What does being creative mean to you?
Having ideas and making them into something has been part of my life forever, from ‘pretend cooking’, Lego sculptures and being let loose with paintbrushes in a house that was about to be demolished for my 6th birthday party, to writing poems and songs, studying art and presently, painting in the studio every day.
I grew up with creative parents and am surrounded by creative people now so it kind of feels normal. It’s a blessing that I can make a living from something that feels so natural to me.
What kind of rituals and routines to do you have when it comes to your work?
I tend to work in a cafe or from home for a bit in the morning to get the admin side of my job done, including applying for exhibitions and competitions, getting press, liaising with curators and framers, sorting commissions and private sales, updating social media, ordering materials etc.
Then I spend the afternoons painting in the studio, or wandering around like a paint-splattered scarecrow with a brush in my hand trying to find inspiration. Once or twice a week I try to see some exhibitions in the day and go to a few private views in the evenings.
What inspires you?
The countryside and seaside obviously, but also strange patterns on walls or floors, a colour of a piece of clothing someone is wearing, often other artists’ work. I went to the Vanessa Bell show at the Dulwich Picture gallery the other day and even though her work is not similar to mine, it really inspired me. Also the music I’m listening to affects the way I paint. Recently I’ve been loving Hans Zimmer’s Planet Earth soundtrack. I do ballet to it whilst I work.
Your father is a sculptor; do you often work together or bounce ideas off each other?
When I was younger we used to write poems together and often work together on projects, giving constructive advice. We definitely ‘get’ each other on a creative level. He is a businessman first and foremost so he gives me invaluable advice on that side of things too.
My mother also gives me good honest feedback—growing up she pretty much taught me how to draw. I’m very lucky to have such inspiring parents!
How has your trip to South America affected your latest work?
I have definitely noticed a change in the colours I’m using since my trip to South America. Before (after a trip to Scotland, so probably inevitably), my work was much stormier—lots of browns and blues. For this show I will be using more pastel colours to reflect the saturated hues all over South America, especially in Val Paraiso!
What is your favourite piece that you have created?
It’s so hard to say, it’s usually my most recent piece. I particularly like ‘A Lone Flamingo’ at the moment because the colours remind me of the feeling of being by the salt flats in Argentina and I like that the flamingo is very subtle.
Why do you move from painting to painting before completion?
I work on about 30 paintings at a time because, practically, it means the layers can all dry between paint applications. But I also choose to work in this way because if I just have one painting in front of me I begin not to be able to see it properly and get stuck. Having lots of colours everywhere keeps my brain engaged and I can run around the room adding colour here and there.
Would you ever move into a more realistic style?
I would like to start adding more realistic elements into my work, which I’ve started to do for this show with the occasional flamingo or hot air balloon. I would like to make some suggestions of more urban subjects to reflect my working environment, Hackney Wick. I find this conflict between where I work and what I paint quite interesting.
And I do miss drawing proportionality and creating human likeness sometimes—recently I’ve had a huge urge to do a portrait but I don’t have time!
What are your plans for the future?
I am aiming to continue developing my painting style and skills, learning new techniques and improving all the time. I want to increase my national and international presence in the next few years.
I would also like to get involved in some social projects via my painting—I’m not quite sure what yet. I want to do something external to my own business—help people or the environment and make a difference in some way. I have a few collaborations on the horizon. In general I want to continue doing what I’m doing—but on a bigger scale, in every way!