It sounds cliche but I really believe I found The Art Hound at the right time.. And recently it’s not just me saying that, it’s all our wonderful customers and clients too. But my reasons are different to those trying to find a funky piece for their new home. My reasons are because over 10 months ago I would practically have an allergic reaction at the idea of calling myself an artist.
For a long time in education you live in an isolated bubble of real hard work but not real world problems. The projects you receive are fake, but the work load is very much real. Taking a Illustration Degree was always a bit of a gamble for me. I’d taken a year out after A levels to do an Art Foundation course and even after that I still had no idea what my talents were, so I delayed the UCAS process once more. It wasn’t until half a year later after visiting a friend in Norwich that I suddenly realised I should be at University. Sometimes when I look back I really think I shot myself in the foot for only applying for Illustration at two Universities (Norwich and Cambridge), but also because I refused to go to other open days or consider any other subjects. I don't even know why I picked Illustration, it just seemed like a good idea. Fast forward a few months and I received a straight up rejection from Norwich and a unconditional offer from Cambridge School of Art (Anglia Ruskin University). The cosmos had made its decision. Considering I handled this process with a very stubborn attitude I was lucky that the Illustration course at Cambridge was open to a range of artistic processes, including traditional printmaking, filmmaking, photography and graphics. However after 3 years of hard work and even with a 2:1 under my belt I left University more confused than when I started with a long list of things that I hated compared to a tiny post-it note sized list of things I loved. Up until recently I was too exhausted to ever draw again, ever print again and to ever call myself an artist.
In the beginning of 2018 I dropped a lot of things in my life that I realised weren’t doing me good anymore. So much so that I said ‘Fuck It’ and went to New Zealand for 7 Weeks. When I came back things started to focus and strangely I started to draw.
It’s funny how all it takes is 4 days bedridden with suspected Tonsillitis to trigger your creative process again, because that’s how it started and since then I haven’t stopped. But there’s no way that I could have made that step on my own if I hadn't been working for The Art Hound all this time. Even though up until earlier this year I had always said ‘Oh it’s fine, being surrounded by artist’s work is enough. I don’t need to create if I’m looking at other people’s creative processes all day’ sometimes doing that really isn’t enough. Working at the Art Hound has reminded me about all the things I love - films, music, books, comedy and more, and how they can integrate with art. For the years I was at University it felt wrong to indulge in creating work about things that you loved, because they weren’t related to the brief - and I guess that’s the difference between being an illustrator and being an artist. Now I feel like the long list of things I hated after Uni is getting shorter and the small list of things I love is getting longer and I owe a lot of that to the support and persuasion the Directors at the Art Hound have given me - I realise how lucky I am every day.
So this is me, an Illustration graduate who still doesn’t really know what she’s doing, but now prints popular culture linocuts with references to all the things she loves - Swearing, music and Rocky Horror, all at a reasonable price might I add!
Now when customers come in and rather broadly ask ‘Are you the artist?’ I can say ‘No, but I am one of them’.
Written by Charlotte Cooper