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From a very young age I knew that I am happiest with a pencil or paintbrush in my hand. After taking Art to A Level, I progressed to a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Newcastle College, and began one of the most artistically fulfilling years of my life, with the course offering opportunities to fully explore a variety of mediums from ceramics to photography, surrounded by incredibly creative staff and fellow students. However, by the end of the year, feeling pressure to find a “proper job”, I began a degree in Fashion Design, with the hope of a career in fashion illustration. It became clear early on that this was not the right path for me, but I will always be grateful to the course, because it gave me the chance to travel to Sydney, Australia to complete a work placement. This trip was meant to last three months… I remained in Australia for two years! It was in Sydney where I not only rediscovered my love for fine art, but also began my career as an artist, undertaking freelance work for clients such as Nivea Australia. Sydney is a fantastic city for art lovers and artists alike, and I was able to delve deeper into the art world, volunteering at exciting events like Art Month Sydney and the 18th Biennale of Sydney. In 2013 I moved with my partner from Australia to France, and worked as a full time freelance artist and designer based in Nancy, with some of my designs for smartphone and tablet cases making it into stores worldwide. Being able to visit Paris and see my illustrations for sale in stores felt like a tick off the artistic bucket list. A year later, we returned to the UK, and the breathtaking countryside of Northumberland, where I began to concentrate more fully on my style as a fine artist, exhibiting in local galleries like Warkworth’s Fenwick Gallery and Felton’s Gallery 45, which later hosted my first solo exhibition. In 2015, I opened my own studio and gallery in Amble. The Harbourside Studio allows me to display and sell original pieces as well as limited edition prints which prove extremely popular. The location of my studio on the waterfront provides endless inspiration. I currently specialise in detailed pencil drawings, with my tonal landscapes that i inject with a splash of colour selling well with visitors and locals alike. I am also a huge animal lover and thoroughly enjoy drawing the local wildlife, like deer, birds and their feathers. I use coloured pencils for my animal portraits, considering each mark of the pencil with delicate precision which allows me to more fully capture details such as individual hairs or feathers, helping me to bring the same kind of life and movement to the finished artwork that first inspired its creation. I am truly passionate about the increasingly fragile natural world and the creatures that inhabit it and I believe that this is clear in my finished pieces. Although the majority of the commercial work I produce is in pencil I also love painting with oils, sketching figures and experimenting with new styles and mediums.Locked Pro Plan feature
Harbourside Studio is a gallery and gift shop selling a variety of products from original art to coasters. Everything in the studio is created by Libby Watkins. Also available online through www.libbywatkins.co.uk
I was asked along with 4 other talented artists currently working in Sydney to design cover images for the 5 lucky winners of NIVEA’s Facebook competition celebrating the 200,000 fans milestone. Each artist was assigned to a winner and given 5 inspirational things to design with. My winner gave me friends/family, music, dancing, make-up and the countryside. The hands in my illustration represent the nurturing of family, with the painted nails for make-up. The country scene inside the hands shows three friends dancing/having fun and there are music notes hanging from the tree. I thoroughly enjoyed my day working alongside the other artists today in the Analog Folk Studio and was thrilled to hear that my winner was pleased with my artwork.
Creating placement prints for t shirts
Assisting the designers for Menswear labels Flinders Lane and Coast Clothing
Enrolled in the first semester to improve my CAD skills