Zoë creates cosmic paintings, usually in the form of animal silhouettes, depicting the wondrous colours of nebulas and galaxies.
How did your passion for painting - especially the celestial themes - begin?
I have always been obsessed with the vastness and beauty of space and when I saw watercolour nebulas popping up on my Instagram feed in 2016, I had to give it a go!
Previously I had been plagued by perfectionism, and while I already had an artistic past, I found that I was putting so much pressure on myself to create something 'perfect' that I lost a lot of motivation to sit down and create.
Seeing those beautiful watercolour tutorials (a medium that I had never really used before) reignited my passion for art and creativity as a whole! Since then, I have found my niche in acrylic pet silhouettes filled with colourful nebulas. There is something so freeing in painting something so abstract and vibrant. Plus, I can combine my two favourite things - art and cats!!!
Did you find there were many barriers to beginning or maintaining painting as a regular activity?
With access to all materials, online tutorials and prior artistic knowledge, the only barriers I came up against were in my own head. To this day I still struggle to capture moments of motivation while my mind is clogged so heavily with anxiety and depression. Battling these demons everyday is a very personal fight, but I overcome them by setting up my art supplies ready for the next morning - literally retracting any excuse to not paint.
Taking on commissions can be overwhelming too, but listening to and reading the feedback I receive from followers, friends and customers is a fantastic motivator when I just feel like giving up. In the end, I realise that my art is my therapy, so I do my best not to deprive myself of creating for too long. Always speak to family, friends and likeminded artists on Instagram - you never know how admired and loved you might be!
What advice would you offer to anyone taking up painting?
Experiment, experiment, experiment! And don't be afraid to 'fail' or compare yourself harshly to other artists doing similar work. I have painted some terrible looking things over the years but I had so much fun in the process that my perfectionism rarely raised its prim and proper head. Cosmic art is all about having fun and letting your imagination loose!
Saying that, I recommend taking a look at some reference photos which are easily accessible on Instagram. I have begun to post speed paintings, progress images and tutorials on my Instagram page. Speed paintings were invaluable to me when I first started to paint space. Watch how the artist uses their brush and the quantity of water they use. I ended up with many a messy puddle of dirt-coloured nonsense when I first tried using watercolours...