Our April Artist of the Month is Somerset based ceramic artist, Sheena Spacey. Read on to find out who she would most like to go on a picnic with and what her advice is for aspiring artists ...
Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and why you began designing?
I was born and brought up in Scotland and moved to Somerset with my parents when I was 16, and have been here ever since. I’m married to my wonderful husband David and we have two sons, aged 20 and 22, a beautiful Labrador called Molly, two cats Rosie and Jim. I have always been drawn to art and design, Art being my favourite subject at school. My mum was also a big influence on my interests in art, although I probably didn’t know it at the time ! She worked with all kinds of mediums, including textiles, sculpture and painting, and even did welding !
What are you working on right now?
I have been doing a lot of research in to fraktur and primitive art, using these styles as inspiration for developing my painting techniques, both on my ceramic work and illustrative pieces. I’m also attending a year long course in printmaking techniques.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Erm…initially a shoe shop assistant, then a mounted policewoman as I loved horses and finally at secondary school I wanted to be a graphic designer.
What’s your career background?
I flunked my A levels and dropped out of a Foundation Art Degree course after two days, and then spent the next twenty or so years regretting it whilst working in office jobs. After I had my children I started a part-time course at Strode College, Street in ceramics to fill an ever increasing desire to create, and from there I have progressed to becoming a full time self-employed artist, working from home.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Never give up on your dreams, create something every day even if it never sees the light of day, and don’t be afraid to try new things. And keep a book and pen by the side of your bed so you can write ideas down when you have a eureka moment at 3am (instead of fumbling around with a piece of old tissue and an eye-liner pencil which I have sadly done….)
Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
I’d probably have to say I’d rather have a time warp family picnic with my boys when they were little and my mum, because she was so much fun, and maybe we’d invite Vincent Van Gogh too so we could tell him he was brilliant. And Moby could come too because he seems like a lovely person. Is that too many ? 😀
Cats or dogs?
Aaagh, I have to say cats AND dogs, love them both !
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I think probably I would work with animals, rescue or wildlife.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I sneeze a lot and talk in my sleep, and have woken up singing Home on the Range before.
Are artists born or made?
That’s a difficult one as I do think some people are just so utterly gifted and have such natural flow, it must be in their genes, and it shines through. But also there are people who have a burning desire to create that might need nurturing and coaxing to find their niche and then they become wonderful artists too.
What are your indulgences?
Chocolate, especially Lindor.
How would someone else describe you in 5 words?
Hmmm….I asked my husband to help me with this one, and after much deliberation he came up with: indecisive erratic caring imaginative intuitive.