Last week we interviewed one half of the Welfare Exec, and this week we bring you the other half! We talked to L6 Textile Design student Mary Hart to talk about how children's imagination inspires her work, and what advice she would give to artists thinking about coming to study at LAU!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Hey Mary! It’s great to be able to talk to you whilst Welfare Fortnight is going on! Tell us about the work you produce and who or what inspires it?
MARY HART: I would say that children's imagination and seeing what is currently in stores (which is great for trend research) are two big inspirations for me, which is why I primarily make illustrative work for the children's market. I love reading children's picture books, and get a lot of my inspiration from the illustrations and storylines in those! They're always so fun and crazy!
STUDENTS’ UNION: With the way that kids' minds work, I think it would be a hard miss not to be inspired by them. The things that some kids can come up with out of nowhere always surprises me, so that makes a lot of sense. It’s always smart to find out what your audience wants or are looking for; especially in the children’s market.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Where do you hope your art takes you?
MARY HART: I would love to set up my own business and possibly create something for the children's market that hasn't been seen before - who knows!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Well fingers crossed that that happens for you!
When do you feel like you’re at your most creative when creating for your audience?
MARY HART: I feel like I'm at my most creative when I don't put pressure on myself to BE CREATIVE. Pressure kills all creativity! Ideas often come to me when I'm doing something completely unrelated!
STUDENTS’ UNION: I wholeheartedly agree with that! You can’t force the work to happen because you feel like you have time to fill, and I think that this year has shown that more than ever. Sometimes you’ve just got to let the inspiration come to you rather than forcing it. It’s all really about finding that balance of working to be inspired, seeking inspiration, and letting the inspiration come to you.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Speaking of balance, in your time here at LAU, do you ever feel like the relationship between working for pleasure and working for a grade ever gets blurred?
MARY HART: All the time! I feel like it's a constant battle in my head between enjoying my creative work, and worrying about grades and the marking criteria! Creativity was always a hobby for me, so trying to achieve an academic grade from it seems quite strange and things often get blurred! But a grade doesn't define you as an artist!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Well that’s it isn’t it, you’ve got to make sure that you find that balance so that what is your hobby doesn’t start to feel like a chore. I guess you’ve got to do what you can to make sure that you can maintain a separation so that you don’t stifle your creativity.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Well in that case, with you being a level 6 student, what advice would you give to other artists who may be thinking about coming to study at LAU?
MARY HART: Enjoy it! Create work for yourself, don't worry too much about the grade. Numbers don't define anyone, and putting your worth into a grade is never going to make you happy. Learn as much as you can and enjoy it. As long as you create a killer portfolio that you are proud of by the time you leave, you'll be set!
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s great advice. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, and good luck with everything that you do!
If you would like to see more of Mary’s work, you can follow her at @maryhartillustration on Instagram!