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2022 Winner Pt.2 - Chloe Watts

Where did you study and what was the course title?

I studied Illustration with Animation at Manchester School of Art.

Name of your lecturer – course tutor?

My main lecturer was Ian Whadcock and my personal tutor was Eleanor Mulhearn.

Have you got a creative mission statement?

I don’t have a creative mission statement, but as a rule I create work that both serves the intended purpose but also serves my personal growth too.

How did you feel about winning the Colour in Design Award – what does it mean to you?

I was very shocked and completely honoured. I have won a few things before but this was definitely my biggest achievement. The body of work that I was showing meant so much to me so to receive recognition for it means a lot. The process of creating the work was so beneficial to my confidence, so to win this has boosted my confidence within my work a lot.

How important is colour in your work and how do you choose and narrow down colours?

Colour plays a key role within my work and is the basis for any work I undertake. During my time at university, I have acknowledged my need for control within my personal life and also within my practise. This means that I usually work in a very limited palette so as to retain control within my work. When I was younger, I was in hospital and we were only allowed a certain number of pens, and this is something that I unintentionally carried with me with regards to my choice in colour. As colour is so fundamental to my work, I will often digitally play around with colour in order to gauge what works best for the piece at hand.

What is your main source of inspiration?

My main source of inspiration is both my peers and my personal life. I have found that the most cathartic way of creating for me is by not holding back and exploring some more difficult topics. I think that I also am inspired by the younger me that was very unwell physically and mentally, so I always have that past iteration of me in mind when I am creating as I would love to be able to help others in a similar situation as opposed to just helping myself. I am also massively inspired by Matisse and Picasso, as their figurative styles are relatable to myself having struggled with body dysmorphia- abstraction is a powerful tool when exploring issues of this nature.

What makes you happiest/most fulfilled in your creative process?

In my creative process, I explore some of my most difficult and unsettling thoughts. For me, I am happiest when I am creating, regardless of what the outcome may be. The most fulfilling thing for me is when people can relate or learn from what I have created, as art is a wonderful vehicle for communication; in fact I can communicate better through my work than any other form of communication.

What are you working on now?

At present I have quite a lot of projects on the go - having just left university I am trying to find the right balance between personal work and paid work. I currently have 2 books that I want to get to the point of being able to send off to potential publishers. I am also working on a wall hanging that serves as an open letter and response to a piece I created a year ago. I am also working freelance for a few different clients.

Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time?

In 3 years time I want to be healthy and creating, as long as I am both of these things in any format I will be happy. I would like to continue to grow my small business and would also like to continue pushing the boundaries of communication and my practice. I am considering doing a masters however will need to make sure it is the right thing for me both personally and financially.

Creative high point?

My creative high point was getting my project ‘My Messy Brain’ to the point where I felt that I was done with needing it to get my thoughts out. To then go on and win the Colour in Design Award and some internal awards at the degree show is all and more I could have ever dreamt of.

Creative low point?

I think that my creative low point was the start of my project mentioned above. I created some of my best work however for a few months it was at the expense of my physical health. I didn’t have the energy to create or think as clearly as I can now so this impacted my output and emotional wellbeing.

Is there one person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you? – Maybe in terms of encouraging you when you were at a low point, pushing you in different directions unlocking your potential etc.

There are a few people that I can think of who really made a difference to me- these people are my tutors Eleanor and Ian, as they both shared my frustration at myself and my situation back in September. They both let me create in the way that I needed to at that point, and allowed me to work through what I was going through and vent to them when it all got too much. It is so wonderful that I managed to get to a better place and feel proud of myself and their support played a huge role in this.

The other person would be my best friend Gabby, who has stuck by me throughout all of my ups and downs, and still supports me to this day. Gabby did foundation the year before me and was the reason why I so desperately wanted to study at the school of art. She has been cheering me on the whole way and I would be so lost without her.

What is your favourite colour?

My favourite colour is a difficult one - I love red, green, yellow and blue. If I had to narrow this down I would say sunflower yellow and cobalt blue.

Image credits: Myself

Social media: @chloeyasart on Instagram



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