Meet Nelson Artist Penny Royal
Meet Penny Royal, the vibrant Nelson artist who has been weaving magic with her art since her early childhood. With a passion for creativity, Penny has embarked on a remarkable journey. In this Creative Chats blog, we delve into Penny's artistic world, her inspirations, and the colourful path she has travelled.
Nelson Artist Penny Royal.
Unveiling the Artist Behind the Masterpieces
Let's start our journey by uncovering the artistic roots of Nelson Artist Penny and the pivotal moments that led her to pursue an art career. "I have always been creative, but I didn't pursue it as a career until my mid-30s when I did a Bachelor of Arts and Media degree at NMIT in Nelson with a focus on Graphic Design," she shared during our recent Creative Chats interview. After graduating in 2018, Penny's career evolved into Penny Royal Design, where she now juggles graphic design projects and her captivating art pieces.
Fuelling the Creative Fire: Role Models and Inspirations
Inspiration often stems from the work of others, and Penny is no exception. During her studies, she discovered the works of Kathryn Del Barton, whose attention to detail and linework captivated her imagination. Additionally, she draws inspiration from Grotti Lotti (Casey Manson) on Instagram, admiring the joyful and bright essence of her art.
The Artistic Mojo: Reviving Creativity When It Slumbers
Even the most passionate artists experience moments when their creative spark dims. For Penny, it's all about easing the pressure and allowing herself to explore freely. "Just sitting down with a black fine liner and my sketchbook and doodling some patterns helps," she revealed. Nature serves as her muse too; sketching and watercoloring flowers enliven her spirit.
Moreover, Penny actively participates in design challenges, which play a significant role in reigniting her creativity. She enthusiastically shared, "I also try and enter the weekly Spoonflower repeating pattern design challenges. They give you a theme to work on, so I pick the ones most inspiring to me. What starts as an initial design often morphs into a full collection of surface pattern designs for fabric and wallpaper. And from there, I often turn them into clothing designs and art prints."
Art and Life: A Symbiotic Relationship
As a single parent of two kids, Penny made a conscious choice to pursue a career that provided flexibility, allowing her to be present for her children. This decision propelled her towards graphic design and self-employment, crafting a life where work complements her passion and personal commitments.
Penny expressed, "I needed a career that could work around them, giving me the flexibility to be there for them on sick days, school trips, school holidays, and during school hours. I wanted to be able to be present for them, and if I was going to sacrifice time with them, it needed to be something that I was passionate about and loved doing; otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth it."
Traditional vs. Digital: Unveiling Penny's Artistic Toolkit
Penny's artistic journey unveils a delightful interplay between traditional and digital methods. Her heart lies in the charm of old-school artistry, finding solace in the moments spent with her sketchbook and trusty pencil or fine liner pen, while also enjoying creating art digitally with her Wacom tablet. Realism is her forte, often drawing inspiration from reference objects or pictures, yet she also finds joy in crafting stylised texture patterns.
As her art has evolved, Penny increasingly embraces traditional techniques like pen, paper, and paint. "I enjoy old-school techniques," she explains. Watercolours became her go-to medium, appreciating their texture and quick-drying nature. "I don't need to do digital work," Penny admits, focusing on what she loves the most. Yet, technology still plays a role in her process, using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to refine her creations. "All my repeating patterns are created digitally in Illustrator," she adds. Her art now beautifully blends hand-drawn outlines with digital colourisation, showcasing a unique and versatile style that reflects her artistic journey.
Beyond Art: Penny's Offbeat Interests
Beyond her artistic pursuits, Penny's life is a vibrant tapestry of excitement. She loves horse riding, vintage motocross biking, and knitting funky blankets. "I recently started playing Catchball," she says, "and I'm loving it with a lovely group of women." Lucky to have a friend with horses, she enjoys delightful rides. Penny crafts bright, quirky blankets and beanies, and indulges in trashy TV. A book enthusiast, she curls up with sci-fi or fantasy novels under the warm sun for hours. "My bookshelf with favourite authors is a treasured possession," she shares, "and I love trawling second-hand bookstores for missing gems."
Aspirations and Dreams: The Artist's Vision
Penny envisions a future where her art sustains her comfortably, with reduced hours of Graphic Design client work, enabling her to dedicate more time to her art. Her dream is to reach a point where she can strike a balance between work and personal life. "Earning enough from my art to live comfortably, but not working 50 hours a week. Having time to spend with my kids and enjoying life, selling lots of my art products so I can outsource sending parcels and spend less time on client graphic design work. Hiring a marketing person would be a game-changer, allowing me to sit in a corner and just create beautiful art, while someone else takes care of selling it!"
Penny's Advice to Her Younger Self "Art is a legitimate career!"
As artists, we often struggle to affirm the legitimacy of our craft. Yet, it's time to wholeheartedly believe in our abilities. Picasso wisely remarked, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."Embracing our creativity is vital to discovering a job that aligns with our passions and values. Penny emphasises, "You spend so much time at work, it needs to be something you are passionate about and enjoy, don’t settle for just a paycheck, make your job support the lifestyle you want to have, not make your life work around your job."
Now that you've had a glimpse into the artistic odyssey of Nelson Artist Penny Royal, we'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. And, if you're as mesmerised by Penny's art as we are, don't miss the opportunity to explore her delightful "Doodlewear Collaboration Collection." Discover the wonders she has crafted, where art meets fashion in a symphony of colours and creativity.
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