Felt Picture Artist, Bridget Karn, creates amazingly detailed artworks in a technique she calls ‘painting with wool’.
How does your creative process start?
My creative process starts the moment I take a photo that has captured the essence of my experience and I‘ve determined the exact composition from the image.
I then gather together my wool’s and work out my palette of colours, mixing them where needed.
The next step is building the base picture with the wool fibre, followed by the wet felting process. Once I have my base picture felted, I then dive into the minutiae of the detail, highlights and shadows, bringing the picture to life.
How do you choose the images you want to recreate?
Subject matter, stunning colours and dramatic light, are what usually grab my attention. I love rural landscapes and spend a lot of time enjoying them and their inhabitants, so most of my artwork is inspired by these.
What advice would you give to artists just starting their career?
The advice I would give an artist starting their career:
– build up a following on your favourite social media platform, showing works in progress as well as finished artworks.
– always carry your business cards on you, you will be surprised how many people want to connect with you.
– build an email list of everyone who buys from you and for people to subscribe to, these are your treasure! Send out a monthly newsletter to these people, telling them about events, exhibitions and more importantly a bit of news about how you are doing. Build your relationship with these people, as they will become your best advertising ever.
– Create a website. There are lots of free websites providers, at first you only have to pay out for your domain name, once you are established it is wise to upgrade to a paid for site, as you will need an e-commerce page for people to buy your artwork through.
– Keep a good record of all sales and costs.
– Prioritise your art making in your working week, it is too easy to find yourself sending all your time building the business!
‘I feel so privileged to be able to spend my time doing what I love. I look forward to my working day’
How do you reflect on your career as an Artist?
The most rewarding part of being an artist, for me, is creating my artwork. I feel so privileged to be able to spend my time doing what I love. I look forward to my working day. A great part of being an artist is seeing your work appreciated; my most memorable art sale was at the Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition 2016. The lady who bought my picture, almost bowled me over in the middle of the exhibition, to tell me she had raced another couple to buy my picture.
Over the past 6 months, my business has seriously crashed due to the pandemic. The exhibitions and courses have, all but one, been cancelled. However, this has also been a time of review, learning and renewal. I’m now focusing more on my own artwork and providing online courses.