FROM KOALA IMPERSONATOR TO EXHIBITING ARTIST

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The twisted trail to my solo show


When I was 17 I had to decide whether to follow the path of journalism or art. My carefully considered decision was mainly based on the fact that the art students looked cooler and I would not have to learn to type.

I worked briefly for a fashion design company and then for 2 years as an industrial artist. This was very dry work but fun as the whole art department was under the age of 25. I married the artist two desks away and came to Australia.

My first job here was for cinema advertising. In those days the ads were put on to glass slides and hand coloured. Goodness, that makes me sound at least 120!

The heady world of advertising agencies beckoned. A friend was going travelling and asked if I wanted to take over her job. It was an Alice in Wonderland experience for a quiet 23 year old. Long lunches, much champagne and wild parties. The first two years that I was there, the agency hired a whole floor of the building for the Christmas Party. The first year we turned the space into an ice castle…the second year it was a tropical jungle. The next year the agency went broke! I freelanced for other agencies for about another 8 years before realising it was time for a change from the frantic deadlines. Also I was finding it harder to tell fibs on the phone when everyone was out at the pub and I was making excuses to clients who wanted to know why there was nobody in the office to discuss their account with.

A position came up with a very large and successful childrens’ wear company.

My job was amazingly varied. We designed all the prints and embroideries. Also we designed yardage prints / constructed displays for trade shows / fashion shoots and magazine ads / storyboards for the buyers.

I was responsible for illustrating a character called Kip the Koala. Kip led a much more exciting life than me. If he wasn’t in a hot air balloon he was skiing, or mountain climbing. I could go on. An on-line club was started so that kids could write letters to Kip. Someone had to answer those letters…to impersonate Kip. “Louise, you can write a bit. You can be Kip.” It was fun for a while but not a long term career move.

To cut a long story short I stayed for 15 years, made life long friends and became a burnt out Graphic Designer. The universe ( and my dear friend, Penny) intervened and I moved into Interior Design and started a business as a Colour Consultant. Apart from advising people on colour and interior design this involved drinking coffee, patting their dogs and sharing life stories.

This little tale is reaching biblical proportions so I will leap to the last two years. In 2017 I made a new artist friend, who introduced me to the world of on-line art courses. It was actually life changing. Thanks Gina xx

AND FINALLY FOLKS, I PICKED UP A PAINTBRUSH! And discovered, to my utmost surprise that I could paint.

2 years later and in 2 weeks time it will be the opening of my first solo exhibition. I will be so happy if you can drop in. Look for the person in the Koala suit.

Louise xx

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