My name is Layla Flame and I'm an artist from the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Like most artist, I've been creating all my life. However, it wasn't until 2019 that I picked up soft pastels for the first time and felt I had found my medium. I now work part time in my home studio, using pastels to create beautiful wildlife and pet portraits.
Art to be honest, is my second love. A means to express my adoration of the amazing creatures we share this world with. I've always been animal-mad, my original career goal was to become a veterinarian. However, I decided to study a Bachelor of Wildlife Science at the University of Queensland instead of veterinary science (the daunting prospect of studying for six years may have persuaded me in this decision). Through my uni studies I also completed a Certificate IV in Captive Animals - a zoo keeping qualification that saw me work closely with lots of native and exotic animals.
The Australian bush has always enchanted me - its where I feel at home. When I look at my paintings of native wildlife, I often feel nostalgic and inspired. Along with each of my wildlife artworks, I put together a few paragraphs highlighting the ecological significance of the species. I feature these on the back of my greeting cards in hopes of spreading awareness and knowledge of our unique critters. My koala painting 'Tree Hugger" won highly commended at the Bentley Art Prize in 2019.
After my studies, I returned to the Northern Rivers and started working for a local pet store. Although not quite what I had in mind, my knowledge of zoo keeping and biology comes in very handy for this role. So unsurprisingly, pet portraits are a favourite subject of mine. My own dog Tess has featured in a few of my works. Having her paintings around the house reminds me of the pure joy she brings to my life, and I hope I can share that feeling with everyone who commissions a painting of their own pet.