1. First things first, Tea or Coffee & how do you take it?
Ideally, a latte on macadamia milk. Though while breastfeeding, I've been loving a Jing tonic.
2. Can you please tell us a little about what keeps you busy Mon-Friday...
My little ones, Jasper and Banksia, keep me on my toes for most of the day (and night!). But whilever they're napping, I sit at my desk and dive into work.. I've been on maternity-leave recently, so mostly I'm just packing and shipping online orders, replying to emails, and dreaming up my next painting concepts.
How did you get into the business of creating? And did you always think you would be in the creative field growing up?
I studied fashion design at the Whitehouse Institute for a few years and fell into the arts from there. After completing my degree, I went on to create bespoke bridal gowns. But more and more illustrative work popped up (prints for Aje, Peter Alexander, magazine features) and I found myself just wishing to spend my time painting rather than sewing. I wasn't really focused on art growing up, just dabbled in a few pastel classes and photography through school.. I was much more academically-oriented. Following year 12, I spent a couple of (epic!) years backpacking around Europe and it was during this time that my creative side began to reveal itself.
4. Where do you find your inspiration for new artwork?
Lately, with the covid situation, my imaginings take me to a deserted island. Palms, shells, wildflowers, sand. Everything stripped back to nature and basics. I think I've always looked to nature first and foremost, for inspiration. Whether it's flora or fauna, I'm not sure I've ever painted something without nature at it's core.
5. What has been the biggest eye opener for you since becoming an 'artist' and running your business online?
The admin! The majority of my work is replying to emails, organising invoices, shipping, managing a website. It can be dull and tedious when all I want to do is be immersed in the painting process, but of course it's fundamental in building the foundations of a project. Sometimes I do find it necessary to switch off from my inbox and Instagram for a couple weeks at a time and focus on completing artwork.
6. What brings you the most excitement in your daily work or life?
The beginnings of a new project! There's nothing better than sitting down with a concept which you've brainstormed with a client and taking those initial brush strokes to a page. I'm lucky enough to work with beautiful personalities behind brands, which make collaborations a dream.
What has been the biggest challenge for you running your business?
The biggest challenge would have to be juggling work and motherhood. I'm very strict with dividing my work from home life. I'll never work while my kids are home and awake. And with a newborn babe who doesn't sleep a whole lot, there is very limited time to work at the moment. But I'm aware that this is my current chapter in life, and things will change and grow. I'm trying to lap up all of the wild, beautiful moments of motherhood, knowing that work will always be there, waiting for me to return at full capacity.
8. What is one lesson business has taught you about life?
Probably the greatest teaching would be the art of surrendering. Artworks and projects don't always evolve as you'd expect. They often dance off in another direction, or get lost along the way. Sometimes they take a surprisingly wonderful turn and other times you spend weeks or months creating something, only to throw it in the trash. And that's okay. I've become very adept at surrendering to the process and letting go of expectation. It's been an essential lesson to translate into daily life (motherhood particularly).
9. If you wern't doing this, what would you be doing?
Veterinary Science. I have infinite love for animals. I'm sure one day I will own a rescue farm and perhaps go back to uni so that I'm able to medically attend to injured creatures.
10. Favourite thing about living in Sawtell, NSW?
The coastline is magic. We spent a few years living in Tasmania, which was incredible, but my goodness we missed the warm ocean. Sawtell has so many beautiful swimming nooks.
11. Where would you take us if we were to come & visit you for a weekend?
A morning run along the beach and up to Trapdoors to watch the sunrise. Recently, the full moon has been setting whilst the sun rises. There is always a pod of dolphins dancing amongst the surfers, and the whales are blowing on the horizon. It's heaven. And then down to Split cafe for their delish vegetable fritters. Indulge in some baked goods from Hearthfire and drive out to Bellingen for a picnic in the Promised Lands and a dip in the icey fresh water streams - it's fairyland out there. An afternoon wine at the Brewery in Bello, then back to Sawtell to order some fish and chips from Seasalt and take them up to the headland for the glorious sunset. That's my dream Sunday.
You can find me on Instagram (@brigitte_may) or my website www.brigittemay.com