HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTO ART?
“Since I was a teenager I started to really enjoy it. I’ve came from an art background – my mum is really arty so I’ve always had it in my life. She’s always there to help if i get stuck for ideas and my love for flowers definitely comes from her influence.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
“It’s quite botanical, I tend to do quite accurate drawings but I want to learn to loosen up my drawings a bit more and turn them into designs and pattern work.”
SO WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPAND WHAT YOU DO?
“Yeah, I have a big plan of what I want to do. I am really interested in textile and ceramic design, so I would like to go into that in the future. I have already touched upon ceramic design a little at university and really loved it, so I would really like to develop that further.”
WHAT METHODS DO YOU USUALLY USE?
“Drawing and screen printing mainly. I really love mono printing with the silk screen but drawing is definitely what I love most though – you can just do it anywhere, anytime and it’s really enjoyable and relaxing – while screen printing is a way of getting my work out there in a different format. I really enjoy the process of screen printing too.”
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP INTO YOUR CURRENT STYLE?
“Well I went to UWE for three years, so it started there. I think we were told once to look at our past work and see if there was any recurring themes or particular colours that we kept coming back to. I realised at this point I really loved using colour and drawing plants and landscapes. Before this I remember a lot of trying to shape my art around what other people’s work was like – you see a style you like and you want to be able to draw like that, but really that’s no good, you already have your own style and you should just go with it.”
“SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A BREAK OR SOMETHING FRESH TO GET YOU INSPIRED”
WHAT WAS STUDYING ART LIKE AT UWE?
“I did a drawing and applied art course, which was a mixture of everything. I also did some screen printing there, which was how I first got into it. My tutor then recommended I did a screen printing course at Spike Island, so now I’m a member there. Bristol’s amazing for art, when I first came here I couldn’t believe how many little independent art shops there were and how much was always going on, it was all so interesting. There are so many opportunities here and everyone is very big on keeping things local so there is a great community feel to the city.”
ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS THAT INFLUENCE YOU?
“Yeah, there’s Angie Lewin, she does a lot of botanic art and she does fabrics, which I’m really influenced by because I’d like to take my art in that direction. A Bristol artist I like at the moment is Chitra Merchant. She does screen printing too, I adore the way she builds up layers in her work and her use of colours, it’s very inspiring.”
WHAT ARE YOU FOCUSING ON NOW?
“I definitely want to get my work into more shops, so at the moment I just need to focus on producing more screen prints to sell. I have spoken to a few shops and everyone is very welcoming so hopefully it will happen in the near future.”
“YOU CAN JUST DRAW ANYWHERE, ANYTIME”
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO APPLY FOR UNIVERSITY ART COURSES?
“To just spend time building up your portfolio and do as much different work as possible to really try to find what area of art you are interested in. There are also foundation courses you could take, I did one back in Cumbria. I found it really helpful for finding direction with my work and for building up my portfolio. The teachers really helped you with applying for uni too.
Practicing is also key, especially with drawing. I draw pretty much every day. You might think you’re not good at drawing, but if you keep practising you will get better.
Going to new and different places is also important – sometimes you just need a break or something fresh to get you inspired.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANY YOUNG ARTISTS?
“I’d really recommend doing lots of workshops, they’re all over Bristol and can really give you a push forward if you don’t feel confident. They’ll open up doors for you to do new things that you wouldn’t do on your own.”
“YOU SEE A STYLE YOU LIKE AND YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO DRAW LIKE THAT”
Flora Symons | @FloraDaExplorer