In the studio: Behind the book "I am an Artist"

As many of you know, I’m working on a non-fiction art book, sort of a ‘how to be an artist’ for children. As well as my own ideas, I’ve interviewed four other working artists (Jane Thorne, Andrew Black, Catherine Warren & Megan Murphy) to include their thoughts.

I realised that I haven’t said much about this project, so I wanted to share what’s driving me to make this book.

Originally, it came from my own return to art-making. I was re-learning processes that I had only partly learned to begin with and, as with my books, learning that independence and autonomy were more important to me than following conventional process.

I’m also writing it for children see artists as only for the Chosen Ones. I stand staunch in the belief that if you write, you are a writer; if you make art, you are an artist. It is one of my greatest motivations to help children learn this, and believe in their own capacity to create. This is one reason I’ve hired Anna, a young student of mine, to illustrate this book (the other reason is that she’s really talented).

And as I was writing the other day, I realised that the person I am really writing for is a mix of both of these.

As with my fiction, I’m writing first and foremost for the 12-year-old version of myself, a young girl who looked up to authors and artists, but held a deep-set belief that she could never be counted among them. 

And now I better get back to writing!

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