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Interview with an Artist — Abbie Dayman Johns
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a large portion of us are staying at our home, adjusting to an altogether different life. A few of us are…
During this COVID-19 pandemic, a large portion of us are staying at our home, adjusting to an altogether different life. A few of us are turning towards art and journaling/writing to communicate our anxieties or just to discover joy or delight during this very strange and unpleasant time. In this post we are turning to someone who is an epitome of creativity . ‘Abbie Dayman Johns ’. Her artwork is literally a joyful exploration of the artistic self.
Abbie Dayman-Johns is a British (United Kingdom) based artist known for her playful, airbrushed artwork. She is a writer and artist living in Bath, England, with a passion for books and fictional characters. She describes herself as a bibliophagist as well as an artist and the proof is in her preparatory sketches and paintings. Abbie thinks of her paintings as sharing an isolated moment, keeping it alive and making it timeless.
In terms of influences, Abbie draws from hollywood films and sitcoms like Harry Potter , Alice In Wonderland and Game of Thrones etc. She’s also famous for her Instagram presence, seeing the platform as both a visual diary, and a way to connect with people.
Searching for perfect book lovers gifts? Rejoice!. Her artwork are like a love letter to all things bookish. Abbie brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. It’s a must-have for bibliophiles, and it makes a wonderful literary gift for book lovers, writers, and more. Her work is a source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations, and bookish joy. She is known for her colorful illustrations of iconic mixed media, her artistic spirit is a vivid ode to the world of literature filled with fantasy.
It is a pleasure to feature her in this interview. Artists and art enthusiasts alike will enjoy viewing her art and reading her answers. :)
Excerpts from the interview :-
Q1) Tell our readers here about yourself. Where are you from? Do you have a degree in Fine Arts? Was there a determining moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
Abbie : Hello, my name is Abbie Dayman-Johns and I’m a full-time artist and aspiring author from Bath, England. I don’t have a degree although I did study art at school. Funnily enough I actually decided not to pursue higher education to instead follow my dream of being an author/artist.
Q2) What sort of responses do you typically receive from your posts on Instagram? And what sort of benefits have you experienced in terms of your engagement on social media relative to your art and reading interests?
Abbie: My followers are the kindest, most supportive people in the world and I love being able to share my life and art with them. In terms of social media benefits: my following grew out of my love of books and later, art, so I’m fortunate to have a large group of people that enjoy the content I make.
Q3) Abbie, what is your definition of art career success?
Abbie : I think it depends on the individual. A lot of people seem to think they have to mould themselves to the career they’ve chosen but I think it’s better to mould a career around you — around who you are, what suits you, and what makes you happy. Success to me is doing what makes you happy.
Q4) What invaluable art business lesson did you learned that took your ETSY Store Sales to the next level? What art marketing activity do you put into practice regularly that works most successfully for you?
Abbie : One thing I keep coming back to is doing things when the time is right. Thinking that everything has to be perfect before you begin often results in never starting. You don’t need to have the best equipment or website or space — I literally started in my childhood bedroom with a small printer. But now I need a bigger space, a professional printer, and employees because my business grew to need those things. If I’d tried to do those before their time, it would have been overwhelming.
So that’s one of the best tips I can give, just allowing things to happen naturally and upgrading when there’s a demand for it.
Q5) Do you have an essential philosophy that guides you in your creative expression?
Abbie : ‘Follow your bliss’. It’s a Joseph Campbell quote and essentially my life motto but it pertains to my creativity too. For example, I don’t do commissions very often anymore because I don’t feel a pull to do them. I like to follow my inspiration.
Q6) What personality characteristics do you have that has been most helpful in your art career?
Abbie : I think my hunger for self-improvement and my creativity have helped me the most. I also try to be as kind as possible to everyone.
Q7) How do you get inspired to produce a piece of artwork?
Abbie : In general I collect ideas in a little notebook. Sometimes people message me asking for a specific painting, other times ideas just come to me. In terms of inspiration before sitting down and painting, I don’t force it, I just make sure that every second I’m inspired I sit down at the desk.
Q8) Creative People All Have One Thing In Common: They like Solitude. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an acute inner restlessness, an empty space in my heart I’ve desperately wanted to FILL, an underlying sense of isolation that can only be satiated by creating something out of nothing. It’s a very lonely profession, being an artist or a writer. You’re on your own all day every day. Do you agree with this? Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Abbie : I completely agree, that’s why I think building a career around you and your lifestyle works better than trying to force yourself into one you don’t suit because, for this career in particular, you have to be okay with being alone for hours at a time.
And it’s a lot of thinking, throwing things away, re-working, and hours at your desk — if these things don’t appeal to you, you won’t like it. But if you need it, and you have a burning need to express yourself, then it’ll be worth it.
I try to keep a healthy social life because I’m someone that does lose track of time and get tunnel-vision with my projects so I prioritise social engagements (when there’s not a pandemic!) and I live with my boyfriend so I’m never completely alone for long.
Q9) What famous artist from history would you like to spend a day with and what would you do together?
Abbie : Beatrix Potter. I would let her choose what we did but I’d love to look at her private art and ask her questions.
Q10) Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?
Abbie : No but I am aware that I’m becoming known as an artist, which is great, but I feel like the ‘author’ part of my career is missing, and that’s always been my dream. I’d ultimately love to do both.
Q11) If you mentored younger artists who are beginning their art careers what single most important piece of advice would you offer?
Abbie : Follow your bliss, as in, make art that you love and express yourself however you want to. You don’t need to shoehorn your talent into content you think people will like, instead, your audience will grow around you so make sure you love what you’re creating.
Thank you all for reading and a big thanks to Abbie for collaborating in today’s post!
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