Okay so I posted a quick post yesterday explaining this week TAT would be TAW due to issues with my email, but hurrah the internet didn't end! (tee hee just a lil inside joke...for me, as I doubt anyone even read the filler post yesterday lol) so here it is the first TAW, although I don't think it technically is if you count the times I've been late...but it's the first officially named TAW so there we are, enjoy =)
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
Well I’m Siobhan, I’m 24 and live in South West England between my two homes, one with my parents and the other with my boyfriend (life can be so topsy turvy!) Together we own a rather large collection of animals which give me so much inspiration and joy. I’m a complete dreamer, an avid creator who uses anything from twigs and leaves to paint and canvas for my art work, I guess I can be described as a mixed media artist most of the time! I’m also a self-confessed animal/nature geek who adores the natural world more than most people can understand. I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember and have always been inspired by the world around me. It’s rare for me to create anything without an animal or something natural in it… even if it’s a twiggy tree in the background. I used to primarily use graphite to work with but about ten years ago I saw the wonders of other media and couldn’t control myself. Since then I’ve worked with anything I can get my paws on. At the moment I seem to be going through a watercolour stage. It’s very difficult for me to go a day without doing something creative, I bake, write, draw, paint, sculpt, journal, scrapbook… I don’t like to be confined to one creative hobby which tends to leave me fighting with time as there are never enough hours in the day. I can normally be found working on my bed with Flynn my gerbil scampering around and trying to add his own unique talent to the world.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My lack of confidence. The biggest challenge I face is letting people see anything I create. The idea of people seeing my work is terrifying for me especially when I’m in the same room to see their expression as they take in my creation. The first time I let my boyfriend see my sketchbook was awful! I was sat there trying to hide the shaking hands by fidgeting nervously and watching in horror as he looked through my ideas and feelings. It’s not that I’ve had bad experiences from people seeing my work, actually it’s usually the opposite but I put so much emotion in to my work it’s quite unnerving for other people to see, I worry that they’ll see something in me that they hadn’t seen before but over the past year through sharing my work I’ve come to the conclusion that what others see isn’t always what I saw when I created it. And if they do see something in me they hadn’t seen before maybe it’s not always going to be a bad thing. I’ve only just started to overcome this challenge and the only way I’ve managed this is by actually showing people my work and not locking all my sketchbooks away in a box somewhere. It’s been really difficult and I’ve had many moments where I just want to hide from the world but it’s done so much good and my confidence has grown so much in a very short time.
Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
All the time. I get in to a state where I just sit staring at a blank piece of paper for hours, biting my lip, pulling funny faces and eating too much chocolate to ease the pain. It’s a horrible state for any creative person to be in and it really does get painful because you desperately want to create but you just can’t for some strange reason. I used to get it a lot more than I do now, I don’t know whether that’s because I’m in a more creative state or whether I’ve learnt to pull myself through it. The best cure for me is to stop forcing it. The more I sit and stare at the paper the more frustrated I feel which just makes things worse. Giving creating a break is so helpful, it not only reboots your creative mind but it also lets you focus on other things. I started going for walks, reading, writing among other things. The break usually gives me a fresh start and I’m able to get working again, usually with a strong creative force behind me and I can’t actually stop!
What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist?
Never expect to be perfect when you first try something out. It’s something we’re all guilty of these days. We try something new and for some reason we expect ourselves to be perfect from the start and be as good as somebody who’s done it for years. I’m guilty of it myself. I tried out watercolours a few months ago and was so disappointed when my first try didn’t look fantastic. Another thing I’ve learnt is that art work goes through something I call an ugly stage. No matter what media you use there is always an early stage where you just want to give up because it’s turning out to be a large blob of something rather than a branch of cherry blossoms. The thing to always remember is that if you keep working through this stage it will come together and look amazing. Believe in yourself.
Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I’m a bit quiet with my work at the moment but the best place to find me right now is my blog. Originally started with the intention of showing work in progress. I can also be found on Twitter where I post many sketches and work I’m currently having fun or struggling with.
Thank you for not letting your biggest challenge of sharing your artwork stop you from sharing it with us Siobhan, I think it's something many of us can attest to when we had over our work to someone close to us, even if we feel the butterflies and do it anyway (and yes, sometimes I still get nervous posting something, especially when I know many people may see it). The only thing I can say for sure that helps dissolve the nervousness is practice, and the more you do the more you will see a change where it'll flip in the balance to be more excitement - and sometimes you'll actually be psyched to show people your stuff, it's awesome when that happens! ....but like anything with art it doesn't always come instantly, or without work =)
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