So, tell us a little about yourself and your creations:
Hello! I’m 26 and from a town called Llanelli in South Wales, UK. I studied Illustration in Swansea and went straight into working as a self employed illustrator, with the odd part time job on the side. I’ve spent the last year or so in between Wales, France and Portugal living in a van with my partner Matthew, exploring the coast, surfing and freelancing. A lot of my work starts as a drawing or painting and is completed digitally. I’m a pretty motivated person and have always wanted to be an artist. I’ve always hoped that I could use art as a way to make a difference in some way in the world, perhaps by highlighting the beauty that surrounds us as a way of preserving it.
What inspires the art that you create?
I would say that I’m someone who can find inspiration in almost anything. I’ve never really struggled with a lack of it, the struggle is more in the execution of these ideas, I’m sometimes (not always) disappointed by the reality outside of my head. But I’m inspired by women and their connection with colour and patterns in both nature and cities; the ocean, rocks, plants, the sky, lines and patterns in the sand, trees, and mountains, decaying walls, doors, window frames, weird or old buildings, lamp posts, gates etc. I find beauty in almost everything and everyone.
What is your favorite part of the process when creating something?
With every job or piece of work I do, my favourite part is the moment when I look at what I’m creating and realize that it’s good. Not necessarily to anyone else, but to me. Sometimes it’s at the beginning, often somewhere in the middle and occasionally at the very end when I’ve finished. I guess that might seem negative because I often don’t like what I make; but the reality is that I experiment a lot and I spend as much time as possible making things so of course, I have moments where I actually hate what I’ve made or where I’ve overworked an illustration and no longer love it. So it’s such a good feeling when I am able to recognize that I really like what I’ve made.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist and entrepreneur
I think the biggest challenge is finding balance in my life...between my own personal work and the paid work I’m doing. As well as in pretty much everything else; balancing my work hours with play, fun, exercise, spiritual and mental growth, eating well, family, friends and rest. I have to create my own schedule and rhythm. When it works it feels great but when something is a little off I really feel it. I guess the other main struggle would be, being financially stable. I’ve never wanted to work jobs that I’m not passionate about, but have of course had to do so to stay afloat. So balancing having to pay the bills whilst remaining inspired, energized and passionate about my own creativity is something I’ve struggled with. Thankfully I have a partner who believes in me and supports my work, he’s helped to keep us going a lot and I just hope to be able to do the same for him with his creativity and passions too
What is your life ambition?
I want to be successful as an artist. To me, that means having a platform that I can use to help bring about real change in the world. To have a voice that is heard so that through my art I can tell stories for the people that can’t. I believe that art can bring joy, change hearts and bring to light what is hiding in the dark. I’m certainly not there yet, still learning so much and developing my style and storytelling ability but that’s what I really want to do.
But it also means being financially stable enough to support myself and family and to therefore not have to do work that doesn’t bring me joy.
How long have you been surfing and what does surfing mean to you?
I’ve been surfing for about 8 years but would say I truly started to progress when I met Matthes over 4 years ago. He taught me how to paddle more effectively, how to understand the ocean, how to turn, cut back, basically how to progress and that’s when surfing became a different kind of rewarding. I could start to see myself improving and that really excited me. For me, surfing is evidence that with persistence and patience, I can improve at something and not only see the growth but feel it too. Surfing has helped to build my confidence and it’s challenged my mentality continuously in regards to how I speak to myself whilst in the water and how that affects the way I feel and the way I surf. Essentially it’s taught me to be kind to myself because that’s when I start to have fun as well as see my growth. So yeah, it means a lot!