Who ever said you can’t make a living as an artist?
Speaking with budding artist Cass Jones this week, it seems that living as an artist sure is possible, as Cass drops her admin job and picks up the paint brushes. Cass isn’t the first person I’ve met who once gave up a creative career because people told her there was no future in art. But she is one of the few who is proving them all wrong.
When did you first start painting?
When I was a kid, I loved drawing, illustrating. I did drawing at high school and then went on to start a visual arts course but I never finished because I went to get a ‘real job’ thinking that being an artist wasn’t a real career. I actually put the pencils down for quite a few years.
How did the transition happen from then to now?
It wasn’t until my partner and I moved from Perth to Melbourne that I was inspired to start creating again. The art, the galleries, the people, the exhibitions and the street art in Melbourne really inspired me to paint.
How do you find the time now to fit it in?
I started in my spare time just painting for fun. I love bright colours (as you can tell!) and find painting really therapeutic, so I paint whenever I can. Lately I have been lucky enough to reduce my hours in the office to spend more time in the studio, and I’m hoping to do more and more this year.
So how did you get your artwork out for the world to see?
Social media has been my hero. I started posting some of my art on facebook and the interest grew and grew from there. I have also been really proactive about applying for opportunities to showcase my work. Every time I have been surprised to hear back from people who are interested in working with me.
Advice for other emerging artists?
Apply for everything. I have had fantastic opportunities to team-up with other art lovers and likeminded individuals to display my work simply by reaching out them. It was just one email that led to my recent exhibitions through Magnus Collective, a studio at one of my favourite Galleries, Off the Kerb, and numerous inspirational and informative conversations with artists, curators and other creative types. My advice is to not fear rejection. You really have nothing to lose by trying, so be courageous.
Strangest thing thats happened to you as an artist?
I’d have to say when I was working in a studio and the whole place was haunted! Even though some people didn’t believe me, I saw things and felt things that were definitely ghostly. It’s fair to say I got out of there pretty quickly and I’m much happier in the Collingwood studio now.
What are you getting in to next?
I’m trying new techniques and exploring new colours. Im also focusing on sharing my art more and getting my name out there. Hopefully by the end of the year I can give up my day job for a career in the studio.