"Big disappointments are rarely as bad as they seem"

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Hatty, 23, Painting Student

By Orla Loughran Hayes

What is your biggest struggle as a millennial?

Probably the rent prices, living in London as a student. I don’t think London is a good place to be a young creative. There are great galleries, events, people but the rent prices are cripplingly high. I know a couple of people who studied in London, then moved outside it after graduating and are planning on moving back once they’ve established their career. I think that’s a good idea, and I might do the same. Otherwise, I might spend so much time working that there would be little time to make any art.

Do you think a degree is worth much in today’s job market?

I’m hoping to be self-employed, so I’m not sure I’ll be getting a job as such, but for other people, I think that a degree still matters. Depends on the job you’re going for. I’m sure it’s possible to make it without a degree but I kind of assume it tends to be a base standard requirement. 

What advice would you have given yourself five years ago?

At certain times in my life, I have been unnecessarily socialising. Wasting time; going out a lot when I could’ve been doing something more productive.

How would you apply that same advice from five years ago, now?

I would be wary of wasting time. However, I also think it’s important to relax and not to stress out too much. I used to stress out about work a lot and I still do. I reckon an old me would be like ‘chill out’. That’s what I would say to an older me too: chill out!

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"I don’t think London is a good place to be a young creative"

What would your perfect scenario be?

It would have to be a successful career and living in a nice house with a studio in North London; I love the Hampstead area, it’s so gorgeous. I would be making money from my paintings and band, and I would have a holiday home somewhere nice and hot like the south of France. That’s the dream!

What’s been your biggest life lesson?

At one point I got rejected from every art school that I had applied for, and I applied for all of them! I had done my art foundation and was taking a gap year. I was so busy working as a model that my art went down-hill and all of my art school applications were terrible. At the time it felt like a massive deal. It felt like the end of the world. I applied again, and now I’m studying at school of my first choice. This experience taught me loads. It made me realise that life goes on and those big disappointments are rarely as bad as they seem. I had to find the confidence in myself and my work and try again.

What pushed you to want to want to become an Artist?

I come from a creative background. My dad was a set and costume designer. My mum was a director. They met through their theatre connection. So I was brought up in quite an arty household, and I was just naturally attracted to visual art at school, much more so than any other subject.

What do you love about art?

It’s nice to look at. It’s colourful and fun, and enjoyable. It’s a really loose way of having philosophical ideas and communicating them to people in a visual form. It’s basically like one person saying ‘hey I think this is interesting or beautiful’ and other people can form their own opinions; they can agree or disagree.

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