Since I started Charlotte Designs in 2005, a lot has changed. I have two teenagers, a dog, murals have gone from being virtually unknown to being everywhere and Charlotte Designs itse’f has gone from strength to strength. So I have taken the decision to team up with another artist both to strengthen Charlotte Designs offering and perhaps more importantly, to offer help and encouragement to a young artist at the beginning of her career.
It would have been very easy to have taken on another mural artist, but the truth is, I have not met anyone who I really felt I gelled with, who was also a good artist and understands the customer service bit; that is important to me.
Then I received a request for work experience from a young lady at Bath University and as you know, I am passionate about helping young people who want to persue careers in the arts, so Sarah #2 as she is afffectionately known came and worked on a project with me. Hey presto, what a revelation, a great artist, gets the customer service, and is a thoroughly good, interesting fun person. So it seemed very silly not to get her to help me and hopefully along the way, me to help her become the great mural artist that she is destined to be. Welcome Sarah Daniels (Sarah #2), and here she is in her own words.
One of my earliest memories in primary school was being asked what my favourite subjects were, and I would always reply ‘break-time, PE and drawing’. Nothing really changed as I progressed through school – except I added ‘socialising’ to the list.
Throughout this time I struggled to decide what career I wanted – it ranged from being a dog breeder to a teacher, and from owning a hair-dressing salon to being a masseuse. At one point I wanted to be a doctor until dad got a huge blister which I couldn’t go near. It wasn’t until I was in Year 12 that I considered a career in art. At this point my goal was to be a child psychologist, but went to see a careers adviser who opened up a whole new window for me into the world of art.
That was it – I was hooked. I decided I was going to college to find out what I wanted to specialise in. I really enjoyed surface pattern and print design, so signed up for Bath Spa University for a Textile Design Degree. It wasn’t until my final year that I discovered a love for painting – the larger the better – after being commissioned to paint a few canvases over the summer months.
Designing the paintings as murals seemed the most logical way forward, and through research I discovered Sarah#1 at Charlotte Designs. She was eager for me to join her for work experience and we painted a story-book character mural for a school corridor in Peterborough. I learned so much as well as having a lot of fun, and I was able to use a lot of the skills and techniques which Sarah had taught me in my final designs at Uni. Following this I was invited to the New Designers show in London to promote my work.
Since leaving university this summer I’ve been busy with commissioned work and have expanded my portfolio to include portraits. I have again teamed up with Sarah#1 in painting a mural on the side of a bus, and I am so looking forward to what comes next.”
Anyone who would like to come and see us and meet Sarah #2, she will be with me at Build London at Olympia on 23rd and 24th October, where we are live muralling. We will also have a stand at Public Space Innovation at the NEC in Birmingham on 6th and 7th November.
And so to the next chapter and how exciting will it be…