Imagine a job hunting for treasure on beautiful Cornwall beaches… Well thats the reality of a day in the life of artist Kirsty Elson. And these pieces of treasure often in the form of driftwood, become the most intriguing sculptures desired by her big following across the globe.
Things really took off for Kirsty when she was accepted to exhibit at the Contemporary Craft Festival in 2012. Her work was on the cover of the brochure and the show was very successful. This teamed with a large and growing social media following has lead to her pieces becoming extremely sought after.
“I was thrilled even to be accepted, but then my work was on the cover of the brochure and sales were amazing! It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.”
This was when I first came across Kirsty’s creations and I remember everyone talking about her house sculptures. They are so detailed and invoke such nostalgia I was hooked and have followed her work with awe ever since.
I asked Kirsty a little about her working day and workspace,
“I swim every morning at the local pool, see the children off to school then have breakfast whilst responding to emails and so on. I’m always a bit conscious of making too much noise with power tools too early in the morning so I rarely start making before 10am. I’m very lucky to have 2 workspaces! All of the cutting, sawing, drilling etc takes place in the shed, and the painting and all the more decorative bits happen in my little studio indoors. Both are equally untidy. It drives my partner up the wall!”
Kirsty told me a little about her creativity at home,
“I’ll be the first to admit I’m a pretty lousy cook, but I think the interior of our home is definitely an extension of me. We like the pared down, coastal look. Steve has built quite a bit of furniture here, mostly from driftwood. I love that no-one else in the world has the same cupboards or dresser as me!”
I asked Kirsty a little about her businesses future, how she is motivated and where she finds her inspiration,
“I think the number one answer is that I love what I do. I’m so lucky that I don’t get that awful Monday morning feeling (as I have with past jobs). Sometimes when it’s cold and wet outside I’m not particularly keen to go out to my shed but it doesn’t last long. I get pretty tetchy when I’ve been away from work for too long! I’m completely inspired by the materials I find, which helps keep my work fresh, and means that every piece is unique. Also I’m extremely fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful counties in Britain so inspiration is never far away!”
“At the moment I am super busy which is brilliant, but I’m not sure it will last! I have no plans to take on employees or anything, though it would be lovely to have someone to do my posting and packing for me. That is a real drag!”
Kirsty’s business and personal values are simply ‘integrity’ and she has some sound advice for other creative startups and students,
“Just to be unique and original. It’s hard getting established when there are so many others trying to do the same. You need something that sets you apart from everyone else. And be prepared to work more than full-time hours! If you want it badly enough, it will happen!”
Thank-you Kirsty for being part of my blog. If you’d like to know more about Kirsty’s work here are a few links: