Your portfolio is quite impressive, having worked for brands such as Sony, UEA and English Heritage (to name a mere few) – what are your currently working on?
I am currently working with the Saw Trust to create illustrations for the latest SAW book and with the John Innes Centre and Cambridge University, on Infographics explaining Synthetic Biology. I am working with St Mary and St Peter’s Primary school in Gorleston, illustrating quotes from students, staff and governors for a large mural on their new library wall and with East Norfolk Sixth Form College, illustrating their prospectus. If you visit Gorleston beach you might find some of my work as I have been discretely hiding illustrated stones there as part of a new project.
It’s great news that you will be our guest artist for the Jarrold Festival of Colour, which ties in with the Lord Mayor’s celebrations and the Norwich Lanes Fayre. What can people expect to see?
On Saturday I will be working with a variety of Windsor and Newton and Liquitex products instore at Art and Stationery on Exchange Street. I will be demonstrating illustration techniques using Liquitex inks, and showcasing the amazing Winsor and Newton Pigment Markers, which allow artists to produce archivable work with a marker pen that will last 100 years!
On Sunday I will be outside on Bedford Street working on large canvases to produce vibrant, colourful pieces using the Liquitex range, inspired by the exciting events happening in Norwich this weekend. I will incorporate the colours, people and activities going on in and around Norwich in my work. There will be canvases for members of the public to join in and paint on to create exciting collaborative pieces.
How would you describe the style of your work?
I am a colourist, I like to apply bold blocks of colour and then refine them. I work really quickly, creating movement and energy in my work. I love to use Liquitex as all their products are designed to work together perfectly, allowing me to start with large areas using the spray paints, add more colour and marks using the acrylic paints and refine details with the inks and paint markers. Working live is really exciting, it helps me to be fearless and allows the audience to interact with the piece I am creating.
You have worked for Winsor and Newton demonstrating worldwide. What does this involved and where are some of the places you have travelled to?
It has been really amazing - I have been all over England, to Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and America to demonstrate art materials. It’s a dream job to get paid to teach and inspire other artists. In America each visit has been so inspiring in my work, from the views of the Rocky Mountains, the culture of California, and the Mardi Gras of New Orleans. In Frankfurt I had the honour of demonstrating the brand new Pigment Marker to staff from all the top art stores in the world!
When and why did you get into art – and it what medium – and how did you progress to work across a plethora of media?
I have been drawing since I was very young. I started going to life drawing classes with my mum when I was only 13. I went to NUA (when it was Norwich School of Art and Design), then got my degree at Edinburgh College of Art and Design.
I took a big career gap to have my children, then one day my youngest daughter told a friend at school, that “Mummy USED to be an artist”. That was the motivation I needed. I started putting my work online using social media and within 2 months I was working for Winsor and Newton and Sony – two of the biggest companies in the world!
I love to be bold with colour, and have always worked in a similar way, regardless of the medium I use, and I now paint digitally using the same technique. The process of creating is the most important part for me. It’s addictive, like chewing gum. I draw wherever I am and always carry a sketchbook. When I am travelling I like to work digitally as it’s like having the biggest art-box and an infinite sketchbook in your bag.
I am passionate about education and sharing skills. Recently have been doing some teaching in the art department at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, it’s been a privilege to support their wonderful students.
About 4 years ago I started working as a graphic recorder which combines my artistic skills and my love of communication. I get to work at important events and conferences, listening to the speakers and capturing what is being said live, in words and visuals on a really big piece of paper. The resulting work is used as a visual reminder for the audience. I have worked with some amazing organisations including TEDx Norwich ED two years in a row, and later this month I will be working at TEDx Youth in Essex.
What are your favourite things about living in Norfolk?
I live on the coast in Gorleston. I did stay in Scotland after I graduated from Edinburgh and lived in Perthshire where I got married and started my family. We moved back to Norfolk a few years ago to be closer to our parents. I love Norfolk for the fabulous skies, the history and the Norfolk Broads with all its wildlife. I enjoy shopping and going out in Norwich, as it is a vibrant, eclectic city and it reminds me of Edinburgh. But, I especially love our beautiful beach in Gorleston.