• Kate Neilson

"I am still humbled by it all": Getting to know Charlotte Allingham

Charlotte Allingham is a 24-year-old Wiradjuri woman and illustrator based in Melbourne. It's likely that you saw some of her work last month in the lead up to Invasion Day, when her 'Always was, always will be Aboriginal land' artwork (pictured below) went viral, popping up in what felt like every second post on my Instagram feed.

We spoke with Charlotte about what it felt like to have her work recognised across such a variety of platforms, the inspiration behind her art and she offers some solid advice that I'll certainly be implementing into my life.

Follow Charlotte on IG to see more of her work @coffinbirth.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Comfortable lazy mom.

How did it feel when people first started responding to your work online?

It was really whack! I just said "what the", over and over. I was really happy but I didn't expect it, so I didn't know how to respond. I was just really thankful and felt like I was doing something right. I'm just rolling with it as best as I can. It seems as though your online presence has grown exceptionally since your 'Always Was, Always Will Be' piece went viral on Invasion Day this year. What was the response from your followers?

Everyone was telling me how well deserved it was, that I have worked hard up until this point. I didn't realise how much it would take off. It was just how I felt. I tend to make art pieces, put them up and then just move on with the next piece. It's an endless cycle of create and move on, so it was beyond good to hear such praise. I am still humbled by it all.

Talk us through your usual daily routine.

I get up and make a coffee and go outside for a cigarette (I really need to quit). Then I sit at the computer and draw all day, if I don't have anything else on. Then I make dinner and draw more, or watch YouTube with Nick.

As a Wiradjuri woman, how to you maintain a connection to your culture?

My art is a massive connection. I didn't expect it to be this year but the more I draw Indigenous subjects, the more I feel my ancestors and my land. It just fills me with so much emotion. Sometimes I burst out in tears and get really upset and then I try and move on with my day. I plan to strengthen that [connection] this year, even though I'm always from my country.

Who or what inspires your work?

Occultism, and myself. I love occultism, it's the second love I've had in my life, the first being art.

I always draw from my experiences and how I'm doing emotionally. I write zines in my head when I'm sad. I think it's important to get inspiration from yourself.

What's the best piece of advice that you have received?

Don't make decisions when you have your period and don't stress, you deserve to be here. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Drawing heaps, making comics and video games, and being more responsible, I hope! What's your favourite thing about your home town?

My grandparents. I miss them always, it's hard being so far away from family. What's something that currently makes you mad?

The treatment of Indigenous people and shipping prints.

What are you currently obsessed with?

Raingurl - yaeji You're trapped in an elevator. You can be with one person, you can have one thing to eat and one book to read. What do you pick?

Rice cakes, Night Letters by Robert Dessaix and John Dee.

Kate Neilson is the founding editor at Twenty Something Humans. She likes eating toast in bed and a sipping on a G&T in the afternoon sun. She can be lurked @katiepotatierose.

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