I always try and get into the studio every day, but sometimes life gets in the way and I also have to do school run so I'm usually in the studio by 9.30 but out of it by 3.00 pm. I’ll draw most days but I also teach in the studio on a Tuesday and Thursday morning so sometimes after that, I only have times for admin like emailing and website / social media updating. Then at weekends, I sometimes am at a show or teaching a full day workshop elsewhere. On average, I’m actually at the drawing board being creative probably 3 days a week. And of course, being creative doesn’t always go smoothly…
What has been inspiring your art you have been making recently?
I’ve been very interested to exploring new ways of working with charcoal and pastel. I don’t always produce work using the same techniques with charcoal and pastels but like to experiment and push materials in different ways to see what effect they can have. I can only spend time doing this if I don't have a show coming up though. so in a way I find the materials themselves inspirational and I let them lead me down different paths.
You had a SWOT chat with us was there any advantages in assessing your career thus far?
It really made me think about ways forward with my work - particularly with how to present work at a show. I have struggled to move forward with a couple of excellent ideas - solely due to either financial constraints and raising my daughter and building a studio - but now she is at school and the studio is up and running, I am planning to apply some of the excellent ideas. It also helped me clarify what I was doing on social media and work with that properly - which led to me becoming an associate artist with Unison Colour.
What changes have you made in the last couple of years that have benefited your art business?
I have built a large 24 sq m studio which has had a huge impact on my work and productivity as well. I can now teach from home as well so I can run regular classes.
You have won some major awards in the past year could you tell us what they were and would you recommend others have a go, what outcomes have you had because of them?
Winning the Buxton Spa Prize has very much raised my profile locally and helped me develop contacts nationally. I would say that people have nothing to lose. I entered because I love the challenge of working on a piece that is location based and would be a different scene to my normal choice. The outcome was my wonderful studio space - truly life changing.
How do you see your practice progressing over the next year or so?
I hope too move forward in a couple of directions. I’ve just discovered that my favourite paper comes in an even larger size so I am keen to work on a bigger scale and see where that goes. I’m also hoping to produce another series of works. Having just completed a commission where I produced set based on the area Ingleborough. I really enjoyed this process and am keen to repeat this with an area in the Peak District.
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