Year of Birth:
Where are you going to school?
University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, England
What kind of creative work are you most interested in making?
I’m currently focusing on painting, drawing and projection.
“In response to luxury” (2015) - Ink, Acrylic, Charcoal on Paper
“Daily” (2015) – Projection on wall
What elements of your life inspired you to pursue your creativity?
I have always been drawing from a young age; however, I can think of a few key people who really tailored me into the artist I am today. When I was quite young, my brother was learning Mandarin. Through watching him work I became enthralled with the language and calligraphy for a short time. Chinese and Japanese art were probably the first notable style and period in history of art I was interested in. Secondly, were a few of my high school teachers, both art teachers and in other academic subjects that helped me not only grow as a person but were always interested and supportive of whatever area of art I was working in.
Do you have an artistic intention, focus, or message that you try to convey?
My current focus is one of self-discovery and exploration. I’ve been working with women of all ages around the themes of self-confidence and body image and through discussions and taking in of the stories and life experiences of my subjects, beginning to explore how I feel in my own skin and how I can test my boundaries.
These two paintings are the product of this year-long process of listening to the stories of others and testing my own boundaries. In these two pieces I have taken two very different women in their own places of positivity and self-confidence and tried to put myself in their shoes to reflect how I would feel in that situation. The painting on the left titled “Get Out of My House” (2015) explores the confidence of a dear friend of mine whose “take no bullshit” attitude has had a very positive effect on me. On the other hand, the painting on the right, titled “All Leg” (2015) explores my confidence in the role of a burlesque dancer and how I felt my boundaries being pushed too far.
How do you meet and collaborate with like-minded people?
I met a lot of like-minded people through joining an arts course, but I think that’s a given. It can be much more difficult to find like-minded people when out of an art learning environment. Working groups in galleries, artists organizations and volunteer opportunities are a great way to keep expanding your network of people.
In terms of collaboration, I personally find it best to put on small shows with another artist or two, either through official means or by trying to rent out spaces for an evening. The process of working with others to put up a show is a brilliant experience and it can be a great way as well to meet other people looking to either promote their own work.
How do you think the Internet and social media can benefit creatives like you?
I think the Internet is a great way to get your work out to your audience and to promote yourself. Having a website, or social media to keep engaged and speaking to people interested in your work or other artists is a great way not only to keep motivated but to get feedback. Especially as a young artist, being able to connect with thousands of people either through a Facebook or blog post is great. It’s easier to organize group shows or find out about upcoming competitions through Facebook groups or blogs when there is an online community of people keeping in touch and looking out for one another.
Do you think the Internet has improved your ability to connect with other artists?
The ability to send an email or instant message to someone has certainly made it easier to connect with other artists. I think the internet can make it a lot easier to talk with someone as an initial connection, whether they live in the town over or half way across the globe.
Thoughts on social media and anonymity?
I think one has to construct a very careful professional online personality for themselves, whether that be through social media, personal websites or whatever else. When growing up in a social media lifestyle it’s so easy to just throw up whatever information onto your Facebook or Instagram and not think about how it could leak into your online portfolio or website. It can be a great tool to connect with people and make a name for yourself but it also needs to be managed. As a young artist the balance between how much time you should spend marketing yourself and how much time you should spend making work is sometimes hard to judge.
Anonymity online always has its good and bad qualities. On the good side, it gives the person a chance to express without fear. On the down side, you cannot take credit where credit is due and there is often a fear of art theft when your work is not either watermarked or put under your own name.
Website? Social Media?