(No matter how hard I try, I simply CANNOT write about myself in the third person – it feels too pretentious and inauthentic. I had to do it for exhibitions and I felt silly. But this is my own web page: my page, my rules)… so here goes:
Art is my illness and my catharsis all rolled into one. My obsession; my source; my sounding-board; my soul.
I make ceramic pots and sculptures.
And one day, I will figure out how to make a body of work that encompasses all of these things. For now, I am obsessed with drawing and when people buy my work it makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world.
I studied art throughout high school, and thereafter pursued drawing and painting as a hobby, immersing myself in the world of Advertising. Later, I studied drawing and painting at Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town. It was there that I stumbled upon pencil drawing – I say stumbled because we were made to try various mediums, and as such a pencil drawing module was forced upon us and I fell instantly in love. (Ok fine, not instantly: there were days of frustration, times where I was so rubbish at it that the tears threatened and the only reason I didn’t walk out is that I could not bear the shame of my teacher asking me what was wrong – that’s all it would have taken to open the floodgates. But then, as always, just beyond the frustration is the breakthrough… and then it was instant love.)
I kept drawing after Art school, working tirelessly at creating a large body of work, and as this work emerged, I felt that I had a shot at art as a full time career. I will never forget this turning point: I checked myself and my portfolio bag into an airbnb apartment in the city, and walked the city streets flat for days, turning up unannounced at all the galleries that would have me. (It was not all pissing rainbows and glitter as one might have envisaged).
Not a word of a lie: I walked till my feet bled and then I walked some more. I felt vulnerable and exposed and humiliated. Galleries don’t want to see door-to-door sales people. They want neat, face-less, human-less emails with thumbnail pictures of artwork and a formal proposal… much easier to reject a thumbnail and an email address.
Not all the feedback was, shall we say, complimentary. One gallerist flipped through my file almost reviling to touch the pages. She said: “Hmmm. I don’t see it. I know what I’m looking for, and I just don’t see it here.” I went back to the apartment, poured a glass of wine, cried as much as I needed, and then wrote down every piece of feedback I received. And rinse and repeat the next day. And the next. And the next. I will NEVER forget the kindness of one particular gallerist who sat down with me for an afternoon and gave me honest feedback, both positive and negative, and more importantly, she gave me advice that was tailor-made for me and my personal style of artwork.
A couple of the galleries did. It was joyful. And awesome. How paying-it-forward-esque that these people gave of their time for a stranger. (This is how the world should be, right?) And that advice stuck with me. Some of it resonated, and some didn’t. But it inspired me and helped me to become a full time artist, for which I am eternally grateful.
I love drawing. Did I mention that? It’s as though a piece of my soul is etched on the page. I put so much of my heart into my artwork, and so when somebody buys it, I could pinch myself. Every time. It never gets tired.
At the moment I sell my art privately, through galleries, retail outlets, boutique interior design firms and a collective.
My sister is my biggest supporter. I swear, if I proposed the idea that I was going to ride a tricycle to Mars for sundowners, she would be FULLY onboard and invested in the idea, and would gladly allow me to drag her along for the ride. She has always believed in my art career, even before I did. There is nobody that can make me laugh from the bottom of my belly quite like she can, and every time I need a pep talk or some words of encouragement, there she is. Kinda like a mentor. She is my ultimate partner in crime, co-conspirator, co-agent-provocateur, and the best gift my parents ever gave me.