Mary Savva is an artist who is currently completing her MFA in painting at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Todays’ post is to provide advice and inspiration for aspiring artists. You can find out more about Mary and her work by heading to her Facebook, Instagram or Blogspot.
What made you follow this path?
For me choosing to follow art as a professional career was not a decision I had to make, art was always part of my life. I can not recall memories of my childhood without my pencils and paper. It was like my secret world and it seemed strange to everyone else in my family as they were not related to art in any way.
I was never encouraged or introduced to it by anyone. I was drawing instinctively without having knowledge of art history or art in general as being a ‘thing’ that people do. I could simply not ever imagine myself doing anything else.
Did you ever feel different in any way?
I think everyone feels different in one way or another. I don’t believe I ever felt different because of the fact that I am a painter.
Did anyone know about your dream?
Everyone knew about it since the start. It is not something I ever intented to hide or even if I wanted to do so I don’t think I would be able to.
Did anyone question your choices? If so how did you approach/deal with this?
I come from a small country where art and especially not one that could fit into your living room is not valued as it should have been. There were a lot of people from my family that questioned my decision of becoming an artist and advised me doing something else, something that would have a more stable income. However, for me there was never a question, a second thought, a doubt I very much prefer failing I take responsibility for my choice and I will work hard for it.
Do people call you lucky and how do you respond to this?
I don’t know if people consider me lucky but I do consider myself really lucky that I experience this irreplaceable feeling of creating everyday and I have been given the opportunity to do so.
Do you ever feel like you are considered as not part of the norm?
I think that not being part of the norm is a bad or at least a not accurate stereotype for artists. I consider artists to be like every other human being just creating work reflecting back on their experiences.
How do you overcome sharing your work?
Sharing my work is part of the work. A painting I do must be viewed for it to become art. I love sharing my work and I think listening to people being truly moved and appreciative of what I have created has been one of the best feelings I have experienced.
How do you deal with criticism?
I consider criticism to be vital for the development of an artist, it always reminds you to never rest and push yourself forward. Although I dont think I have experienced real criticism yet because I have only had it in the safety of a university environment within my course mates and tutors.
What inspires you?
Painting is like breathing I don’t need to wait for inspiration to create a painting I just do so anyway it is something I can not control. However, there is inspiration everywhere around us in life and there are some great paintings out there for me to look at that will give me another reason to go back to my studio and start painting again.
What are you most excited for in the future?
I am currently doing my MFA in painting at The Slade School of Fine Art and I feel really lucky being part of this school and excited to see my work develop through it. I started my MFA this year coming straight out of my BA and that straight after high school. Therefore, I have not yet really experienced my work being out of an academic environment and I have not yet had the struggles of a working artist. I really want to see my work out there exhibited for people to experience and look at. I am simultaneously really excited and scared to get out in the real world as a painter.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to create the life of their dreams?
If you can live without it then don’t do it. If you really love and work for something you will succeed! (or at least I hope so).