i. I work as an Abstract painter & textile designer
ii. I do this creative work because:
Loaded question! I work in an abstract manner because that is how my brain works.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Motivation and commitment! Motivation helps on days when I am not inspired –which, to be honest, are most days. Commitment is what has brought me success. I have an ongoing and transformative relationship to my practice. It is constantly growing and evolving with my soul; the same way any kind of relationship grows. You get out what you put in. (I also happen to be a serial monogamist so this quality helps me!)
What Goes On Between Rib & Hip Bone
Space Block Colour
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Loneliness. I work alone in the studio and this can lead into a lack of structure, accountability and human contact! Creative pressure is daunting when I have a few exhibitions lined up in a row. I used to think drinking helped my creativity, and it also compensated my lack of accountability and feelings of loneliness. Quitting drinking was a great challenge, but has hugely benefitted my work this past year.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I grew up in a small town. I had a lot of pet bunnies I took care of. I built a lot of forts and rafts with my brothers. I drew a lot. I made a lot of weird things with nature and glue sticks.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
My grandfather Arthur Bonnett was my mentor and taught me how to use watercolour. He gave me painting lessons and would send me to the back field of his farm to draw the essence of a tree. He once told me “It’s OK, but it needs to be wilder.” His critiques were honest and he always pushed me to exude more. I am also inspired by Cy Twombly for his raw and elegant child like mark-making techniques, as well as Joan Mitchell’s sense of colour and strokes.
Your Eyelashes Make Me
Baroque; An Oddly Shaped Pearl
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
I studied Drawing and Painting at OCAD.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
It’s important to put your work out there for people to see. Getting exposure is key.
ix. Some proud career moments:
I used to work at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel doing room service. Through this job, I made connections and had my first solo show in the lobby. Soon after the hotel commissioned me to do a piece for each floor! Hands down this experience gave me all of the confidence that I needed to make a career in painting.
Desire & Distance
When I Chase Waterfalls
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
1) Take quality photos to make an impression on people. Show that you are serious and committed to what you do.
2) Get a website, focus on social media — make it easy for people to see your work and gain interest.
3) Make it accessible. Even though you are an artist, it is ok to do some shameless self promotion. It’s hard, especially knowing that haters are going to hate, but it’s important to stay professional.
4) Send your website to galleries. Who cares if they don’t accept you, what do you have to lose?
5) Take risks. Don’t be sensitive. Not everyone will like your work.
6) Slip into your intuition and let your work come from your soul. Hop out into reality and judge your work objectively.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
My grandfather was a painter and textile designer. My wish is to carry on his legacy through my secondary business Studio Watson where I translate abstract paintings into hand-tufted rugs. My hope is to design rugs for luxury spaces and hire talented people to work for me.
Opening Artist’s Reception: 2-4 PM, Sat Feb 9th @ the Bau-Xi Gallery – 3045 Granville St.
Header: No Seer Sees What’s Next