Follow your heart and trust your talent!
I was always the arty girl at school. You would find me in the common room drawing or painting. My goal in life was to go to art school so I was over the moon when I got accepted at Gray’s in Aberdeen.
The foundation year at Gray’s gives you the opportunity to explore different disciplines, from sculpture, printmaking to 3D design enabling you to discover your passion. Although my passion was painting, I felt a need to study a discipline which would eventually allow me to get a job – needless to say I didn’t enjoy it much. Settling on textile design, I achieved my BA Hons degree however, I regret not following my heart – painting. From university, I travelled to Australia and lived there for eight years working as a Visual Merchandiser for a large furniture company. Creating the “look” and aesthetic of the customer experience, I would mix and match furniture styles, purchased accessories and artwork and also attended trade fayres.
We moved back to the UK when I was pregnant, and I went on to start a hobby craft business as a silk scarf designer. I would hand paint designs onto the scarves which I then sold online and at craft fayres including 50 to The Black Watch Museum in Perth.
During the first lockdown, I decided after 20 years to return to my first passion and started painting again. Initially painting pets and animals from photographs as commissions, I felt I needed more and started looking at working intuitively in abstract. It finally hit me, this is what I was supposed to do 20 plus years ago.
Compared to back in the early 2000’s the internet has exploded and changed the artists world. No longer dependent on galleries to show and sell work – artists can now use Instagram, online galleries such as Art Finder as well as your own website – the world is yours for the taking.
I have just completed an online course to refine my signature style of abstract with the lovely Irish artist Ciara Gilmore who has also shown me that it is possible to become a full time artist and have a successful and abundant career. Being an artist is a business – you have to learn how to market yourself and develop your brand. With this in mind, I have joined the United Art Space community who help and encourage young artists to believe in themselves and their talent.
My advice to anyone wanting a creative career is to get involved with as many artistic communities as possible – learn from others who have faced the same hurdles as you will. Additionally, if you need help with your style of painting and techniques there are so many courses online that you can do. My biggest advice though is to follow your heart and trust your talent!
You can find out more about Faye and her art here -