I’ve enjoyed drawing and making art for as long as I can remember, and would sit next to my dad in his studio as a kid, drawing mermaids while he made his paintings. It wasn’t until I was in high school, and took art a bit more seriously, that I began to recognise all the different categories that artists and art can fit into – that we constantly try to define art in different ways, and this can vary from person to person with personal preference.
Personally, I don’t really want to limit myself into a category, because I’d like to just be ‘an artist’ that can go through whatever moods and experimentations they like. However, I have always preferred drawing to painting and other media, so I would consider my work to be based upon drawing for the most part. Even when I venture into acrylics, watercolours or print, I always try to keep that drawing style/quality in my work that people seem to recognise as ‘mine’ (even if I can’t see any kind of style or consistency in my own work). I love drawing people, particularly faces, but drawings of animals, buildings, landscape and making patterns have all crept into my work and I enjoy having some level of variation. Towards the end of high school and into college, this made me want to head down the more illustration route rather than fine art, because I personally prefer working to at least a small brief rather than working through inspiration (which can sometimes be unreliable!).
It’s only recently, as I’ve started University, that I’ve branched out even further than I did in college, which had already been significant. I’ve been making lots of lino prints, and I’m absolutely loving learning about print. I didn’t want to limit myself to just illustration unless I had to, so I chose to follow the Contemporary Art & Illustration course to get the ‘best of both’ as it were, and then move accordingly if my tutors believe I should. I feel as though printing was a natural next-step for me as an artist, although it has meant I’ve neglected drawing a little, but I’m still trying to strike a balance. I don’t know what kind of artist I want to be, and I don’t want to limit myself with a label like ‘illustrator’ or ‘print artist’ that might mean I can’t do the other thing… but where I am right now in my life I don’t have to have a solid identity or style as an artist, this is the time to grow and play around.