This time we meet…. Kelly Quinzel who has some important words of wisdom from her great wealth of experience as an artist.
How are you finding the winter so far?
I am a morning person, usually I get out of bed at 7.30am. However, due to winter and the coldness, I find it difficult to get out of bed, but once I am out, I enjoy the walk in the park, as the weather been good, what I dislike would be winter plus bad weather.
What’s your favourite material to work with?
My favourite material to work with would be watercolour as it is lightweight and easy to take anywhere with me as I enjoy taking the time to do something for myself and it is necessary for the mind. Mark making on paper and using watercolour makes it easy to do so anywhere.
When did you start making things and how long have you been making things for?
Both of my parents have a background in art. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old and my mother raised me as a single parent and was very encouraging with my interest in art.
What’s your favourite piece you’ve ever made?
Home (less) In The City.
This piece of work illustrates the recognisable landmarks in Manchester’s public spaces. As my project is about raising awareness of homelessness and addressing Manchester’s homeless problem, I organised a month-long hand embroidery workshop with Cornerstone Day Centre in the hope of gathering inspiration for my project. Exchanging my skill sets combines my specialist area in embroidery alongside working with vulnerable adults. It was important to gain the participants’ trust and I did not want to appear to be ‘taking’ from them. I proposed a workshop to teach them hand embroidery in exchange for their input on my project, which seemed fair. As it was my objective to gather different options addressing Manchester’s homeless problem.
In the start of the project I illustrated the visual images of the homeless on the street and it lost the sense of narrative within my work after working with vulnerable adults at Cornerstone Day Centre, then I realised they used art workshops to create light-hearted artworks and it gives them a more positive attitude throughout. What is special about this work is that it also illustrates the lively side of Manchester’s homeless community. This acts as a reminder to all of us that we all share the same city.
This caused a change in my project: to focus on the positive side of Manchester. Another change was moving these illustrations from the canvas to a wall hanging style – then I created a series of embroidery illustrations of Manchester which were embellished onto shirts. As I experimented with different types of garments, I found this series of clothing illustrates my best works.
As well as beautiful images, using garments is also my way of suggesting that donating unwanted clothing to homeless charities is a way many people can help with this issue.
Any new years resolutions?
I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions, as I can always improve myself, the moment I thought of it, I act upon it.
What do you do or tell yourself at times when you think, ‘Oh no, I don’t have enough time to do anything creative’?
I have a to do list for experimenting ideas, a list for daily tasks, a list for long term goals. My to do list, it never ends.
This way, I can manage my time throughout the week without feeling over whelming with tasks. As I am a freelancer, as well as spending time on my commissions, I also make time for creating.
Any advice to other local creatives?
Create only what interests you in the way you choose to create it. Don’t change your approach to gain sales, popularity or acceptance. You will never do your best work if you do.