The wonderful Salina Jane is an artist, illustrator, printmaker, knitter and allotment queen! We are over the moon that she joined us as one of our Coffee Ambassadors, especially as now our stories can intertwine.
Enjoy meeting Sal...
How long have you been doing your illustration?
I’ve been making art since I could put paint on my fingers, through my fine art degree at Art School and whilst I built a commercial career, to now where I have been a full-time artist for the last three years.
What has been your greatest achievement in that field to date?
Publishing my book ‘The Journey Shawl’ which I created with my husband Luke. I love that it tells real stories about real people and is also about another of my favourite passions, knitting!
What have you achieved that you were not expecting?
A whole new career doing my dream job!! Making art and sharing the love of art through teaching, exhibiting and collaborating. I feel like I have reinvented myself claimed the life I want, that makes me happy.
What are your goals?
To just keep making art, and be able to share it and the stories it tell through my work. It’s a great privilege to be an artist and I hope to share that power for good!
How much time do you dedicate to your art?
As much as I can, but occasional admin and work I do within HR consultation distract sometimes, along with my very distracting cat of course.
What does it give you?
Making art is freedom, it gives me a voice. I do a lot of work about my cultural heritage and through my art telling stories that aren’t well known about the Indo Caribbean experience, indentureship and the impact of migration and colonialism.
What is the hardest thing about it?
You need to be disciplined and determined and not get distracted, even artists need a business strategy!!! To be an independent artist these days you need to also be an accountant, marketing and social media expert, businessperson, salesperson, client liaison office, IT expert, teacher and many other things as well as being a creative.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of having made art my career! It was a nerve-racking to quit my really magnificent executive role and become an artist. But it works.
Do many of your friends do this too?
I have friends in so many different backgrounds, including artists. It’s great to connect with people from all different backgrounds and from different walks of life! The more diverse the better.
Top tips for anyone wanting to get involved or already involved?
Draw every day, just draw, be creative, have fun with art. It’s all about expressing yourself, all you need is paper and a pencil and there are so many ways to be creative beyond that.
What else do you enjoy?
I love to knit, especially jumpers, shawls and socks, occasionally I crochet and spin yarn too and I sew and dress-make. I grow my own food, I have an allotment and a garden – lucky me. It’s the best feeling in the world to pick something you’ve grown and eat it straight away, after you’ve drawn the veggie of course. I also practice yoga every day.
I love chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate ice-cream, and mocha – I love mocha…. Did you know that when you get the cocoa powder out, the party starts all over again with Partied out Panda® haha!
Who inspires you - Professionally and personally?
I’m inspired by the people around me, and they are always the inspiration behind my drawings. I created a series of illustrations called ‘Let me Illustrate your Lives and Loves’ and those illustrations were a pivotal point in my journey as an artist. With these drawings I created illustrations of people’s real-life stories, the things and experiences that they were passionate about and their own journeys. It was an intimate project as I really got an insight into people’s lives and relationships. My subjects shared really special memories and stories. It was a real honour to create those pictures! My friends are my muse and they are used to me drawing them now…
What makes you laugh?
My husband Luke, he is so funny!!!
What is the most annoying thing about people?
I don’t like racism, bigotry, prejudice or intolerance.
What would make you talk to someone at a party?
I will talk to anyone and everyone at a Party!!!
Do you have pets?
Magik the Bengal Cat AKA Shouty – he is Loud!!!
What is your mood generally?
I’m a happy, positive person.
What do you listen to when drawing?
Billy Bragg, Bob Marley, Bill Withers, Matha Tilston
What do you read/watch?
I love sci-fi, Star Trek especially. I love to read poetry and graphic novels! ‘Ethel and Ernest’ by Raymond Briggs is just wonderful!
Please do check our Sal's Ambassador Page, we're sure you'll delight in seeing more!