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SoulBird Art – Sunday Artist Interview

Sunday’s have never been the same again since I started these around 6 months ago! I have luckily had lots of very willing artists to interview and have a list of more as long as my arm – so here’s today with Bobbie at SoulBird Art to tell us a little bit about herself and her work…

First of all, who are you?

Hello! My name is Roberta Orpwood, (Also known as Bobbie to a few of you!) and I am a Professional Visionary Artist, Sound Therapist and Shamanic Healer based South West London, Uk. My business is called SoulBird Art and I have my own little studio within my home, overlooking our garden. It’s cosy, at times a creative mess and also full of Crystals, Plants and you’ll always smell the light and zesty fragrance of Frankincense in the air (one of my favourite resins to burn whilst I work!).

When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  What did you answer?

Well I always knew I wanted to be in some sort of ‘helping’ profession and when I was young I had ideas about becoming a psychotherapist, counsellor or Art Teacher. Funnily enough, during my time at university studying Fine Art & Art History I had it drilled into my mind that the only way to become an Artist was to be the crème de la creme… chosen by some rich collector or patreon, selling your artwork for thousands of pounds in central London – I was told it would be “too hard” and so basically give up now! The idea of becoming an artist felt so out of my grasp (which was an illusion), I didn’t know how to reach that goal, despite it being a secret desire of mine. It didn’t fully manifest in my life until I put my heart and soul into the one thing I most Loved; at age 25 I left my full time job and began as a full-time Professional Visionary Artist with nothing in my pocket except inspiration and determination.

What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?

This question has bothered me! I haven’t had many funny moments as such, but I will share a rather embarrassing situation with one of my energy paintings created for a client of mine. These energy paintings are intuitively painted for the highest good of the client. You’ll find within them messages, symbols and guidance that can be interpreted from the energy of the artwork itself. Think of these paintings as an energy reading of your life, your soul… and the painting is here as your medicine. There’s no expectation or thought on my part as to what will come through. I leave that part up to who I call, ‘Great Spirit’. More often than not these paintings are beautiful, elegant and vibrant… and so many have displayed them in a prominent spot in their home.

Anyway, on this occasion it just so happened that within one painting something subtle yet profound emerged right smack bang in the middle of the paper… and once seen there was no way of ‘unseeing’ it… it was… can you guess?! I hadn’t actually seen it until someone pointed it out to me… Something very Phallic by nature, details and all!! Yes, balls and all were displayed too… so imagine my embarrassment when I passed this over to its new owner having to explain this rather X-rated painting!! Truth be known in my line of work these symbols really do have great meaning, so it should be nothing to shy away from but rather to embrace!! ?

What is the hardest part of being creative?

The hardest part I’d say is maintaining your flow of creativity! For me, I am a work-a-holic. I love my job but to the point where I will burn the candles at both ends and as a one-woman-band I am never ever short of things to do within the business. I am forever learning to keep the balance between work and play. Play and time ‘off’ is so important for all creatives as it is within those moments that creativity will thrive and blossom. So when I do not honour my needs, time off, time to rest, sing, dance and play, my Art begins to suffer and then artist block sets in. This is a common difficulty for those who make their passion their full-time business. We live, and we learn!

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

I would say to all artists just starting out, follow your OWN interests and inspirations on what YOU love to paint and draw. Allow yourself not to be influenced by what you THINK will sell. Steer yourself away from just creating art because you know that “cute things sell” for example. No, choose to express the art that comes from the very deepest part of your Soul. Create Art that taps into places no one has been or seen but you. Create through your eyes and no one else’s! There is a time and place when you are learning to draw and paint to copy the old masters work and mimic other styles but only in order to learn the techniques. From here the world is your oyster to do exactly what you wish to in the creative realms of The Artist. Have faith that the expression of your Art WILL be wanted and loved by MANY people out there. Just hang in there and explore! And know that you can change your ‘style’ as many times as you wish until you find what makes you, YOU!

What subjects inspire you?

You’ll see that I do love figurative painting, so my inspiration since college has always been Life drawing, where you have a live model to paint or draw from. Apart from this I think my biggest teacher, guide and inspiration has to be my Shamanic Practice in which I work very closely with Nature; Nature the visible face of Spirit. 

Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)

Oh goodness! That’s a hard question to answer! I have a list as long as my arm! The first 3 that come to mind are:

Audrey Kawasaki 

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme

Autumn Skye

Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?


John William Waterhouse (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood)

Hieronymous Bosch

What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?

‘Shamanic Healing ~ Sacred Crown Chakra’

What was the last piece of art you sold?

Original Painting Sold ~ ‘Wisdom Keeper’

Last print sold ~ ‘Spirit of lion’

What’s the best type of cheese?  (haha)

These days I don’t really eat cheese, but in the days when I did it was definitely a good Cambozola!

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