybody their work.”
If she has her own way, she’ll be dragging the artist out of the bedroom and into the spotlights.
“I’ve got something in the pipeline already that I’ve been wanting to do but it’s just finding the funding. Screenadelica inspired me there as well, because it would have to have live music. You’ve got to have music around the artwork – a proper lo-fi social mixer. I don’t just want Liverpool art and music people to come; I want it to be open to everyone.”
Until then, That Girl tells us that her EVAC exhibition is going to give her an excuse to realise works that have been floating in her head for some time. “It’s a chance to work on non-commissioned things, stuff that would look cool on someone’s bedroom wall. A lot of it will be music-related”
Not that That Girl is going to be restricting herself to within four walls any time soon. This is one hungry and ambitious creative force, and one gets the feeling she’s only just gaining momentum.
“While I was at Uni I painted the shutters on Lost Ark – I want to do more of that kind of thing as well. I want to take over Liverpool and make a mark to say: ‘this is my city now’.”
Meanwhile, next time you order your late night snack, please take time to admire the artwork.