Tonight’s Friday Feature is an exciting insight into the behind the scenes workings of the wonderful Moongazey Art in her own words that’s given us the warm and fuzziness all over. So curl up on the sofa, grab a brew, and learn all about how this talented lady’s style came about!
Moongazey Art was once a fleeting wish of a dreamer child who drew morning, noon and night and wanted to grow up and illustrate fairy tales. However, pressured into studying graphic design by an over critical tutor at art college I ended up working in that industry instead. An untimely recession forced a drastic career change to my other childhood passion, archaeology. It was actually a magical encounter with a leveret, on a misty excavation site, one August dawn, that ensured the name Moongazey Art found me at a later date. I worked happily within the profession for twenty years but struggled to find paid employment, and it was after an accident left me with permanent damage to my arm, that ongoing support and friendship from online artists and crafters that encouraged me to revisit my own art once more. In April 2015, after plenty of their gentle persuasion Moongazey Art finally made its online debut!
Why Moongazey? rather than Moongazing or Moongazer, to me, this enchanting name encapsulates everything I love…the magic of the moon, hares, ancient folklore and standing stones. All of these elements figure highly in my work, alongside the flowers in my beloved garden, twisty, gnarled trees and anything to do with the ocean, both above and below. From a business angle, I felt the name would target a broader audience rather than purely evoking images of moon gazing hares.
Initially, my drawings were more exploratory pieces than planned artworks. My style has had to adapt to smaller works than I previously produced due to the limitations of my arm. My pace of work has also slowed considerably. However, this lends itself well to the intricate detail, both in my illustrative ink work and commissioned pet and people portraits. An A4 drawing in my preferred mediums of ink, marker, coloured pencil or graphite, can take me anywhere between 25 to 60 hours to complete. I love to add little elements so people need to examine a piece close up and often title works to encourage them to think of a story behind it. I’ve always loved the attention to detail and narrative in work by artists and illustrators such as Rackham, Dulac, Klimt and Dadd; plus, contemporaries like Yerko, Jansson and Org. Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau and Japanese art also figure highly in my influences…due, once again, to the exquisite minutiae, plus the beautiful, flowing linework.
Since Moongazey Art’s tentative beginnings I’ve moved counties to establish a more suitable home to run my business from and found other work to supplement my drawing. It’s a massive struggle financially as I do not have a steady income from either at present. It’s frustrating finding time to fit everything around the day job but I’m looking at ways to promote my art and keep it interesting. I’ve been featured in a Dorset artisan magazine and approached to exhibit my work in a flourishing south coast arts centre. Recently, I have been invited to work on collaborations with other skilled artisans. Seeing my designs interpreted in so many different mediums is very exciting and inspirational. I’m hoping to make these an ongoing venture as each has been well received which has fuelled my creativity and confidence a great deal.
At the moment, my work is only available direct from my Facebook and Instagram pages, in online and local market events, or through referral from previous customers. I also network as much as possible within the platform of social media and supply four retail outlets with cards of my designs. However, I am currently working on various avenues to promote my business to an even wider market. One area I need to improve on is my product photography as it is difficult to stage an unframed drawing so good exposure is vital. I’m not very tech savvy either so learning how to utilise social media and my website to the maximum is essential. There is a new website that I will be adding information to over the coming weeks and an upcoming Etsy shop that I will be stocking with cards and prints of my work, as well as originals as soon as I can find the time to draw any! I’m also exploring the possibility of a range of wares that can be printed with my designs. All of this requires time I never seem to have to research suppliers but it’s progressing steadily.
Ultimately, the aim is to be able to focus my time creatively without the current constraints of my other job, finances and lack of studio space. Once I have worked Moongazey Art into a viable business I hope my printed products will generate a steady income so I can focus on creating pieces of work for galleries and exhibitions, as well as keeping my commission books open. One day I would also love to fulfill my childhood dream of illustrating fairy tales… my very own happy ending!
And that is our happy ending to a lovely article from this inspirational lady! Moongazey Art was asked to feature on this blog after seeing their beautiful work every week in our Facebook group, LLD the Lock In where we love finding out about talented artisans and makers and their beautiful work.
To find Moongazey Art on the Web, go to: