Cork Based ceramicist and designer Kate McGuane talks to us about how to embrace and nourish your creative spirit.
Hi Kate, you are a very talented young designer. Where you always artistic?
Thank you Tammy. I was definitely a creative child. I can remember spending hours colouring, drawing and painting when I was quite young and nothing excited me more than a new art kit.
Was your talent encouraged in school? Could our schools do more?
Art was always my favourite subject in school. From a young age my teachers and peers were always encouraging and applauding my artwork.
I think art and the arts in general should be promoted more as core subjects in primary and especially in secondary level. The discourse of education has become very academic. While this may be of benefit to some students, it’s not fitting for everyone. I think we would have a lot happier and less stressed young people if education was more diverse.
It seems that to make it in any forum, you have to promote yourself. How comfortable are you with this?
I have gotten pretty comfortable promoting myself. I mean don’t get me wrong, it still feels like a strange thing to do sometimes, but you get used to and better at it with practice. Ultimately what I do makes me happy and if I can share that with people, then maybe a bit of that happiness will be shared.
Do you have a business brain or is it something you’re working on?
At the moment I’m working towards having my own studio and eventually owning my own business, so being business savy is something I’m new to. That being said, I’m in no rush. I think by working for other people who are in a similar field to me will give me invaluable experience that hopefully I’ll be able to apply to my own business one day.
What advice would you give a young girl who is passionate about art and doesn’t know how to pursue it as a career?
I would advise her to inform herself as best she can as to what’s out there. If you know someone that works in a field you are interested in, then ask them how they got to where they are. Furthermore, see if they or someone they know would be willing to take you on for some work experience. When I went on work experience in a pottery studio, I instantly saw myself working in a similar role, which only lead to more opportunities.
Most of all, don’t be afraid. Chasing after the things I really wanted to do were terrifying, but they were also the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done.
An additional message I would give to young girls…
I was a worrier as a child, teenager, and still sometimes as an adult, but if there’s anything I’ve learnt is that everything will work out. Believing in myself and working hard on the right things has taken me in the direction I’ve always wanted to go. Stick with whatever serves you, and work hard at that.
Follow Kate at Kate McGuane Ceramics or @KateMcGuaneCeramics. Instagram: @katemcguane.