I recently interviewed Pixie Copley from Cambridgeshire. As you will see, Pixie is a multi-talented artist - graphic designer, photographer and Fractal Artist!
www.photographybypixie.comAs usual, my first question for Pixie was: When did you first realise that you were an artist?
I've always loved art for as long as I can remember, most of my school books were covered in doodles and I always knew I wanted to do something creative when I left school.
Have you had formal art/design/illustration training?
Yes I studies art, design and photography at college then started working in a graphic design and screen printing company where I learned more about working in the real world.
What was the most important thing you learnt from it?
I've learned so many important things and think they are all as important as each other, including good time keeping, sticking to deadlines and good communication.
What is the most important thing you have learnt on your journey as an artist and from whom did you learnt it?
I used to keep a lot of my photography and fractal art hidden away, it was personal and I didn't think anyone else would be interested in seeing it. I met some people while I was on honeymoon who persuaded me to start selling my photography as they wanted to buy one of my pictures to hang in their living
room. I started selling my work online 4 years ago and haven't looked back!
Who are your favourite artists/designers/illustrators?
Dali, William Blake and Leandro Erlich
What is your favourite medium?
My work involves lots of photography, graphic design and digital illustration and have recently got back in to a skill that I learned in my college days and have been creating felt art. I can't pick a favorite medium as I'd be lost without my camera, computer and wool fibers!!
How long has your business been up and running?
My business opened it's doors on 14th Feb 2007 so 6 years although we were working on business plans setting everything up for a good 6 months before that.
Do you enjoy the business side of things?
I love the business side of things, I really enjoy meeting clients and helping them to achieve what they want with the look and feel of their company. I don't mind doing the paperwork side of things, like writing quotes and creating invoices. The only thing I don't like is talking on the phone, I'd much rather meet people face to face but dealing with clients all over the world this isn't always possible. I know what you mean! I think there are probably quite a lot of us who feel like that about phoning vs face-to-face.
Why did you decide to specialise in graphic design?
I always wanted to be a wallpaper designer, a product designer or a shop window designer so I specialised in graphic design.
Do you find that the business side of things takes up more time than you would like?
Oh yes, I'm always saying that I don't have enough time to be creative! I manage a graphic design studio during the day and also run the online shops which take up a lot of time too. Wow! That's a lot to manage - and you also spend time helping to promote other people's work too. I really admire that, Pixie!
Are you working alone or do you have help?
I have a team of 3 other people that work part time for my graphics company.
I work alone at home a few days a week and in the evenings. I really enjoy that too. I can get my head down and really concentrate on things without distraction.
Do you paint/draw regularly?
I do a few digital illustrations now but don't spend as much time with a pen and paper in my hand as I used to. I did buy an inkling pen a few months ago but haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet. I'm sure i'll be back in to my old doodling habits in no time! I'd love one of those inklings but I'm afraid I'd be playing with it constantly!
Are you still doing what you originally set out to do?
Yes I am but technology has changed so much over the last 15 years, when I studied there was no such thing as the internet or digital photography so have had to learn different skills to keep up with how the world is changing. Yes, it seems amazing that things we take for granted weren't even around 15 years ago.
How many hours per week do you work?
I was dreading you asking this question. Some weeks I can work a whopping 70+ hours a week at busy times but most weeks are slightly less at about 50 hours.
Do you have regular contact with other artists?
Yes I do, a few of my close friends are artists and am also friends with a lot of creative people online. The creative community is amazing and I have met so many people over the last 4 years, I feel very privileged to be involved with such an awesome community.
What is your biggest achievement – or the one that pleases you most – so far?
That's a hard question too, up until a few months ago I would have said my first job was the biggest achievement, I started working there straight after college as a junior and within 3 years I'd work my way up the company ladder and was one of the heads of the design department.
My more recent achievements are having a photo picked to be displayed in the East Anglia Federation of photographers annual exhibition and receiving top marks for one of my photos that was judged by 5 top people in the photography world. Congratulations! That really is an achievement!
Do you have a favourite quote, art-related or otherwise?
Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless - Jamie Paolinetti I love that one too!
Pixie, it just remains for me to thank you on behalf of all who follow or read this blog! Your lovely, exciting work is so positively cheerful - I'm sure it brightens a lot of lives.
Here, again, are some links to more of Pixie's wonderful work:
And if you'd like to get to know Pixie better, why not follow her on facebook or twitter?