Featured Artist: FlamingImp
1) Where are you currently living? Is there a place you would like to move?
In Manchester, UK. Actually, I wouldn’t move, I love Manchester; it’s people are friendly, resourceful, caring, supportive, vibrant and entrepreneurial; it has a wonderful legacy of ingenuity and bringing in change - science, engineering and social change - the first passenger railway line and station in the world, discovery of the first law in thermodynamics, first and only swing aqueduct in the world, Ernest Rutherford discovered how to split the atom here, the first programmable computer invented and built here, the worldwide co-operative movement, and recently graphene was invented here. (Manchester was awarded the first title of ‘European City of Science’.) And that’s just a few things that impacted worldwide! No, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!
2) What are the greatest struggles/obstacles to your creative process? How do you navigate them?
Thinking of the next thing to draw is my biggest single struggle! I keep a list of ideas on my phone to try to prompt and inspire me, but it doesn’t always work - you have to feel like drawing the thing too! This month I’ve taken part in the MerMay drawing challenge for the first time and although I’ve felt the pressure and stress of trying to come up with something to draw every day (despite having a long list of ideas which is continually growing!) I’ve actually really enjoyed the process and found it both really relaxing, whilst working on the drawing once I’ve got started and it’s ‘working’ (sometimes I have to throw out an idea and find a new one as it’s just not quite feeling right or coming together). It’s been great for both improving some of my skills and techniques and for me gaining a steady stream of new designs to draw up properly - I’ve removed the mermaid tail and drawn up quite a few (e.g. the puffer fish, blobfish, dragon, dinosaur and shark all started off life as MerMay sketches).
3) What is your greatest accomplishment? Why?
Errr... hmmm. Not sure how to answer that in a way that won’t probably be a cliche of some kind! I'm not really interested in trying to analyse what might be a single greatest accomplishment, I just take each day as it comes and keep going forward. There are many things I'm proud of :)
4) How do you balance your personal life and creative endeavors?
I am the mother of two children, a girl and a boy, although now they’re getting older I don’t need to do so much but I tend to only work on my laptop whilst they’re at school and then might move onto my iPad to get a few things done when they’re at home (e.g. social media and sketching new design ideas). My eldest is now a teenager and has always been very independent, she’s also very creative and loves drawing so it’s wonderful to share that with her - we sometimes critique each other’s art - and we have collaborated together on an anime piece of work for a competition (my ‘Listening to music and drinking tea’ design is based on that piece of work “Listening to Music and Drinking Tea” which you’ll notice is not my usual style). In the original work, the girl’s head was heavily based on a pencil drawing her best friend did, and my daughter then worked with me to get the piece as a whole looking right in the anime style they love (I paid them both for their collaboration, and I loved being able to encourage teenagers who love drawing!)
5) If we traded places, what is the one thing I should know about you?
We wouldn’t be trading places - no way I’d swap what I’ve got :)
6) If your artwork was edible, what would it taste like? Why?
Eh, what? Umm... my first thought was custard, but that’s only because it’s always been a food I’ve loved! After a moment of more thought though, I think I’d go with Poky - current, popular, more-ish, yummy, fun and with a Japanese vibe :)
7) Imagine that you built a time machine and it is the year 2035. What do you think your art will look like? How do you think your art will have changed?
Since I’ve found my style I now know I have to stick with it. If I try to create something outside my style it rarely works and I definitely don’t enjoy the process. So if tastes have changed drastically my work may be a distant memory! I will definitely have improved my skills and technique a lot by then though, and perhaps my work will also be more consistent. I’ve already noticed a huge improvement over the last year, when I’ve been very heavily focused on my art (instead of it coming second to software engineering).
8) How do you know when your art is finished (if ever)?
It could just feel right; or maybe I reach a stage where I’ve added too much, and taking something away looks better and I realise that it’s finished; alternatively I’m just fed up with the thing and don’t want to work on it anymore and decide that’s it, enough!