ME: What art form do you practice and what led you to it?
LB: I do abstract and landscape. I really liked looking at abstract and landscape work, especially the work of the Scottish landscape painters, William Gillis in particular. I was drawn to it, and I think that was what I was trying to emulate when I started out. I just follow my intuition.
I think it’s important to do what you like. … generally you have to do what you like or there is no point really.
ME: Do you think it’s important for you as an artist to focus on doing what you like and creating what you like rather than creating what you think your audience would like?
LB: I think it’s important to do what you like. Sometimes an audience might be in the back of your mind if it’s to do with framing or for an exhibition. But, generally you have to do what you like or there is no point really. That’s what David Bowie says.
ME: You once belonged to a band, so you’ve always being into creative things then?
LB: Yes. Always. The thing about being a band is you are with other people, as an artist you are on your own, and that’s why being here at Pica studios is really good because I am not on my own. I’m jamming. (She muses)
ME: Do you find that being part of such a diverse creative community the works of others feeds into your own work?
LB: Absolutely. We’re bouncing off each other. It’s really good for that, that’s why I’ve chosen to be here.
ME: Do you think that it’s important for young artists to work in creative communities or do you think it’s important for you to grow first as your own person and artist before mixing with other artists?
LB: I don’t know. As a musician, I would be on my own when I was 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Then I turned 13 writing songs with other friends, 14 joined a band, and then you’re sharing. I think there comes a point where you can’t be on your own. It would be a very lonely journey. Unless you’re a sort of hermit type of character. It does depend on your character.
ME: How did you find out about the Pica studios initiative?
LB: We all met at another studio space and all decided to move here and we all liked each other and got on well. We’ve really together made this happen, it’s been very special and is very special for us. It’s not easy to get a group of artists together, especially as many as this. There are 18 of us, so we are very lucky. We’ve worked pretty hard to make it happen.
ME: Do you think for you as an artist, having space where you can both create and showcase your work is important? People normally don’t get to see the creating process and so do you think to have a space where people can actually see you create and see the finished work adds value to it?
LB: I think people really enjoy watching us create. They come in and see Mark’s collage on the floor and are fascinated that this sense of order can come out of it. People like all of that. I like it. I like looking around artists’ studios. But at the same time, you don’t really always want to share it. Sometimes you just want them to go away, that’s why we are choosing when to be open. We don’t want the public walking in every day.
ME: So, for you then it’s important to keep the balance?
LB: Yes. I think it’s really important to keep the balance.
ME: What advice would you give to young people who are interested in making a career out of the arts?
LB: I would say to them; you really just have to work hard and do what you like to do. If there is a course that you want to pursue and you find the right teacher, go for it. You have to follow your gut. I don’t think you’ll always get a career in it cause it’s difficult to make money, so you might need to do a bit of teaching. It’s hard.
ME: I think that’s the biggest worry for young people interested in pursuing a career in the arts.
LB: If you want a steady income, then you need to realize you’re going to balance different things. You’re maybe going to have to do a bit of teaching, have several jobs. For quite a while I was teaching and doing the art. You can’t just go straight in and do art and earn enough. Unless you work for a company, and you get a paid, which would be ideal to walk into a job like that. But very rarely does that happen. Then again, there is loads of time. Things don’t happen overnight.