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Take Five with Louise McNaught

I have followed Louise McNaught's work for some time via social media and always loved her very individual and beautiful way of approaching animal studies. They capture the essence of each creature from the tiny bumble bee to the mighty elephant, whilst throwing in a contemporary and refeshing spin, with neon backdrops and ocassionally some sparkle! I also had the pleasure of meeting Louise and hearing about how she approaches her work and her motivation. This is based around relationship between nature and man, often destructive from the latter, and how we feel about our actions. Since her graduation in 2012, Louise's work has been seen in international fairs and galleries around the country.

Louise's work can now be seen in a book, 'Survival', published September 2018, where her illustrations highlight the fight for survival of 20 endangered animals. The book marries together Louise's drawings with text by children's author Anna Claybourne, to bring the issue of conversation into the spotlight.

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

I get to decide to do basically what I want every day! I mean of course there is boring stuff like admin, posting, wrapping of artwork etc etc, but essentially I don't have a boss and I get to decide what to paint. It's all up to me and in some ways that's so freeing and awesome, and in another way I have to be very self-motivated as I have to be everything from creator, marketing person, courier organiser, so whether it's a success or failure, it's all my fault.

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

I'm impressed with anybody that tries to make a go of their art career really, especially those who do so well, as it's not easy at all. There's no straight forward path, you are basically an entrepreneur and that can be very hard and quite lonely. Very often it's just you creating and promoting the work on your own in your studio. I don't really mind my own company/solitude, but it's not for everyone.

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Don't just sign up to one gallery, as it's putting all your eggs in one basket. I was lucky that I was exclusive with a very successful gallery at the time, and I learned the ropes from that experience but it can hinder your growth as an artist.

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

I don't really get creative block, i suffer from the opposite of too many ideas and not knowing which to do first. I normally go with what excites me the most, or which has the shortest deadline! For creative block I'd suggest getting out of your environment to somewhere like a art big museum/gallery which will be full of inspiration.

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Oh I'd be a high-heeled Prada boot, because I cant wear high heels as I have no arches and they look amazing.


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