What inspired you to become an artist, and how has your journey evolved over time?
Art is something that has always been a huge part of my life; I spent many hours in galleries, at shows and reading books about artists, their work and their lives, when I was younger and it was a passion I never lost.
I didn’t ever think I could actually live my life as an artist, but I’m very blessed to have parents who always encouraged me to ‘do what makes you happy’ and nothing brings me joy like being an artist does.
Covid gave me the space and time to really delve deep into my artistic practice and my career as an artist just hasn’t slowed down since then.
I opened my studio, started collaborating with other creatives and creating a reputation for putting on amazing painting workshops for people of all ages. All of these things have helped me create a career where I can not only make my own work but also help others make work of their own.
Can you tell me about your creative process? How do you approach starting a new piece or project?
I’m a very intuitive artist, I often go into a project with a rough idea about the kind of work I want to create and then let myself be guided through it. I don’t like to plan anything too intensely as I find it hinders my creativity and some of my favourite pieces have come from sparks in the moment.
When working with customers you often get some kind of guideline to work within, and this can be helpful to combat the ‘white canvas’ problem, but when it comes to my own personal work I like to focus on the message.
I’m incredibly inspired by the conceptual art movement and the idea that the message behind the piece is just as, if not more, important than the final product. With this in mind, I start every piece thinking ‘what am i trying to say?’ and I keep this at the forefront of my mind throughout, often stepping back to ask myself if that message is coming across.
What themes or subjects do you find yourself drawn to in your artwork, and why?
I’ve always been drawn to making statements, often about inequality or social issues that I’m passionate about. My personal work has always been loud and in your face, from LGBTQ+ issues, to gender equality, homelessness, and politics. To me, art is always a direct link to what is happening in society. To study art, and its journey, is to study human history and societal views, the two cannot exist without each other. To truly understand a piece of artwork, you must first understand the context in which the artist chose to make said work. To truly understand how people felt and experienced life at any point in time, one must look to the art, music and theatre created at that point. I like to make work that reflects how it feels to be me, right now, so that one day someone can look back and get a glimpse into life as I know it.
More commercially, a lot of the work I do for customers or that I have in my shop are inspired by nature. As long as humans have existed we have been inspired by, pushed forward by and made work in collaboration with our natural environment and I like to always keep this in mind. Whether it’s florals or jungles or the ocean, nature is the pinnacle of beauty and awe and so I like my work to always nod towards it.
Could you share a memorable or significant moment in your artistic career that has had a lasting impact on you?
It’s hard to choose one moment because I feel so very blessed that this is my career.
However, whenever I host a painting workshop, the faces of my customers at the end of the session will never be any less than amazing to me. At this point I have taught hundreds of people how to paint, in many different settings. From 4 year olds just starting their creative journey, all the way up to elderly people reconnecting with their joy of painting; when people end a session with me saying how therapeutic it is, how much fun they had, and how proud they are of their work, its something I dont ever forget.
Though creating work is my passion, I have discovered in the years I have been doing this that helping other people discover their own love of art is a new passion in and of itself for me.
Are there any particular artists, movements, or styles that have influenced your work?
As I mentioned previously, I love conceptual art. I fell in love with the movement when I was 15 and have grown to love it more with each piece I see and each book I read. I love how it makes fun of art, and the art world, and yet also embodies it. Its such a Schrödinger’s cat and I believe its one of the most mentally stimulating of all the art movements.
I love Tracey Emin’s early work, how bold and tongue-in-cheek it was, and so unapologetic in its message. I also love Basquiat; the strength in his work, the innovation and the rawness of it. I have to also say Grayson Perry, not only because there is an affinity there with our pottery, but the inherit nature of always questioning their work, the art world, their place in it and how all of that falls into this melting pot of what it means to be an artist. His book is also a bit of a bible for me, I always return to it when I need to ground myself and reconnect with my inspiration.
Where can people find your work/contact you?
The best place to find me is through Facebook facebook.com/pot.bound3 or Instagram instagram.com/pot.bound/ – here you can find my commercial work, see the painting workshops I host both in my studio and in different venues in the local area. I am starting to put more of my personal work there as I’m going through a bit of a transitioning process within my career, so stay tuned for that!