Most people find it quite difficult to turn their passion into a career. Some people find it difficult to even identify what their passion is. Unlike Fieldey. Fieldey’s got two passions. Fieldey is an artist. Fieldey is a gidget. And she managed to combine these two passions to make a living.
Read in her interview with Venus Goes Gidget how she did it.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m originally from Norfolk Island, but now I live in Perth, Western Australia and I paint under the name Fieldey. My work could probably be described as a slightly mad mix of surf/graffiti/tattoo art and I specialise in painting on surfboards. The other thing that I do is create YouTube tutorials and run workshops to teach others how to get crazy with their surf and skateboards too!
How did you get into painting surfboards?
I’ve been arty since I was a kid, but when I finished school I was encouraged to get into graphic design as a way to make money out of art. Fast forward 10 years later and I was still working as a designer but I was really unhappy about it… but I didn’t have a focus for what kind of art I wanted to make. The catalyst for change was moving to Perth and taking up surfing ~ I was totally hooked! I painted my first surfboard just for fun, my brother filmed the process and we chucked it up on YouTube and… ‘Fieldey’ was born! It was such a strange thing… I never ever thought I’d be a surfboard artist, but painting on boards was the thing that gave me the focus to achieve my dream of becoming an artist.
What do you love the most about your job?
Ahhh! I love everything about my job, except possibly the accounting side… but some of the stuff I love has been the unexpected things – like meeting new people and making new friends who share the same passion as me. I also love just being able to play and experiment… I hardly feel you can call what I do a ‘job’ when it’s this much fun!
What does a typical day look like in the life of Fieldey?
It’s so incredibly variable – if I’m in the middle of a painting, I’ll be obsessively painting all day, but if I’m not… well, I’ll try to get out for a surf or go to the gym before getting stuck into some promotional stuff, writing blog posts, filming a YouTube clip or working on my online store… and then I’ll catch up with friends or hang out with my partner in the evening.
It certainly helps that you are one talented gidget. What if you are not an artistic gidget like you, can I still make my board look good and unique without breaking the bank?
Oh gosh yes! Slinging paint around is so much fun – I try to encourage everyone to have a go, you don’t have to be a pro to create something unique and cool! I’ve got some secret skills up my sleeve that you can easily achieve with some spray paint, masking tape, palm leaves or even your dishwashing detergent… The word on the street is that Sydney-side Gidgets are going to be able to spend a day exploring their creative side and painting their boards with me in the near future… so stay tuned for that.
What’s the plan for the future?
Well, apart from being wildly famous and buying my own private island… it’s really to do what I love, to keep creating and to inspire people to do the same.
One last advice you’ve got for aspiring artists, gidgets and other passionate peeps out there?
For all the aspiring artists, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was: draw every single day. Seriously, grab a sketchbook and go outside and draw stuff… it will be one of the best things you can do for your practice. For all the non-visual artist creative and passionate peeps out there: make time to do what you love and what enriches your life and be open to new opportunities… becoming a surf artist was a product of circumstance and serendipity for me, but I’m so glad I was open to the opportunity and gave it a go – you never know where something might take you!
We loved Fieldey’s story as it’s the story of a woman truly inspired through surfing. We actually loved her story so much that we’ve decided to fly her into Sydney and run an exclusive workshop just for you gidgets where you can get creative with Fieldey. Bring a favourite board along and she’ll show you the basics of prepping your board to paint, painting techniques, as well as working with you to create some old-school surf retro spray masterpieces. No experience is needed, pre-registeryour interest now, spots are limited!