Describe your job in couple of sentences:
I make work mainly in the mediums of paint and textiles. My subject matter deals with gender, domesticity, history and ideas around identity and the situation of the female body in its environment.
When did you know what you wanted to do?
My work is always evolving which means I am constantly adapting what I do, but my decision to be a visual artist came after 15 years working in fashion design. I felt increasingly frustrated by the confines of the industry and wanted to push different boundaries.
Did you go to university, go straight into the workforce or do an apprenticeship?
I did my Foundation course at Central St Martins and went on to do my BA in Fashion Design at Central St Martins and my MA in Fine Art 15 years later at Slade
What was your first job
I started my own fashion brand whilst technically still at St Martins, however I had a number of part time jobs and work placements before that. They were varied and included working in a hairdressers, working in an art shop and then modelling (which I did for 5 years alongside studying and work placements). My work placements were carefully selected to give me experience in fashion and included working in diffenet parts of the industry from an atelier to PR to manufacturing.
Does it relate to what you do now?
Everything relates to what I do now. I believe that it all mixes in. The work I make as an artist draws deeply on my experience and interest in clothing, commerce and manufacturing which was formed during my career in fashion.
Have you done other jobs in your life – if so what were they?
I spent a few years working as a business consultant to the board of managements of a large electronics company.
Did they have any influence on what you do now?
Not especially. I enjoyed the experience but it did not inspire me to move into a more corporate environment.
How did you find out about your job (how it existed)?
I had always loved art and thought about working as an artist but for various reasons I diverted to fashion after my foundation course
How did you get the job you wanted- steps and process?
My career in fashion was facilitated by the fact that my Mother is a sucessful fashion designer and was able to help me get started. My move into art was more of a wrench as I had to make the decision to close the fashion business and try to get into the Masters program at Slade.
What qualities do you need to have to be successful in your field?
Faith in yourself, the ability to understand the value of failure, curiosity and tenacity.
Give 3 tips for someone hoping to follow in your footsteps:
1: Be curious, bold and broad. Ask people for help, and use your connections to get work experience. Take up opporunities even if they are not exactly what you think you want.
2: Have the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them. Better to try and fail than never try or learn.
3: Don’t give up. Have confidence in your ideas and understand that rarely does it all go to plan.
Who inspires you?:
So many people!!!!
My mother, Louise Bourgoeois, Alice Neel…. An inexhaustible list of people who strove/strive to achieve their ambitions.