Amy Coney is a Manchester based Artist who started working with us as part of our Art Battle Manchester partnership. We caught up to find our what makes her and her art tick!
Hey Amy, when did you realise that you wanted to become an Artist?
I've been painting and drawing as long as I can remember - I won my first painting competition at age 5 for a picture of a stegosaurus..
My big turning point was going to Art College to do do my Foundation in Art and Design - I was adamant I was going to study fashion but after two weeks specialising (and pattern cutting) I quickly realised I loved designing and drawing the clothing, and not so much making it - I switched to Fine Art and never looked back, although I'd still love to create artwork for fabric prints.
What jobs did you do before becoming an Artist became your full time job?
All Sorts!! I just left my role running a fantastic social media apprenticeship programme called The Juice Academy where we taught and set up 16-23 year olds with the running of social for some incredible companies like Unilad and Social Chain.
Before that I was the Marketing Manager for a restaurant called Room (now Grand Pacific) after opening the Hollister in town as part of its Graduate Management Programme.
Pretty Varied then!! Do you listen to anything while you paint? Music / Podcasts?
Yes and no - you cant beat a sunny day with Jimi Hendrix blasting out and a paintbrush in hand...
Recently I've been loving podcasts like The Savvy Painter - there are some amazing ones out there that interview other artists, which I find so fascinating to listen to. I like the idea that you can immerse yourself in the insights and learnings of others as well as your artwork at the same time.
So, why don't you recommend us an Album to play in the shop this week then?
Jake Isaac - Our Lives: he played in my living room when I hosted Sofar Sounds and he's got a great vibe.
Who would you class as your influences or favourite Artists?
Gerhard Richter is one that has always stood out for me, Chuck Close, Jenny Saville, I love the way they approach portraiture and form.
I'm a big fan of photorealism but also strongly the emotion and history behind the subjects that may not be so readily visible.
What up and coming Artists would you like to shout out about and support (if any?)
All of the artists that were involved in Cities of Hope - fantastic project, I know a good few of them are established but artists like Aske p19 and Mateus Bailon have helped to transform the streets of Manchester - incredible work and all for a good cause.
Do you have any particular goals or dreams you want to achieve as an Artist?
Absolutely, I want to continue to make work that means something to people.
Art is a hugely powerful thing.
It's one of the most incredible and unifying tools for communication - it can change opinions, it has the power to simply make someone smile or it can capture the essence of a person or feeling letting them resonate and last through time.
Eventually I want to do this all over the world, thats the ultimate goal.
Being 'self-sufficient' through art is also extremely important to me. I say that in quote marks as every artist is supported in some way, whether it be through lovely people like you at Stag and Raven, Art Battle Mcr, or every time someone speaks highly of your work or shares a post on social - it becomes a collaborative effort... and I'm so grateful for that.
What Advice would you give to any aspiring Artists / Tattoo Artists?
Create, shout about it and persevere.
Are you doing any Conventions or Shows in 2017 we need to know about?
Since the 6th May a decorated gorilla will be placed in Heywood as part of it's Monkey Trail - the total of 9 apes will be dotted around until August to help promote fitness in the community as the trail is 3.5 miles long.
Let's hear more about you, give us an idea of your perfect day!
I couldn't, it totally depends on my mood and you can have so many perfect days with different people, but a dinner of bangers and mash or cheese fondue would be a perfect finish!
And if I wasn't an Artist, I'd love to be a master of wine or a food critic, something that allowed me to travel the world trying food.
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