Interview with Artist – Jo McFetridge

How did you first get interested in art and what inspired you to start creating?

I have always loved to draw. Always doodling on the corner of pages and interestingly they were always flowers. It was a few years ago when I began to really experiment with what I wanted to draw and as I never took art in school I felt that I wanted to learn as much as I could and find my own way doing something that I absolutely love. I would look endlessly at artists’ works with awe and wonder loving how they had been able to create amazing pieces and feel inspired to begin my own journey.

What mediums do you prefer working with and why? And Can you describe your artistic style and how it has evolved since you began creating?

I work in pencils and particularly in coloured pencils. I really like the way I can build the colours with pencils,or keep them very delicate and soft. The colours and their intensity are important to me and are part of the story of the picture I am wanting to create. I always start each piece by selecting colours and shades that will bring the picture to life, this can take a little while, but I love this part of the process.

What themes or subjects do you typically explore in your artwork?

I am very interested and influenced by the world around me and always want to explore emotions, the things that we see, or maybe we don’t always see and how we feel.

Do you have any specific artists or art movements that influence your work?

I love lots of different types of art and lots of different artists. I always
really enjoy art that makes me think, that says something to me or makes me wonder. I particularly love Frida Kahlo’s work and could sit and look at pictures of her work all day.

How do you approach the creative process? Do you have any rituals or routines?

I always have a sketchbook handy, my sketch books are very messy with quick parts of drawings and ideas, thoughts about what I would love to explore. All of my pieces begin in my sketchbook and it is only once I am happy with my idea of how the work will look that I will begin to sketch it out properly. Then comes my colour selection, this is important to me as I always feel that it is through the colours that the picture begins to flourish. It is always interesting as I never know fully how it will end up, I like to let the piece find its own path.

What challenges have you faced as an emerging artist and how have you overcome them? Have you taken any art classes or workshops to improve your skills, or are you self-taught? How has sharing your art on social media and/or with Art Box impacted your artistic journey?

I think that one of the greatest challenges I have faced began with me not feeling confident that this was something I would be able to pursue, particularly as I did not take Art in school. I also did not know how to go about getting my artwork out into the world. Art Box for me has been incredible. They have given me an opportunity, their guidance and help has been amazing and I cannot thank them enough . I am still learning and have a long way to go, however, I am loving being able to enjoy drawing and finding my own path.

Are there any specific goals or milestones you hope to achieve in your artistic career?

My goal is to keep on learning, keep exploring and see where it takes me. It’s a journey for me, and one that I am thoroughly enjoying.

How do you balance your artistic pursuits with other commitments and responsibilities?
What role does art play in your life? How does it affect your emotions and overall well-being?

I have a busy lifestyle, working, a family and 2 young dogs, so it can sometimes be a challenge to do as much as I may want to do and I might only get an hour or two at my drawing board. I do always make time , normally in an evening where I can take some time to work on a piece or sit and enjoy working through ideas in my sketchbook.
Art and drawing is something that gives me so much, a way to express my thoughts. Drawing is something that I have always loved to do , whether I am doodling, working on a new piece or completing a picture.

What are you currently working on?

I am just beginning a new collection, I wanted to explore how we can’t always see how someone truly feels, how we can sometimes hide how we feel. I am hoping to start sketching the first piece out shortly and I am already looking forward to selecting my colours.