Creative Spotlight | River Wilson


River-Wilson-1.png Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make

I am a 30 year old neurodivergent & queer artist with a focus on water based mediums such as watercolour and gouache. I’ll paint anything with a passion for the beauty of the world, however I have a distinct passion for portraits and capturing the unique characteristics of a person. When I’m not painting or reading, I’m working in software support currently within the national wool industry.

River-Wilson-2.png What is a creative project that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? Why?

What makes me most proud is when a creative work I take part in communicates a part of the world to others. During 2021 and 2022 I was able to take part in a Documentary through AFTRS and write various articles for Non-Profit organizations regarding the LGBTQIA+ experience. The articles centered around elements such as body image and explorations of the online trans experience. I’m always proud of works I do that aim to highlight a part of humanity and work to make the world a better place.

River-Wilson-3.png Whereabouts do you look for creative ideas? Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by the beauty in the world and by other artists. I look to other artists and other creations within the world for inspiration. Whether it’s another painter who’s style or technique inspires me or a photography model, seeing the creativity within the world sparks something in me. A great recent example of this is in an art gallery, spending time sketching the sculptures was a fruitful exercise.

Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?

A blowdryer. Really though, I love when everyday objects provide that little shortcut to improve a process or to make things easier. A blowdryer is every watercolor artist’s best friend, speeding up the drying of the paint. A coin is perfect for on the go shapes in a sketchbook. My favorite tools are the ones you wouldn’t expect to find in an art store.

River-Wilson-4.png What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?

Part of being an artist is wanting to grow and change your style and develop through each day and season of being an artist. This can be a rocky path to take – you don’t know if this medium will click or if this new trick you’ve thought of will make or break the piece you’re working on. Each piece is a love and hate experience that we hope will work out and come to break through its potential ugly phase and really click, particularly when trying something new.

Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?

Draw and create every day and study other artists, particularly the styles of artists you admire. The more your style grows and develops through these two practices the more you’ll be able to

be real in your creativity and have a style authentic to yourself, developed through a mosaic of the things you encounter in your creative journey. It is something that your audience can latch onto and grow through.

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