HOW DID YOU GET INTO ART AND MAKING?
I grew up with a pencil in my hand. I have always loved drawing and painting. I had no idea of all the different ways to create when I was young but I just had the need to do it and paint and colouring pencils was all I had access to at first.
WHAT ART DO YOU LIKE TO MAKE?
I have spent the last year experimenting with different media. I want to try everything welding and wire sculptures, clay. glass blowing , if I see it I want a go. Unfortunately I don’t have the means for these at this time so I would say my favourite is painting. There is something just a bit delicious about putting colour on a canvas or page. On my facebook page you will see I dabble in other things too. I love to create things out of recycled materials and have made a couple of stools. I also upcycle furniture and do wall murals. Occasionally I sew but I don’t know how to use a sewing machine so all of my work is handsewn. I’ve made dream catchers and jewellwey holders and given a trycicle a minion makeover.
WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE?
Mostly acrylic for painting. I find it gives me the texture of oils but dries at a nice pace. I have dabbled in watercolour a lot for the last few months and have done a couple of oil paintings.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
I like to try everything so I would say artist
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES AND INFLUENCES YOUR WORK?
The virtual art studio has inspired me tremendously. I didn’t pick up a pencil or paintbrush for 10 years. I suddenly had the urge to paint something in the middle of the night and after I had finished I searched for art groups and found the virtual art studio. This gave me the push (it was at the time of the drawing challenge) to draw daily until it became a part of my daily routine. The group members are so supportive and I am inspired by seeing the posts. Other influences are a love of art deco/nouveau pirates/ships and prohibition. I just love the eras the clothes the colours and lines
HOW HAVE YOU AND YOUR WORK CHANGED OVER TIME?
I find that I have learned not to rush to finish. My whole school life I heard ‘good but you could do better’. It drove me crazy but I get it now. My previous work I would get to a point and just want to see it finished so I would miss the detail. After I would just forget about it because I wanted to start another piece. Now I take a break when I feel like that. I am always working on more than one piece and when I am finished I smile and keep creeping downstairs to look at it because I know that I couldn’t do any better and I can’t believe I just created that. I have gained a lot of confidence and feel like the child in me that has imagination and ideas is back.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED ALONG THE WAY?
I couldn’t find time before my creative block and there was no money for materials. When I did have the money later on I found I was always working and then trying to have enough energy to be mum to a teenager. I had a very bad few years personally. I suffered losses that were hard to come back from and I was in a very controlled situation and my creative block arrived. It took 10 years to escape both. Until that moment in the middle of the night when I did that first painting after 10 years and then found the virtual art studio I had given up on ever having art as something I could have as a career or for fun. I have a 4 year old now and although as you would imagine time is hard to come by it is still doable. I believe strongly that it is all about timing. I tried many times over the years to get onto an art course or find a job after my graphics HND only to fail and just work to pay the bills. I have found you can do both cover your bills with a 9-5 and make money making people happy with your art.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT/S SO FAR? NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL?
My biggest achievement was selling my first painting. Also being asked to produce illustrations for a children’s book which I am currently working on.
HOW DID IT FEEL TO EXPERIENCE THIS ACHIEVEMENT?
I cried a little bit, I’m not afraid to tell you. It meant so much on so many different levels. It is validation but more than that it was all I ever wanted to have someone buy my work. It meant that they saw something I made and loved it enough to buy it. As all artists know when you create you are not just making a picture or whatever it may be. You are spending hours thinking, feeling putting your energy into the work. An artist knows when they have made an aesthetically pleasing bit of work the payment is not about the money but the commitment of the buyer to own something you have made if that makes sense. It is wonderful to see a buyer smile and be delighted that they are taking home your work.
WHAT DIFFICULTIES, DOUBTS OR FEARS DID YOU FACE AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I had given up on a career and didn’t even find the time to do it for fun. A couple of months ago I was happy with the progress I was making but felt like this was all it was ever going to be. Ok fine I thought, but I want other people to see what I can do. I also wanted a challenge. I jumped on my facebook and announced I was going to do a giveaway. The prize; any picture painted on a canvas and posted free of charge to the winner. (Brave right?) to win this giveaway I asked people to share my post and like my facebook art page and their name would be entered into a hat. Then it just sat there for hours with no one responding. Suddenly one person did then the next. I kept telling myself don’t worry if your painting isn’t up to scratch its free they can’t complain. I then got a message from someone who had seen a previous post of a couple of paintings I did. The post had been ignored so I didn’t think people were very interested but she had seen it and loved them. It turns out she was scared to message me about them but my post prompted her to ask if they were for sale.
WHAT OR WHO HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR JOURNEY?
The virtual art studio is massively involved in my turn around. My absolute refusal to ever do as I am told and my eldest daughter for always being my cheerleader.
IF SOMEONE COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND MAKE AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN FOR YOU, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM?
I just want a huge studio full of every imaginable medium and the time to get in there and get messy. Money is nice but I’m more interested in creating then being famous. Just enough to pay my bills and a few treats but allowing me the time to roll around in my paints
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