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  • Kathryn Hale

Interview with Charlotte Cornish

When did you know you wanted to produce art?

Both my parents were art teachers when I was growing up, and they also make their own work, so I was always surrounded by art. Initially I tried to make subject choices at school away from art, but ultimately I found I was most comfortable, and most confident specialising in art. Once I had decided on this as my direction, I felt quite ambitious and wanted to make as much of a success of it as possible.

What role did your family of origin have in your artistic life? Where they supportive? Were they artists?

Definitely having my parents so involved with the arts created a background where art was an intrinsic part of how I experienced the world. They would have supported me whatever I had wanted to do, and there was certainly no pressure to go into the arts. If anything, I think they thought, and still think, it's a pretty precarious way to earn a living!

Do you feel like you have developed a personal style? If so, can you describe how you came to that style?

I think my style initially started to develop during my final year at art college. I started making large, highly coloured screen prints, inspired by the fun fairs and arcades along the seafront and pier in Brighton - a seaside town on the south coast of the UK. During my postgraduate studies at the Slade School of Art in London, my work started to become more abstracted, and I realised that working with colour was something I really wanted to do.

What is a typical work week like for you?

A typical work week would see me getting in to the studio for at least four hours a day. For the past few years, most of my creative time has been spent painting. I make new editions of limited edition prints every few years or so. I have a screen printing press in my studio which I use to make monotypes, which I then paint on top of. The rest of the time in the week would be spent on the computer - responding to enquiries, communicating with galleries, updating my website, etc. Even after several decades working as an artist, it still surprises me that a significant part of my practice is spent doing the ‘paperwork’ side of things.

What experiences have you had in your artistic life that have made your art practice worth the effort?

It always feels worth the effort! I love the flexibility that being an artist gives me. Everyday I am happy to go into the studio, and I really enjoy being my own boss. It's definitely a rollercoaster way to earn a living, and it has taken a lot of determination, and hard work, to sustain my practice over the years but I feel privileged to be able to do what I love doing.

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