Student Spotlight: Jodie Cooper

This week in the spotlight, we meet an Aussie named Jodie Cooper!

Q: Jodie, Give us a day in your life! Where are you from? When do you create? What else fills your days?
A:
 I’m an Interior designer that has become disillusioned with the way the world is turning, so I’ve decided to make it turn my way…..creatively.

I am from Perth, Western Australia and have been running my own Interior Design business for about 25 years now. Until recently I spent all my time running my business, but as the internet and TV shows made what we do seem like anyone could be a designer, my expertise and intellectual property has become a commodity rather than a billable expense. So now I am spending more time doing the things I love: travel, photography and sketching. They might not pay the bills but they certainly fill my soul.

Q: How did your creative journey start?
A: I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Prior to becoming an Interior Designer my almost-finished degrees include: Art Education and Costume Design for Theatre and Film.

Even with my background in drawing, over the past 10 years I became a slave to the computer, and I felt like I could not draw anymore. I was frozen in the land of self doubt until I signed up for an SBS course for beginners last September and now as they say, “the rest is history!”

Q: How do you fit art into your life right now? Are you involved in any other creative activities?
A: As a designer, every day is creative as I challenge myself to think outside of the box. I have a motto I recently had tattooed on my right forearm so I won’t ever forget. It says, Dream, Design, Create in honor of the idea that “If you can Dream it, You Can Design It , then you can Create it.” This is true of everything in life. I am also in the process of setting up my online interior design service with the same name.

Q: What is one idea, project, or artist that’s really inspiring you right now?
A: Setting up my online design service, which hopefully will pay the bills until I can master sketching for a living! I dream of being good enough to be employed to produce Interior sketches for design companies or brands as the computer generated images that have become the norm have no soul, personality or individuality.

I’m a huge fan of Liz Steel and I would love to be able to master her amazing style. I am also passionate about textiles and I love to travel to exotic and different countries to discover indigenous craftspeople and learn about their history and culture. Last year my partner and I travelled by motorbike across three Indonesian Islands, on the island of Sumba I spent a wonderful couple of weeks in staying with the King and Queen of Waingapu East Sumba home of the Prailiu weavers where they produce one of the most complex and beautiful single warp ikat cloths which take up to 6 months to weave. In January this year I spent a month in Cusco, Peru, which included a 10-day no-wifi retreat in the Sacred Valley with the shamans and medicine women from the Keros tribe. I am blessed that I can travel to fulfill my passions as a designer!

Q: What has your creative practice taught you?
A: To think outside of the box. I call it “free range brain” and it starts somewhere and ends up somewhere completely different which is always enjoyable.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to a brand new artist or someone who’s just recently joined SBS, what would it be?
A: 
The first line is the hardest….. But after that, you are on the road to adventure with a whole tribe of like-minded supporters that will cheer you on along the way.

You can see more of Jodie’s art on Instagram and her website!