Later Artist Careers

Monday 12th February 2018

I sent off the additional information that was requested by Lourdes – a response to interview questions and also some studio photos.

My response to the Interview questions are shown below:

Name: Michelle Wright

Artistic Name: She’s a Fine Artist

City: Rhuddlan, North Wales

Country: United Kingdom

-explain the life you have had in the past, before being an artist

As a school leaver I was encouraged to follow a sensible route into employment in an office environment rather than pursue my dreams of becoming an artist. I became an Administrator before training myself to operate a computer at an advanced level. Starting in the computer software industry as an IT Trainer, this then lead to a role in IT Support. Finally, I became a Technical Writer and continued in this profession to this day.

My daughter was born when I was 32, spending her early years as a stay at home mum became my role at this stage in my life. Learning to teach Yoga during this period became a stimulus for my baby brain, also becoming a Reiki Master and Crystal Therapist. I had been searching for something in my life, I was not to understand until some years later what this was – a sense of wholeness and peace which I gained through becoming an artist.

-explain the life as an artist

My life as an artist is varied and engaging. As the artwork develops, I find different medium to work with and this adds to the variety. There is inevitably a lot to accomplish, not just working on the artwork but blogging, looking for and responding to new opportunities and general planning and administration tasks. Collecting video clips and photography often takes me away from the studio.

At the start of a project, the artwork is more practical as ideas evolve, they can then be presented utilizing digital technologies. Much time is spent on the laptop editing photographs or video, blogging and interacting with social media. Not only is the blog a record of the artwork created and the process, but also a tool to reflect upon. Ideas come and go, yet when they are included in your blog, they are there for future reference.

Frequently tasks are juggled, working on art for other people and also for myself. I find it necessary to be prepared to respond to opportunities at short notice. This has meant that more effort has to be invested to ensure that work made is in a ready to exhibit condition.

Recently I filmed an opening for another artist and created videos for use not only in the exhibition but also on social media. At the same time I was assembling marketing materials and preparing my own video and photography work to be included in another exhibition.

-what have you earned in your life as an artist?

At the moment very little and this has been through providing services to other artists. Because I still work part time as a Technical Writer, I am probably less concerned about earnings as an artist at this moment in time. More importantly, becoming an artist has been a way of improving the quality of my life. This has been because I am able to follow my passion for art and less about monetary gain.

How your friends/family took your idea of being an artist?

Friends and family have been incredibly supportive of me becoming an artist. I think they recognize the passion I have for art and the happiness it brings to my life. My husband and daughter, in particular, have sometimes become part of the artwork and have been very willing to help.

-how are you earning your salary now?

Continuing to work part time as a Technical Writer, this provides sufficient income for me to pursue my artistic endeavours. I believe it is commonplace for an artist to have a second job/career as a way of supplementing their income so that they can continue with their artwork.

-when have you decided to be an artist?

Losing my parents, when they were in their early 60’s became a turning point in my life, I was 43 at the time. This made me realise that life is short and that things can change at any time. Realising that it’s now or never, I felt driven to pursue my dreams to become an artist. An opportunity presented itself to go back to education and I decided take it.

-how is your life as an artist in your country?

There are many artistic opportunities in the UK, however there are also many artists applying for the same opportunities. I currently live in a rural area and to further my ambition to work as an artist, I have to travel to take advantage of these opportunities. It would be difficult to survive as a practising artist if I only sought artistic opportunities near to my home. The many opportunities available only serve to make me more excited about the prospect of developing further as an artist.

-how is your workshop?

Currently, a studio at the art college is my workshop, along with my kitchen table. These both fulfil my requirements for a creative space at this moment in time. For the digital aspects, I can work on the laptop anywhere. Moving forward, I am looking for a new studio in the local area, this is planned for later in the year. There are several places with studios to rent nearby offering a creative environment to work in. I also rent a storage container to store all my equipment and artwork.

-do you think this part of your life is the best choosing or you would like to change it for another time?

Without question, in later life there is no time more opportune to become an artist. Recognizing that studying to become an artist in my youth would have been a wasted opportunity. The desire to make the most of every opportunity has come as a result of my becoming an artist in later life.

-what do you think about the art market of your country?

Visiting Frieze London and Frieze Masters in 2017 encouraged me to be hopeful for the future as an artist working in the UK. It appears to me that more than ever before the potential for any artist to be recognized and promoted by a gallery is a distinct possibility.

-what do you think the art has contributed to your life?

Often preoccupied with my next artistic endeavour, opportunities arise as I constantly find inspiration in the world around me. I have learned to view the world in a unique way, from a perspective of curiosity and wonder. This has come about not only from looking at artwork created by others, but also by learning how to communicate visually myself.

Becoming an artist has given me a new sense of confidence which I express through my work. On reflection, the happiness and peace this has brought to my life is of the utmost importance. Reflecting on my reasons for becoming an artist I realised my search was for a sense of wholeness. I have found this within by nurturing my passion for art and pursuing my dreams to become an artist.

2 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Interesting interview – both the questions and your answers.

    Like

  2. This turned out to be a really good exercise in reflection for me – it helped me to be well prepared for putting my 5 year plan together.

    Like

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