Do you love the abstract art that features on our new Pop Up Pots collection? We recently sat down with artist Jackie Anderson to find out more about her art and her journey to becoming an artist. Find out what sparked Jackie’s creative career and what fills her heart with inspiration.
Q&A with abstract artist Jackie Anderson
What inspired you to start painting? Did you always want to be an artist?
I have always loved to paint and draw right from a very young age but never even thought about a career as an artist. I had a truly inspiring art teacher at primary school who I absolutely adored, and I think she really sparked my love of all things creative. I also won a national art prize when I was just five years old, and my winning painting (a self portrait) has been buried in a time capsule to be opened in 2085! My mum was very creative and always had craft projects on the go and made sure I was given paint supplies at birthdays and Christmas. I went off to art school thinking I would become a graphic designer and work in advertising or magazines but quickly learned how much I actually hated sitting in front of a computer. The bright and airy industrial painting studios were absolutely where I belonged, but I had no desire to become a poor struggling artist so after graduating I worked in a gallery for several years and then travelled extensively while working as a visual merchandiser /stylist.
How long have you been painting for? How long did it take you to develop your style?
I have been painting seriously for almost three years now. We moved into a house that had the perfect space for a studio and my youngest child had started preschool. I knew it was time to start chasing the dream of an art career, so I just threw myself in headfirst and I’ve never looked back. My style is still very much evolving and I swing back and forth between representational work and abstraction. I like to experiment and get bored easily, but the central element is always colour. I am always trying new colour palettes and pushing new ideas. When I paint, I not only want every work to be better than the last but also different from the last. I would hate to settle on a ‘style’ than churn out paintings like a factory.
What medium do you like to work with most and why?
Paint has always been my primary means of expression and I chose to major in painting while at art school. I do however like to incorporate other media into my work occasionally ink, pencil and oil pastels especially if I’m in a bit of a creative rut. Mixing things up always seems to jumpstart new ideas. I’m also a big fan of collage and would like to spend more time experimenting with this and incorporating it into my art practice.
How would you describe your art?
My work is very layered, expressive and textural with colour as a key element. My passion is abstraction although my work varies from semi -representational to pure abstraction.
What makes your heart filled with inspiration?
I think basically I’m a big sponge constantly absorbing visual snippets and colour combinations to translate into paintings. I do this by taking a ridiculous amount of photos and making small sketches. I then create mood/inspiration boards with other visual imagery such as postcards, paint/fabric swatches, magazine clippings – all sorts of miscellaneous paraphernalia that I play around with and edit constantly. Currently, my boards have a lot of floral inspiration on them as I’m working towards an exhibition with a botanical theme.
What do you enjoy most about creating art?
It’s the freedom of expression that keeps me making art. What I can’t put into words I can paint instead. And the desire to make every work better than the last.
What does a day in your life look like?
A usual day, if we weren’t in lockdown, starts with the typical morning rush to get the kids to school. Once they have been dropped at the gate I like to go for a walk around the neighbourhood or to my local bushland park. I find I need some time to re-set and switch from parenting mode into a creative mindset. It also gives me time to mentally sift over the day ahead and prioritise the tasks that need to be done versus where I am feeling creatively pulled to. I always try and listen to that voice inside if it’s telling me to explore an idea. I’m usually in the studio by 10 am and paint until 3 pm (with a very short break for lunch and coffee). Then it’s back into mum mode. Evenings are spent catching up on business admin which there is an awful lot of.
What aspects of the creative process excite you the most?
All artworks go through an ‘ugly’ stage, the trick is to not give up on them. They will get worse and worse before they get better. I call this the tipping point. It could be the single addition of a mark or colour, or perhaps rotating the work, sometimes it’s painting over 80% of the surface and then all of a sudden the magic happens and you catch a glimpse of something special. This is the exciting part and you have to be really attuned to catching it.
When people view your artworks, what feelings, thoughts and experiences do you hope your art evokes in them?
I don’t have any expectations on how my work should be perceived, I hand that completely over to the viewer. Of course, I hope that people connect with my work but in what way? Well, that is totally up to them. For me art is about endless possibilities, so an artwork could mean a million things to a million different people.
What advice would you give to upcoming artists?
- Just start, start before you are ready, start with what you have – just start.
- Be prepared to put in a lot of hard work and sacrifice especially in the beginning.
- Take yourself and your art seriously, absolutely critical if you want others to.
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone and do those things that scare you as this is where the good stuff happens.
Learn more about Jackie Anderson and view here artwork here.