Leigh & Paula Interview the Artist

A video series exploring what it means to be an artist, selling your work online, in the 21st century

Episode 001 with Katerina Kestemont

Katerina moved to Zurich when she was 20, without speaking a word of German.

After 13 years she dropped everything and moved to the beautiful Swiss Riviera.

She has travelled all over the world, has slept in tents in the desert, cut gemstones and dug in gemstone mines, and even had a close encounter with a snake.

Katerina practised aikido for 10 years which introduced her to meditation and self reflection.

Spirituality has become important in her life and is visible in her art.

She working daily towards her dream of becoming a full time artist and sharing her divine feminine art with the world

Episode 002 with Sheina Hemstreet

Sheina has a past streaked with excitement and adversity. From leaving home at 16, dropping out of high school and struggling with mental health to taking full advantage of her 20s living on the beach, marrying her twin flame, cooking on international television, and attending the births of over 50 babies before the age of 35.

She naturally adopted an entrepreneurial spirit. Exploring all her passions from food and event planning to sacred birth work and personal coaching.

Now, she lives her most authentic life. Raising the collective vibration through self-care guidance and creative expression.

Episode 003 with Angel Burns

In 2017 Angel started a core healing process that ignited her art career. It would take another 18 months of stripping back layers to find who Angel was. Time spent in nature, attending gong baths, collaborating with local business women to be her naked self in the woods, propelled her towards self love and care.

Episode 004 with Julie Wrathall

Julie is a fine artist based in Hertfordshire, in the UK.

She specialises in the ancient art form of encaustic painting which means she paints with hot molten beeswax.

Having been taught that art was ‘just a hobby’ she didn’t believe a career in the arts was possible until eight years ago when she won a competition at Tate Modern in London, which changed everything!

Julie now creates individual works of art, filled with texture and light, and sells them through her website and social media channels. She also teaches encaustic painting skills to others.

She loves to share the joy and therapeutic qualities of wax paintings, and believes something magical happens during that exchange.

Episode 005 with Vanessa Simone

Vanessa began her career as a photojournalist before she discovered her joy in designing geometric art.

At an early age she discovered that she had special intuitive gifts.

Her intuition is what drives her to create geometric designs and she sees that even our own human DNA is a geometric pattern unique to each of us.

Born and mostly raised in Canada, Vanessa also lived part her early years in the the deliciously soulful city region of Atlanta where Chicken and Waffles isn’t just a meal but a way of life!

When life gets tough, Vanessa can be found in her babe cave watching the Golden Girls on repeat or enjoying long walks in nature!

She also loves to sing karaoke with her fiance Stephen and with her contemporary band Cavatina.

Episode 006 with Anna Gibson

Anna Gibson – fine artist and painter extraordinaire, started out as a potter.

She navigated many mundane jobs before going to uni as a mature student.

That was a time of contrasts, eating eggy bread and sausages to stretch the budget whilst delighting in driving her little MG Midget sports car!

After student days came teaching and dabbling with clay in college potteries.

Following a nomadic lifestyle she raised a family of 3 super kids, setting up home in widespread counties across the UK and finally settling in Yorkshire.

Working alongside the curator in a college gallery developed Anna’s thirst for painting. She is still thirsty!

Episode 007 with Belle Camby

After losing a loved one traumatically in 2016, Belle Camby was struggling with depression and addiction. Painting became the way to overcome these obstacles and gave her a voice.

She ditched her 9-5 to spend endless hours in nature, and finding her true self through meditation and mindfulness.

Now she is collaborating with organisations and advocacy groups in order to share her journey and empower others to use creativity as therapy to heal and give voice to their trauma.

Episode 008 with Jo Ross

Jo Ross is a 41 year old, 2 times breast cancer survivor from Australia who is passionate about living a happy, meaningful, fun-filled life.

Being diagnosed with cancer at age 33 gave her the courage to really question what she wanted to do with her life.

She started travelling and exploring the world and eventually fell in love with the Island of Tasmania, its forests, waterfalls and animals.

This is where she draws her inspiration from for sculpting her adorable miniature animals and plants in her own unique style.

Jo has walked away from a lucrative career as a health coach to pursue her passion.

Episode 009 with Lise Couture

Lise left her French Canadian hometown 18 years ago and started a new life in the Irish countryside.

She swapped her hospital kitchen aprons for vinyls, scalpels and squeegees; applied graphics on heavy machinery and in 2015, she binged on learning traditional crafts.

Lise is the family business bookkeeper and a specialised sign supplier to civil engineers all over Ireland.

She never anticipated of being an artist one day.

Lise works part-time as an abstract artist in her home studio in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, where she loves to embark on creative intuitive mark makings with no end in mind.

Her work has been described as joyful, unique and innovative by her global art collectors. She has exhibited in London, Milan and Florence to name a few.

She is working towards becoming a full time artist and bringing more joy to professionals in their living and working spaces.

Episode 010 with Louise Barson

Louise, 61, is like one of those self-balancing toys with the motto “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”. Whatever curve balls life has thrown her Louise puts a smile on her face and gets on with it.

Whilst kicking cancer in 2013 she lost both parents within 5 months of each other; then her brother in 2016.

Louise didn’t want to put “retired” on her 2016 passport renewal form. Andy, her husband, suggested that she put “artist” as her occupation as Louise had frequently mentioned she’d like to try painting. But with a fast-paced corporate career and then her own business; she’d never found the time.

So, having described herself as an artist on an official document Louise set about becoming one.

Louise finds painting different themes all linked by a colourful palette & connected in some way to the natural world to be truly thrilling. Her passion and energy come across in her paintings and projects which can be found in exhibitions around the North West. 2019 saw her decorating a 5ft 6” frog for a public sculpture trail.

Louise shares her passion for being actively arty by teaching people in 1 to 1 sessions or small groups and by helping to run a local art group. She embraces her occupation as an artist – one she need never retire from!

Episode 011 with Moya Ni Cheallaigh

Moya Ni Cheallaigh is a figure and portrait artist based in the West of Ireland. Her beautiful and unique use of monochromatic watercolour or charcoals and her eye for capturing the emotion in a moment, has led to a steady stream of commissions from Ireland, the UK and even America over the last few years.

Graduating in 2015 with a Hons BA in Fine Art Painting, from Limerick School of Art and Design and initially pursuing a B.Ed in Education and Music Moya was a Primary school teacher for many years in Dublin.

Coming from a family of artists, her love of drawing came to the forefront in her 20s when she was learning to deal with a life changing autoimmune disorder. Despite this setback she managed to return to teaching for another 10 years; all the while taking night classes in the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Join us while we discuss her journey and how she eventually became a full-time artist!

Episode 012 with Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace is a digital artist who has lived almost half his life in Africa. He has been a graphic designer since his teens but has always had a deeper love of art which he’s managed to find through touchscreen technology.

Six years ago he had a relationship breakup and this spurred him on in his painting and he began the journey exploring this medium and discovering the joyful freedom of being able to express his most inner self though his many works.

His love of the ocean has been a great inspiration to him, born in a fishing village on the north coast of Scotland, he truly has the sea in his veins.

Episode 013 with Manya Welch

As a child Manya would often have conversations with her higher self, and from the age of 14 her grandmother and mother cultivated her psychic intuition through Armenian coffee cup readings.

In her early twenties Manya walked away from a relationship, a dead end job and her home to follow a new path. That path led to her to pursue her love of art.

It was in 2009 that she used her love of art to start creatively expressing nature’s aura.

As she painted more and more she was able to merge her psychic intuition with her art. A flurry of images and messages would present itself, messages that spoke about our humanity, the power of the collective consciousness, of hope, of unconditional love and of courage.

In 2019 she emerged in to the public light as an inspired artist creatively expressing what she calls the messages of the soul.

She has since won two international art awards and been published twice and has collectors all around the world.

Episode 014 with Deb Soromenho

Deb is a self-proclaimed new experience junkie and has spent a good portion of her life exploring the world.

She travels every chance she gets, visiting many amazing places including India, Morroco, Dubai, and Australia.

She has made several huge life-changing moves across the US from Los Angeles to Washington DC to currently Austin, TX. She also gladly dives head-first into every new adventure that comes her way.

It is this lust for exploration and discovery that drives her art. She wants to take people on a journey with her art, helping them embrace their curious nature and feel a connection with the wonders and mysteries of the world with her light-hearted, inquisitive mandala and mixed media art.

Deb’s secondary passion is teaching self-awareness and acceptance. She holds workshops on mindfulness through mandalas, has a daily live-cast where she draws and discusses meditation mandalas and invites viewers to draw along with her, and she is currently in the process of creating an oracle deck that focuses on helping you to accept and love your whole self and features another of her favourite things… mermaids!

Episode 015 with Lynda Bell

Lynda is a Painter, illustrator and storyteller living in the far north of New Zealand.

She began her adulthood as a teacher and swiftly discovered burnout due to neglecting her creativity.

She spent several years studying various things including education, make-up artistry and art therapy in her search for a fulfilling career.

It wasn’t until a major earthquake shook her city, and uprooted her family, that she decided that life was too precious to be doing anything other than what aligned with her true self.

And that was to be an artist. She studied art for four years, and at the end of her degree, won a scholarship for a free studio for a year and a solo exhibition.

And she has been making art, exhibiting and selling it worldwide ever since.

Episode 016 with Dermot O'Brien

Irish born Dermot O´Brien creates amazingly beautiful light sculptures made of wood.

But that came years after studying civil engineering at U.C.D. and travelling and becoming a hippie in the late glorious final years of the 60’s.

He ended up living in Germany where he still resides 50 years later.

He took up woodworking as a hobby and made shelves and cabinets. And ultimately a lamp. One evening he was sitting at the other side of the room and noticed the interplay of wood and light and had his eureka moment. “This is something I want to work with.”

He continued to make his light sculptures ever since.

He sells mainly at craft fairs in Germany.


Now with the changing circumstances he’s focusing on selling his work online.

Episode 017 with Penny Sharp

Penny won her first art prize at age 4 and consequently dreamed of going to art school and becoming a great master.

Since graduating with a few degrees she has almost exclusively used her skills and knowledge to enable other people to follow their dreams and fulfil their artistic desires.

Now she feels it is time for a change – she wants to move her focus onto to meeting her own needs and desires and return to the dream she had at 4 years old and make them a reality.

Penny views art as a dialogue, a language that can be used to have a conversation about anything and everything. Images are an instigator – a starting point – a method of mediation that allow access to a variety of different experiences which can be communally shared.

Since 2009 she has been creating a project called ‘iamconsumer’ in which she has documented each and every physical item she has bought right up until the present day.

The series of work that she is promoting during the 100 Days to Raving Fans programme however is inspired by some of the unique architecture located in Glasgow’s city centre.

Episode 018 with Sandy Kaunisto

Sandy was accused of cheating in 6th grade because her drawing of the map of Alaska was so precise but, she proved everyone wrong years later. Sandy graduated Summa cum laude with a degree in Scientific and Medical Illustration & Cultural Anthropology.

Since then… Sandy has been an artist, archaeologist, photographer, explorer, graphic designer, wife, mother, volunteer and athlete.

Fast Forward 53 Years . . .

May 30, Sandy turned 65 and retired. Sandy began exploring hobbies, testing creativity, designing Kumihimo braids, discovering lampwork beads and the artisans that create these wondrous artistic beads, wire wrapping pendants and studying marketing.

Today she redirects her energy to created Sandy Kaunisto Jewellery.

Episode 019 with Annemarie Greenwood

Annemarie was likely born singing, “the hills are alive…”—yes, she was born in alpine Austria surrounded by majestic mountains. Imagine the contrast, which is much evident in her art today, when she was a kid her family immigrated to the industrial suburb of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

Armed with the double-edged sword of perfectionism, she valiantly tried with some success to be a model, basketball player and French horn player. Her nascent interest in visual arts would reappear when she became an elementary school art teacher, which gave her the opportunity to hone her personal artistic skills while sharing her passion for art with her young students.

Yoga paralleled her interest in art and upon retirement she became a certified yoga teacher opening her own home studio.

So, what do we have today?

An artist who embraces perfectionism in techniques, whose message is spiritual imbued with a desire to share her appreciation of colour, expression and design through her art.

Episode 020 with Avesha DeWolfe

As a die hard ocean lover, clay provides a way for Avesha to pay homage and respect to her main source of inspiration and the place that refuels her. Avesha has had her hands in clay since she was 10, it is a part of her now.

Avesha’s mission for Spiral Tide Potter is to make high Quality ocean-inspired wares that encourage you to slow down and take a moment for yourself. Every moment you sit down to sip a cup of coffee or enjoy a meal from a piece of handmade pottery enriches your day. Those moments add up to a life well-lived.

Through form and surface treatment, Avesha’s work reflects her life-long enchantment with the ocean and rocky beaches of Maine, where she grew up. In Scotland, where she lives now, the enchantment continues. Avesha’s work brings together this deep love for the sea and a sense of whimsy into a piece of artwork for your hands.