Why did you choose to be an artist/designer?
I was drawing and painting from a very young age and won a competition in primary school and received a very nice set of pencils! I was hooked from then and have always been involved in some form of visual art ever since.
What medium do you work in?
I work mainly in acrylics on canvas or in black pen for sketching. I also paint onto ceramic and river pebbles.
What's your background, have you always been an artist/designer?
I trained in Textile Technology at Heriot Watt University many years ago and worked in that industry for a
time but it was too theory based for me, I needed to
be hands on. I took the decision to return to college as
a mature student and studied fine art, eventually gaining my MA in Fine Art Practice from Liverpool Hope University. It’s only within the past three years or so that I’ve really made an effort to pursue a full time career as a visual artist.
How has your practice changed over time?
I originally painted a lot of landscape art but in more recent years, my whippets have become my inspiration and I now paint a lot of dog/pet commissions. Over the past couple of years, I have taken inspiration from the silly expressions that pets pull and now the bulk of my work involves big noses, toothy smiles and daft faces!
How would you describe your creations?
Humorous, silly, daft, fun, whimsical – when people see my work, they tend to have an immediate reaction to it one way or another!
What inspires you?
My whippets. I love all breeds of dogs but have a particular fondness for the silly ways of sighthounds. As I am out walking with my dog every day, nature in general inspires me greatly.
Where do you show / sell your art?
I sell my art via Etsy and Facebook to customers worldwide and I also have a number of stockists throughout Scotland and take part in fairs and shows. Earlier this year I secured my first stockist abroad, which I was fair chuffed with!
Do you think art can have an impact in the local community?
Yes I do, I feel art can help bring people and communities together for a shared purpose, no matter what their differences.
Who are your biggest influences?
I draw inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement. I’ve always been fascinated by the work of William Morris and his contemporaries and love the quote he penned ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’.
Which current art do you think is having an impact in the world right now?
I feel there’s a real push towards more sustainable/environmental art. As a small business, I try to embrace this ethos and I am committed to my business becoming as sustainable as possible.
What difference has working with SDX made to your business?
It’s allowed me to have a stockist in that specific part of Edinburgh and I like the business model of renting a shelf, which works well for me. The staff are great and are always happy to help. As I live in the Scottish Borders, it’s really helpful that I can send work through the post and they are happy to arrange this on the shop floor for me. I hope to be working with SDX for a long time to come!