Ever since leaving art college in the 1990’s I’ve been earning a living directly from my art, although I spent two years as the product manager for a greeting card company commissioning other artists.
In 2008 I started a business called Moobaacluck , for which I design and paint personalised wooden decorations and stationery. Recently I began to stock an Etsy shop and am looking forward to filling it with an eclectic collection of paintings, cards, prints and notebooks.
I LOVE my work – it obsesses me and gets me excited everyday.With a young family it feels like I work most days and nearly every evening. It’s worth it for the satisfaction and the joy of being able to spend my time as I choose.
Why ‘ink, paint, paper’?
From my days at art college in the 1990s I have battled with this expectation that I ought to have a signature style and in all honesty I think that is true if you want to be an illustrator but whose to say it has to be only one? Looking back at a lot of my published work I can see that I did have a signature style before I had my children but it moved through many stages. On leaving college it was a romantic water colour figurative style. My clients were magazines like My Weekly and Homes and Gardens. Over time working as an in house designer – purely on Christmas imagery for three years at International Greetings my style morphed into something cuter and more opaque.
Now I am generating work for myself with the occasional illustrative commission, building a new portfolio in the process. I see my work as roughly divided into three groups – the painterly whimsical – (my main published illustration style), the graphic ( involving hand drawn motifs and finishing designs on the computer), the painterly fine art (there forever in the background). I work with pen and ink, paper and acrylic and recently am learning to use Illustrator with Photoshop to finish things off as print ready work.
It’s important to explore ones capabilities, and work hard to find a harmonious balance. So that’s what I intend to do.
I want to encourage other artists to experiment too, whether for fun or the challenge of developing a dormant part of their capabilities. You’ll find a link to a collection of work by participants in my first project on the showcase page .
The first project is #ippdailydraw