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Interview For a Student at Staffordshire University

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What were your first steps to becoming an artist?

I was always an artist from being small but my first steps to escaping the trap that is full time work and ‘normal’ 9-5 came when I moved to Australia with my husband to a small place 3 hours north of Melbourne and it was there that I could dedicate my time to painting and developing my work purely because my former career of fashion designer wasn’t possible in the middle of nowhere so you could say my first steps was joining the local art society and exhibiting with them.

Where would you suggest a young artist, with the aim to become a full-time artist, start in their career?

Just start making a body of work that is unique to you and something that you are interested in and can sustain for a long time it’s no good looking at what’s trendy and selling if it’s something you won’t want to carry on working on and developing throughout your career. Also, its important right from the beginning of your career to make sure everyone around you knows that you are dedicated to making an art career it’s very easy to end up working as absolutely anything but an artist because everyone will tell you it’s not a stable career and they are right it’s not but be persistent and you will get there.

Where do you sell your work mainly? Where do you find is the most effective place to sell?

There is no one effective place to sell it must be a combination of many places.

Do you have gallery representation or do you sell your work directly? And do you think it's necessary to have gallery representation?

I have gallery representation and it’s very important that you are recognised by at least one gallery for your art if possible as the public always ask what galleries are you in. Obviously, you don’t have to be in a gallery but for me as a fine artist it’s important that my work is seen hanging alongside my contemporaries.

What would you say are the benefits of being in a group like Peak District Artisans? Does it pay off?

Pay off as an artist is not always about money payoff is about reputation, achievement and friendships with other artisans who are as equally dedicated to the creation of high quality products and by being chosen to be a member of a group such as the Peak District Artisans you are showing potential customers that you are of a certain level with your work this builds confidence with your clients. I believe you can’t be an artist alone you need some way to network and meet other likeminded individuals.

Do you sell prints, cards, and other reproductions of your work? If so, where? In small shops? Galleries? Online?

I sell prints, cards in small shops and at my stalls and in galleries. Online I sell originals on artfinder, and allow my work to be on fineart America where its print on demand which allows my work to be reproduced into just about anything without me having to lift a finger. You must be everywhere online in galleries small shops and have your own stalls as it’s the combination of all of this that will build you income and following.

Any other advice?

Get up every day and do something towards your art career be unique and work harder than you can imagine.