Monday 12/19/16 time 12:59 PM

Background as an artist?

I have always had a passion to draw and a passion for cinema. As such, I decided to pursue a degree in animation at my local university where I developed a better understanding of the various aspects of storytelling through a visual medium from inception to completion. It was during this time that I was particularly drawn to animation pre-production, including conceptual art, storyboarding, and character design. The responsibilities of shaping the overall look and tone of a film can be daunting, but the creative experimentation present during pre-production can also be greatly fulfilling and exciting.

Since graduating university I have continued to refine my own portfolio while also trying out a more illustrative style.

How did you end up choosing your media?

I used to sketch and colour everything entirely by hand, however at university I was given the opportunity to practice drawing digitally using a graphics tablet and software such as Photoshop. My work now usually combines the traditional with the digital. I'll draw something in my sketchbook, then I'll scan it into my computer and enhance or manipulate it. Working this way is more forgiving if you make a mistake or want to back up what you're working on, so I guess I chose this media out of practicality and convenience more than anything.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best side of being an artist is the inexplicable feeling after successfully working on or completing a project that you can say you're happy or proud of. That sensation not only acts as a source of motivation, but also reaffirms your passion for art.

The worst side of being an artist is definitely maintaining that motivation. It can be very difficult to stay positive and productive when there's a real struggle amongst artists to stay financially stable while doing what you love to do. When working freelance you can't always predict when the next job will come or how it will impact your income, so that level of uncertainty can also have an adverse affect on your motivation.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Yes, this is my first time in Finland. I tried to avoid forming any preconceived expectations in a bid to maintain as open a mind as possible before coming here. Admittedly I did have some reservations over the language barrier and unfamiliar setting, however, once I explored Joutsa and found my bearings I soon realised how peaceful, picturesque, and welcoming the environment really was.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

An art residency is an opportunity to explore, experiment, and evolve your craft. It's a great way to refine your technique and expand your portfolio while engaging with like-minded residents from all walks of life and artistic backgrounds. An art residency at Haihatus is extremely laid-back and easy going, meaning that there are no expectations or pressures placed upon the artist. Instead you are left to your own devices and can work at your own pace which is very liberating.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

Once I return to Scotland after Haihatus there are a few art competitions I plan on entering. Additionally, I will continue to sell my work at gaming and anime conventions, I will look into exhibiting some work in local galleries, and I will also continue working on my first illustrated book. I may even apply for other artist residencies too!

Basically, keep doing art while I try and sort my life out.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

As this was my first artist residency I was unsure of what to expect. I was hoping for a relaxed and inspiring environment where I would be given free rein to explore my ideas and Haihatus definitely provided that. It has been a warm, uplifting, and cathartic experience that I recommend to anyone who is looking for the chance to work on and experiment with their creative ideas , whatever they may be.

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