Despite studying Fine Art at Chester University, local artist Celia Hyland has only recently returned to doing anything creative. She now challenges herself to paint or draw everyday, at her kitchen table or even wrapped in a blanket in front of the TV!
We met up with Celia to find out more about her work and inspirations.
Who are you?
I’m Celia Hyland and I grew up in Emsworth. I live with my husband and two daughters and work part time as an events co-ordinator.
What type of artist are you?
Like many artists I dabble in a few different media. When I rediscovered my creativity four years ago I started by drawing, then added watercolour. Then I got bored of framing everything so I turned to canvas work and now mainly use acrylics with some textured paper. My pen illustrations are often digitally coloured so I struggle to ‘define’ my style or
Do you have a background in art and design – when did you first start your creative
I studied Fine Art at Chester University, focussing on print and photography. My final show was photographic but with a lot of digital manipulation. This aspect of the work has stayed with me – I love working digitally and have continued to pursue graphic design. My ‘creative journey’ started at school when I was always known as the ‘arty one’, but I lost a lot of confidence in my skill after university and only returned to it in 2014 when I realised I knew so much about artistic practice but was not actually doing anything creative. I challenged myself to create something every day, and that became a habit. Now I paint or draw most days.
Can you describe your creative process?
I faff around waiting for a long time, then something will inspire me – a colour combination, or a composition will come to me – and it will all spill out in one go. I wish I were more consistent but I’ve just had to accept it’s very sporadic with me. Consequently, I usually have a couple of unfinished pieces on the go. They sit in the corner and I try to ignore them. It
sounds strange but it’s almost like they talk to me. It’s like a battle. Some are a joy, some are like an enemy I have to defeat. Some pull me in. Some terrify me. I also have to switch techniques to keep sane. I will paint for a week, then draw and colour an illustration just to feel like I’ve finished something! People who see my work on social media must get so
frustrated – everything is a ‘work in progress’!
What do you enjoy most about the process?
Achieving something! That could be making good progress with a piece, or even finishing something. Finishing is rare with my painting. Illustration is easier and quicker for me, if I get a good idea. Painting is more of a journey of discovery. Lots of reworking, over-painting, texture, starting again. All that stuff.
Can you describe your studio workspace?
My kitchen is where I paint. I make a lot of mess. I would love to have a studio space one day just so I don’t have to put everything away each day. But it has good light, and I’m not precious about the table. It’s usually cold in the day and warmer in the evening – so I’m often painting until midnight just to achieve something! If I’m drawing I can do that wrapped in a blanket in front of the TV.
What keeps you going while you work?
Music. Turned up loud so everyone knows to leave me alone. I can block everything out and focus. Music helps me carve out that time for me. Mainly it’s indie folk pop, Nordic female sounds like First Aid Kit or Katzenjammer, but also English stuff like Florence and the Machine or Bat for Lashes.
What can we expect to see from you on this year’s trail?
Lots of canvas work, and prints and cards of my paintings and illustrations. I’ve been obsessed with trees and landscapes recently. But I’m not a realist – I like to warp perspective and composition, add something quirky or whimsical. Trees are like people; all unique, some grow alone, some grow in groups. All have roots. I’m trying to explore the idea of where our roots lie and what lies beneath the surface.