Location: Temple St. Studios, Wolverhampton
Mood: Optimistic about the future, but quite low at being completely skint with Christmas on the way..
Listening to: Nothing but the heater …!
Hi I’m Bec, I’m an artist based in the West Midlands who graduated from Fine Art, at the University of Wolverhampton in 2013. This is just a blog of thoughts to keep me on track with my work and development of some current new pieces. Feel free to say hello, and comments and suggestions are welcome!
Since leaving university I have meandered a lot – however the one thing that has remained a passion is to work for myself and to run my own business.
At university I had a lot of fun with abstract painting, sculpture and installation work. However since leaving, I left that behind and started my own business creating pencil portraits and illustrations inspired by portraiture and fashion, which was something I had always done since a teenager and still loved. My business is based around exhibiting my prints and cards in local hand made shops and doing craft fairs and local exhibitions.
However this currently does not earn me a great deal of money; possibly for many reasons – lack of confidence, doing things cheaply, lack of skills in certain areas and generally just not hitting the nail on the head for current trends and things that people are interested in buying. But also not really knowing where I fit in or where my audience is.
Late last year I acquired the help of a coach and painter Dean Melbourne who (after an attempt of me trying to create a body of work in my current realistic/lack of knowledge/pure willpower style..and failing!) suggested I try a different approach. He was looking at my sketchbook and saw a page of sketchy thumbnails I had done with the intention of painting realistically later on. He suggested I paint them exactly as I’d drawn them, with the sketchiness and imperfect aspects remaining. So the past few months this is what I have been doing; projecting the sketches, (above) sketching them out in pencil onto square canvases and therefore starting a new – completely different – body of work. I have since completed around 5 of these paintings with more planned.
Dean came to visit me at my studio a few weeks ago and we discussed where this work could go. One of the first steps I think would definitely be to exhibit at modern contemporary art galleries in the UK, and also art fairs. We also discussed how the work could potentially take part in relevant events; the idea of funny faces and comedians for example. At the time there was a comedy festival happening in Wolverhampton, unfortunately fully booked! But also events to do with topics like mental health; I feel my work touches upon mental health issues – such as things as women, selfies, how women are looked upon/portrayed in social media, but also everyday mental health and the way people feel they look. In these new paintings the faces are not at all perfect, however there is still a lot of character about them.
There was also a discussion about funding and how to fund this new body of work, materials, gallery, art fair and studio visits etc. Also people to get in touch with like Creative Black Country. It was suggested I apply for an Arts Council Grant, and this is something I am currently looking into.
In the next post I will be posting the pieces I have currently completed.
Thankyou for taking the time to read my first post!