When I started Between the Art back in October, I had many anxious thoughts... Would other artists be interested? Would they have the time to talk to me? Would my questions be thought-provoking? And, perhaps most importantly, would people read it?
Now, having talked to ten inspiring artists, I needn't have worried! The process has quite simply been an enjoyable one. After reading and researching artists to get in touch with, sitting down to chat with them, even if it's via the computer screen, has provided valuable moments of connection that has helped to fuel inspiration for my own creative projects. Gaining a deeper understanding of an artist's practice is such a special, almost private insight into a way of working that can be deeply personal. Not all are willing to share, but those that have as part of Between the Art have my deepest thanks and appreciation.
Having a wide range of disciplines was always part of the plan for the blog. So far, it has featured fine artists, visual artists, makers, dancers, choreographers, a musician, and even a conservationist who is also a fantastic illustrator! (Head to Ruby Free's article: it was fascinating to see how wildlife conservation and art can become so interlinked). From the outside eye, their creative practices all look very different from one another, however there has been many intrinsic links between them. Most notably, the space they are working in is hugely important, whether they have a permanent space to create in or not. Dylan Paczay was one of the first to suggest that experimenting in a place that is in tune with the surrounding environment is key to creating work that is authentic and has a true purpose. For myself, this has been challenging during the past year with the current pandemic, so often finding myself wondering where "my place" was. This has also seemingly been felt by both Nafisah Baba and Ruby Josephine Smith, who recognise that you have to implement what you need into your routine, even if you are not currently in the ideal situation. This might mean actively seeking out a small sanctuary of a place in order to delve into a deeper layer of your practice.
Other similarities that have come up repeatedly are within the artists' advice to those navigating their way within the creative industry today. There seems to be two main "top tips" that keep coming up time and time again.
Firstly, be authentic. Katie Taylor sums this up so nicely by saying, "You have to be confident with who you are as a person." Check in with yourself to notice and honour where you are currently, recognising that you continue to grow and evolve each day, which will have an impact on your artistic practice.
Secondly, embrace uncertainty and learn to take risks. Laurie Nouchka describes the creative process as a wiggly path to embrace and trust in. This can happen from a positive place, particularly if you use the support and resources around you, encouraged by both Lizz Fort and Belinda Roy. As Belinda mentions, there are so many things to be involved with that are all being created from a genuine, kind place. This has certainly been the case when I have approached artists to talk to for Between the Art.
"Be authentic.... Embrace uncertainty and learn to take risks."
As Spring approaches, I am busy planning the next series of artists to interview, with the hope of including even more diverse disciplines to showcase. There will also be a new feature to each one, inspired by the book lists Laurie and Verity Burton kindly included, so keep your eyes peeled! As always, please spread the word and if you know of an artist or creative individual who would be great to feature on Between the Art, please get in touch!
Thank you so much for continuing to read and support Between the Art!
All the articles featuring the ten artists who have been interviewed so far will stay up on the blog, so you can catch up on any that you may have missed!
All Images: Artist's Own