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Wildlife Art By Hayley – Sunday Artist Interview

Continuing with my Sunday Artist Interviews, now it’s 5 months in and going brilliantly! I can’t even describe how happy I am that these have caught on… Please do take a look back at the other artists who have willingly answered the questions, but for now, here’s the lovely Hayley from Wildlife Art By Hayley to tell us who she is and of course, her favourite cheese…

First of all, who are you?

Hi! I’m Hayley, I’m a wildlife artist at Wildlife Art By Hayley, painting on sustainably sourced, reclaimed and repurposed wood pieces.  I live in Hull, although I’m only a 10 minute walk away from the beautiful East Yorkshire countryside this is where you can find me hiding when I’m not painting.

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

As a child I wanted to be a zookeeper, during college, I wanted to be a wildlife photographer. I then took a U-turn and started a physics degree, which I stopped half way through to focus on my art. I’d like to finish my degree one day, even if it’s just for the satisfaction of completing it. And photography is still very much part of my daily life, it does make for great reference photos if nothing else! 

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

I can’t think of anything specific, but I can no longer have a cuppa when I’m painting…paint water does not taste good!

 What is the hardest part of being creative?

For me it’s staying organised and on track, I write lists of lists! But my brain never stops, I‘ve always got the next idea in my head. Another thing would be learning to give myself a break, I could easily become a hermit workaholic! It’s hard to leave the work at home when you’re out and about especially when inspiration hits.

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

Make art that makes you happy, don’t get lost in the crowd or copy others. People like to know there’s a real person behind the art and that will only shine through if you are producing things you love so much you don’t want to sell but feel proud when they do!

What subjects inspire you?

Wildlife obviously, especially British wildlife. I’ve always quite liked the fact that I’m so easily pleased with nature. For example; I saw a poplar hawk moth the other day, the first one this year and it made my day! I took several photos of it to use as references in the future and had a smile on my face for the rest of the day.  From a fox to a bee I love everything British wildlife has to offer.

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

Oh tough one! Let’s see… (Scrolling through my Instagram feed)

Past Your Porch light – I have been in love with their soft sculpture bears forever. And I own one of their forest spirit bears, it has pride of place in the house!

Earth angel arts, their paintings are how the world looks in my dreams and how I wish the world looked in real life, to me they depict harmony and peace between us and nature. 

Gracemere Woods –A fellow wood slice artist, but one of whom I will never be on par with, the detail and magic she can put into a wood slice painting is astounding!

Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?

Ansel Adams, his photos of Yosemite national park are beautiful, I studied him at college and have loved his photos ever since. 

Frida Kahlo has always been a strong feminine figure for me. I love the honesty in her self-portraits.

Vincent van Gogh, I love the texture in his paintings, I’d love to be able to stroke one, doubt I’ll get that chance lol!

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

This usually changes whenever I paint something new haha, but at the moment I’d say my otter on a reclaimed wood board, because I find otters difficult to paint, and I nearly sanded this one off half way through but persevered and loved it.

What was the last piece of art you sold?

A badger and a bee bookmark!

And finally… Because this is really important….

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

Strong and crumbly and never ever with fruit in it!!

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