Artist Interviews 2021
By Johnny Otto
You are a mom, a published author and an Artist. How do you juggle those things on a day-to-day basis?
I’m lucky in that I have a very supportive husband who gives me the space I need to work. When the house is quiet at night, and my young sons have gone to bed, art has almost become part of my winding down routine. It’s relaxing, familiar, and I’ll always try to find time for it. Even if it’s just half an hour after a busy day.
What inspired you to sit down and write a book? How long did it take? How did you feel while writing it?
My debut novel “Just a girl in LA” was written during my maternity leave after having my second son. I found life after having my second baby hard, the boys being so close together in age. Having a newborn and a toddler running round was tough! I found writing a form of escapism after a very tiring day. Being a new mum was all-consuming, so it was nice to have something else, for me, to absorb myself in once the boys were fast asleep. The book took me about a year to write, and I absolutely loved every moment of writing it. The book is fun, flirty, funny and sexy in parts. I enjoyed absorbing myself in the writing of it and getting to known my characters as they evolved.
You are a self-taught Artist but there must have been influences along the way. Who were your greatest influences and which Artists do you admire and why?
Abstract art is almost certainly where my influences come from. I love the process of trying to interpret and understand this crazy world with color, shape and texture. The feelings color evokes, like from Rothko, or the madness of some Jackson Pollock works. They convey emotion, and I am so inspired by that.
Abstract art can take many directions and cover a lot of territory. What does your work mean to you? Why the drive or need to paint at all?
I can literally be driving, or walking down the street and I’ll get an urge to painting something. It’s just a feeling, an emotion, and until whatever u am thinking about is painted, I struggle to think about much else. I’ve been known to wake in the night and paint. Just because I’ve woke up thinking about something. For me, it’s cathartic. Painting invigorates me. Even after a tiring day, I can go paint. I feel such an energy afterwards.
Are you in the UK at the moment? What has life been like there for you as an Artist over the last year or so?
You know, social media has transformed the way art is viewed. It is so much more accessible to people. Once upon a time you had to attend a gallery to see art and now thanks to the likes of Instagram it’s really all around us. The last year with covid has been crazy. But it’s given artists a real vigor for social media platforms like never before and long may it continue. There is such an amazing art community online
Are there any other things you'd like to give a try in the realm of art? Like music or film? Poetry?
for the future, I have mr next book which is in the works and I can’t wait to share that with everyone. I was so proud of my first book.
Aside from art, what makes you happiest in your life, living where you do? The people? The history? The food?
my family. My boys. And the beach. I’m lucky to live in an area of Liverpool, in a coastal town. The beach is wonderful and my love for it is reflected in many of my paintings. I could stand for hours looking out to sea. The peace it brings.
Any shows coming up for you or what are your plans for the near or far future?
Obviously a gallery exhibition is something I would love to do in the future. With Covid it’s been really difficult to organize anything but watch this space. It’s something I’m working on!