Spotlight Interview with Gill Bustamante speaking to us about how she absorbs sensations, sights and scents from nature into her work …
Thank you for speaking to us about your art journey. Where did it all begin for you?
When I was born. Then at age 2, I was given a pack of felt pens and that was it. I was very shy so stayed home with no friends and learnt to draw!
From who or from where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Nature is my main inspiration. I walk often and absorb the sensations, sights, scents etc and then reflect echos of them back in the paintings. Other artists doing the same do inspire me of course. I have an Pinterest page where I keep my favorite artists.
Do you like to experiment with what you use to create art and how would you describe your artistic style?
I experiment all the time as I like to challenge myself and make a game of painting. I did spend a lot of time as a portrait painter and while that was great to teach me discipline and technique, it eventually became too predicable and therefore dull. Nowadays I tend to start with a vague idea of the painting and then simply see what happens. Sometimes I create monstrous things and sometimes beautiful things but I am endlessly entertained by it all.
Why are your designs so different to other artists within the industry?
Partly because I was fortunate enough to go to art college and mix with artists and learn new things and partly because since that time (in the early 80’s!) I have just developed my own techniques and done things my own way by myself. Too many people try to control and influence artists and though sometimes it is helpful is very often also destructive to the development of a person’s unique perspective. Most of the most famous artists have been a law unto themselves and that is how it should be.
How do you stay relevant and current in a world full of creatives?
I don’t worry too much about it unless I find my income going down and then I simply step up my output and my promotion of my output. I try to make each painting better than the last as I think technical skill does come into it and enjoying the act of creation itself defiantly does!
How has social media impacted on you as judging by your online presence you seem to embrace this?
I make sure I paint regularly and try to create at least 3 paintings a month. That way I can keep getting noticed when I promote. Social media does not come naturally to me but seems to be the best way at the moment to reach people so having a new painting is vital. I spend the same amount of time promoting as I do painting which seems to be necessary. Facebook is surprisingly effective at reaching more prospective buyers.
How has your brand grown to where it is now? What has contributed to your success?
Simple persistence. I have had the usual barriers of age, location, finances, lack of knowledge etc and it has taken me a long time for me to be able to say I am a ‘professional artist’ but what got me to this point is that I simply like painting. Anyone who loves to make things will eventually enthuse others to buy their work. Even if it takes years (which it did for me!)
Have you worked with any galleries or brands or completed any important commissions you can share with us?
To some degree but mostly local galleries. I avoid commissions generally as my painting style is not very easy to repeat and that is usually what people ask for. I was fortunate in 2020 to get myself into an BBC episode of Home is Where the Art Is (season 2 episode 12 on BB i-player) and that resulted in commissions, some of which can be seem on my website commission page.
Which projects are you really excited about for 2021 and are there any future plans you can share with us?
I am always excited about something but it is more on the lines about new places to explore. My artistic process involves walking in rural areas but has mostly been in the Sussex so I am going to be doing other parts of England and abroad soon as have just discovered Air b&b and how to use the ordinance survey phone app so I won’t be spending.
See a selection of work from Gill Bustamante HERE