Thursday, February 19, 2015

Artist Interview with Georgina Vinsun

Today I am very excited to be able to post my second artist interview of 2015.

I first saw this artist's work on Not On The High Street & I've been captivated ever since. I find her paintings mesmerising, there is so much movement in them- I see waves of water, gentle explosions & shooting stars in night skies. There's something tremendously soothing about her paintings, I just find them utterly delightful.

This lady is also a mama, so it was great to get another conversation going on life as an artist & mother & all the juggling that entails! I want to inspire all mothers out there to keep going for your dreams- it can be done!

So do grab yourself a cuppa, sit in your comfiest chair & enjoy my next interview with the very talented abstract painter Georgina Vinsun.

P.S She is an AMAZING knitter too!!

Hi Georgie, can you tell us a bit about yourself & how long you've been painting professionally for?

Hello! I’m a graduate of Loughborough University (2005 – Fine Art), an avid knitter, a mum of two small boys and a real homebody. I’ve been painting professionally for a few years now, although it took a while to get to a point where I could support myself so I had a full-time job alongside my practice for a number of years. I always worked on my paintings in the evenings, a method of working I still use today due to the children!

When starting a new piece of work, staring at a blank canvas can be daunting. What is your go-to/favourite method you use to create your backgrounds or start your paintings?

I like coverage, so I prefer to work with loose sloppy mixtures of paint to start with and to completely cover the canvas. I feel more comfortable with a covered canvas & work up the entire piece in layers.

What are your favourite art supplies currently?

I like a change from time to time but I always go back to Sennelier’s dry pigments which I mix up myself grotbag-style in old plastic pots. I’m a very ‘whatever’ worker so I use all sorts of scraps to mix & store my paints in/on, I also never really use a proper palette, I just use whatever comes to hand at the time, my table, the supports for my current canvas, scraps of wood...

Like myself you are a mother and someone who is self-employed. We have to wear many hats & take on many roles! It's a juggling act & most of the time I struggle to fit anything creative into my day! Can you give us any tips on how you organise your days to ensure you have time to create & what percentage of your time is 'creative time' during the week versus everything else?

I don’t really do much in the way of painting during the day, occasionally I’ll touch up some edges while the baby takes a nap and I’ll do small snippets of admin during nap time too. My eldest started nursery in September, so I get a couple of hours to myself every afternoon depending on the baby’s nap schedule. I use that time for myself and for wrapping paintings ready to post.

I have a number of little rules because I like/need a tidy house (it calms me!) so I rarely go up or downstairs empty-handed, I do housework in quick bursts all day, often I’ll cook or prep our tea in the afternoon so it’s ready and I don’t have to rush about in the late afternoon. I think organisation helps (and I’m not naturally organised, I have to work at it).

I paint in the evenings, the same way I used to when I was working full time. Luckily for me I work well in short bursts so this set-up suits me although I do look forward to the future a little bit, just to a time when I can paint in the daytime and structure my days a bit more and I can do more knitting/reading/gardening... I’m reluctant to wish my boys’ childhood away however, so I make sure I’m content with NOW.

Are there any words of encouragement you would like to give to creative Mummies out there who are feeling run down & frustrated creatively. In other words when you are tired and don't have much time spare, how do you keep yourself ticking over creatively?

You have got to take a break and allow yourself to feel no guilt for taking a break. Breaks are incredibly important, even if you feel you’ve hardly done anything creative of late, or if you feel as though you’re treading water and everyone else in the world is making amazing things and you’re not doing anything.

I can’t work if I’m really tired from the boys/housework/admin, so I just shut the door on it and veg out in front of the TV or have a long hot bath with a book to read. It’s definitely a balancing act, so for myself personally, I find I need to make time for my other interests (knitting...) otherwise I can’t settle properly in the studio. Oh, and if you’re able to get a good night’s sleep then do it!

For anyone just starting out, what did you find was the best way to get your work out there & seen? e.g Art Agent, approaching galleries, entering art competitions, Instagram, Flickr, blog or online shop? Or a combination of all?

Good question! I started on one online gallery (back in 2005) and once I’d sorted out a place to live post-uni and all the other things (access to my other half’s laptop!) I started researching. Researching helped me no end in the beginning and I think those starting out now have even more to go at. I found artists whose work I felt a connection with and who were determined, hardworking individuals and I looked at how they’d got to where they were.

I entered so many art competitions when I started out, it was such a horrible waste of money! I’m not sure I’d advise art competitions to everyone, I think they suit certain artists and not others.

In terms of social media, I love Instagram, it’s great for visual artists but I find that actual buyers find me on selling sites rather than anywhere social-media-y! I tried Facebook but I hated it, it’s so grotty and old fashioned, I found Twitter useless too, and don’t get me started on LinkedIn! But that’s me and for you those platforms may work really well. I say, choose one or two and do them really well otherwise you risk spreading yourself too thin.

I find sites like Saatchi Art and Art Finder really useful & sell pieces through them and find additional buyers, people who wish to commission me and interest from other platforms (Not on the High Street found me on Saatchi Art). Often the selling sites don’t cost anything to try out and you can always delete the ones which don’t work, believe me I’ve tried a LOT of selling sites.

What other artists are inspiring you at the moment?

Oh, so many! I love Geoff Diego Litherland, Susie Hamilton and Clare Price. I like clever arty art and always used to wish to be a clever gallery-type artist with a degree from the RCA. I’ve got over that weird ambition (it doesn’t come naturally to me) and have settled down into who I really am as an artist over the last few years and feel much happier for it.

Thanks so, so much for taking part Georgie. Please tell us where we can connect with you.

website: GeorgiePaint
blog: georgievinsun
Instagram: georginavinsun