I believe that if you paint what you love, the joy will ooze out of it spontaneously.
Cathy is an Australian Artist, producing beautiful work drawn from the beauty of nature in a variety of distinctive, vibrant styles. Here she shares how her talent has developed, and how she juggles being a successful online Artist with working as a Kindergarten Teacher.
How long have you been making art and what inspired you to get started?
I have always painted, drawn and made things, ever since I was little. However, I came to my practice as a professional artist the long way around. I studied commerce and law, and worked for a short period in Singapore on a Scholarship. I then worked in Australia as a lawyer for 7 years. I later competed a Masters of Education, and began teaching. During that time, I found that I had some spare hours each week, so I began my art business!
I love ‘Home with You’. The colours are beautiful. Can you tell me a little more about this design?
The painting “Home with You” is about the warmth and happiness that the ‘right’ person can bring into your life. In all my paintings, my aim is to create happiness that you can hang on your walls – items to make your house sing. There is a sense of joy and tranquility infused in every piece. My art always honours the light- the things that make us happy!
What is your favourite medium of choice and why?
I love the vibrancy of acrylic paint. I also love the fact that it does not smell. I work in a home studio, so that is important!
A lot of your designs are inspired by nature. Is that where much of your inspiration comes from?
Yes. Growing up, we always had a large garden and farm to play in. I also spend a huge proportion of my free time in Australian Botanical Gardens. These things have certainly shaped my creations! I believe that if you paint what you love, the joy will ooze out of it spontaneously.
What other Artists have inspired you?
I adore Monet, admire Warhol and love Mucha.
Which pieces are most dear to you, and why?
You are asking me to choose which of my children is my favourite!- I can’t! 🙂
How do you juggle your creativity with your job as a Kindergarten Teacher?
I am lucky that my teaching and my art compliment each other. Teaching brings movement and joy into my life. Art relaxes me and allows me the freedom to seek beauty in new and creative ways.
What have you learnt whilst establishing yourself as an online artist. Can you offer any advice to others starting out?
The learning curve was certainly steep when I started to sell my art. I continually find artists who have struggled with online selling and eventually allowed it to defeat them. They then (often) proceed to spend way too much money on setting up physical market stalls, usually with very low profit margins and high cost/time requirements. I feel that I one of my strengths has been a natural aptitude with respect to making online sales. I taught myself how to do this, and now have 10 selling platforms. One of these has resulted in 450 online sales to date- and there are so many more. There is a lot to learn, so I have written a short guide book entitled “How to Sell Art and Craft on the Internet”, which is available in the “books” section of SheerJoy.etsy.com . I have also been teaching classes based on the book at two South Australian Galleries. The book has had some incredible reviews, and the classes were also booked out.
Where do you see yourself as an artist in the future?
I’m hoping that my current trajectory continues in terms of business growth. With respect of how my art will be used, I don’t think you can put up any rigid rules. The online world changes so quickly- and I will continue to be open to new possibilities. Just this morning, I was contacted by a lady on the other side of the world who wanted to buy one of my images for a use that I had never envisaged!
How do you promote your art and what part has social media played in your self-promotion?
Social media has played a huge role in making myself known. I have so much advice on that topic, that I’ve written the book on it (Literally!- see my answer to question 8.) 🙂 I have also had a mountain of “word of mouth” referrals, which is a huge honour. There’s nothing quite as flattering when someone comes back to get more, because they are so happy with what they purchased last time!