I discovered Georgie’s stunning work via the brilliant Blogtacular Twitter chat and became an instant fan. Georgie shares works in progress and beautiful compositions on Instagram daily, and I couldn’t wait to find out a bit more about her inspiration and how she came to be an artist.
You took the leap into full time art and illustration last year. What brought it about, and how have you found it so far?
Hard work! Throughout the years, I’ve always drawn, painted, crafted and generally made a lot of creative mess. After having my 3rd child at the end of 2012, my daughter Daisy, I needed an outlet so I started blogging about creative people. All whilst dabbling behind the scenes with my own artwork.
As I would write, I would feel so envious of the people I was blogging about, constantly saying to myself, “One day I would like to make a living from my creative pursuits”. However, last year you could say I had a bit of an epiphany. I realised that “one day” will never come. I’m fast approaching my 40’s and I had been talking about that “one day” for 20 years.
That was it. I announced to the hubby and family that I needed to try and make a living from my own creative work. Otherwise I would end up a very dissatisfied and grumpy old woman ;)
The hardest thing has been calling myself an ‘artist’. Plus I feel frequently guilty, taking time out in the studio, when I feel I should be with the children. I guess that’s something else I need to work on.
Overall though, I’ve never been happier with a decision I’ve made. I’ve started to connect with so many other creative people (like you Jen!) and am already having new opportunities presented to me. It is so exciting.
How do you come up with the compositions for your beautiful Instagram photos, and have you any tips for fellow Instagammers?
I LOVE Instagram! I attribute a lot of my creative motivation to the community over there. When you work alone you don’t have the opportunity for feedback like you might if you were in a shared studio, or at art college for example. I need to be accountable to someone or something, so I set myself a goal of posting once or twice a day. What I posted had to be pretty too!
I used Instagram as a daily sketchbook at first. Experimenting with colour, composition or sharing my portrait illustration work in progress. I tried a lot of things but I’m pretty obsessed with flowers and painting which I suppose has defined my ‘style’ on Instagram.
To be honest, I’ll take a flower, a pot of paint and just play! The techniques I’ve discovered whilst creating those compositions, I’m now bringing into my portrait illustrations too, which is great.
My advice to other Instagrammers (creative ones at least) is to get involved in hashtag challenges. These challenges are like being set a mini brief to work to. It’s also a great way to meet fellow creative minds.
Rather than a day job to contend with, you’ve three children to wrangle! How do you manage your time and fit your creative pursuits in?
Ironically, I have just been contracted part time to do a ‘proper’ job (my professional background is in digital marketing). This is what my children call it, because I have been going off to an office to do it. It pains me that they think that creative work isn’t proper work, but that’s a blog post for another day!
Usually though, I fit my creative work in when my two boys are at school and my daughter goes to nursery, three mornings a week. The evenings are also my creative time. It’s a juggling act to be honest.
What are your plans and hopes for your business this year?
The sky’s the limit when it comes to my plans and ideas but I have to contain myself!
I’ve given myself this year to build a body of work. I’m also in the process of finalising my first appearance in the Brighton Open House trail this year. Exhibiting is definitely something I want to do more of now.
My dream is to be commissioned for some editorial portrait illustrations. I would also love to collaborate on a really big scale project, like a window display with illustration, flowers and lots of paint! My blog is also very important to me, so I’d like to build that up too.
What advice would you give someone looking to change careers and follow their dream?
Simply, do it right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow because it won’t happen.
Progress might be slow at first, but just saying to yourself ‘I am an… artist / ceramicist / painter / fire eating belly dancer…’ puts you on the path to your dream.
Then carve out time, even if it’s only an hour a day, or an image on Instagram done in 5 minutes. Make yourself do something connected to your dream and no excuses. The washing, dog walking, dinner, etc can wait.
Finally, attend as many workshops as your time and wallet can stretch to. It’s invaluable for creative inspiration, meeting lovely people and giving you time out from the daily routine.
Design Matters Presented by Debbie Millma
Interviews with creative folk about their journey, their inspirations, the state of the creative industries plus their all important advice.
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
This book follows the idea of sharing your work and getting it out there. “Share something small every day.”
Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
I adored this book. Although she talks about the writing process, you can apply it to any creative profession.
Brittany Watson Jepsen’s level of creativity just blows my mind!
Thank you Georgie! All those beautiful flowers have got me excited for Spring!
You can see more of Georgie’s art, and even buy a piece for yourself, in the following places:
Instagram – @GeorgieStClair
Twitter – @GeorgieStClair
Facebook – Georgie.StClair
Pinterest – Georgie_StClair
Etsy – GeorgieStClair
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