Natalie Percy is another artist who has done a great full year at Debut Contemporary. We look back on the past 12 months with her:
What can we expect from Natalie Percy in 2013?
You can expect me to be working hard creating new pieces. I don’t want to rush my first solo show, I know exactly what I want to do and I’m going to spend this year making sure I’m on track to make this happen. I have recently been asked to create a commission so I shall be working on that for the next few weeks. I will keep you updated.
Natalie, you’ve just completed the full year at Debut working closely with Samir, Sophia and the rest of the team. How did you find the whole experience?
My experience at Debut has been a real journey, having always worked on ideas of other artists and designers within feature films and television I had never really reviled my own creative vision so this in itself was pretty daunting. I was kind of overwhelmed at the beginning sitting next to other artists during workshops scribbling down notes hoping that I got them all, being dyslexic I was very much concerned that I didn't want to be left behind, but that never happened. I got and understood them. I made instant friendships with other artists that, a year later, are very much a part of my life.
My one to one’s with Samir were invaluable, Sophia’s encouragement complimented that, and Kelvin put me out of my comfort zone which is a good thing right?
What was the most invaluable lesson you’ve learnt being part of Debut?
I think the most important thing I have learnt is to not think I’m any less important than the artist next to me.
What piece of advice would you give to all ambitious and talented artists willing to take a step in the right direction? What makes creative careers successful on all levels?
My advice would be do what makes you happy, believe in what you create and follow your heart because if you want honesty the heart knows best right? I will give you an answer on what makes creative careers successful in a couple of years if that’s ok!
Staying on board of Debut Contemporary for the full length of time may sound like you’ve overstayed your welcome. What made you decide to commit to it for the full 12 months as opposed to 6 or 9 months?
I don't think you can ever 'overstay your welcome' in the Art industry can you? I found that I stayed at Debut the full year because it suited me. It was something I needed in my life. I learnt some useful information during the first few months at the workshops and then spent the next few months creating work for various exhibitions .The final few months I’ve concentrated on the business side making connections, designing business cards and creating my website angelintheattic.co.uk.
Samir often talked about your career potentials and how you stand a good chance to massively succeed in what you do. What do you think he meant by that?
Well I think Samir firstly has a love of art and like all of us is probably is attracted to different art for different reasons, he is bound to choose artists to be a part of Debut that he has a connection with and with that he would want that artist to succeed. I think with my work it has a kind of fairytale feel so maybe it strikes a childlike reminiscence within him. I think he is aware that my work can also cross over to the design world and would sit very nice next to Tom Dixon's pieces in SPC, one of my favorite shops on Westbourne Grove. He is a business man, but I also think he has a lot to offer regarding support and belief in the confidence of artists. I know that I have a drive to go for things in life and I think Samir has that similar drive which makes us work well together.
Now that you’re qualified as a mentor of tomorrow, are you looking forward to passing on knowledge and expertise you’ve acquired and developed in the process?
I don't think I'm mentor material, I just believe that anyone who wants to create should just go for it and whichever path comes your way you should follow it! Even though we all have tough times, I’d like to think something amazing and unexpected is always around the corner.
What inspired you to become an artist in the first place?
I was never inspired to become an artist I just am.
What is your future vision? Where will Natalie Percy be in 2018?
I would hope that I could be in a position to create every day and would hope for my work to be instantly recognized. I definitely would love to make some Light Sculptures for Hotels, restaurants and bars internationally. It would be brilliant to walk into Claridges London and see 'Angel in the Attic I ' in copper in the reception area.
Another vision I have would be to be commissioned to create a much larger version of 'Angel in the Attic I ' in a public space for everyone to encounter, for me we can all relate to time no matter who you are, as a human being in some way or another time is a major part of your life on this planet.
How did you come across Debut Contemporary in the first place?
Well, I live just down the road from Debut Contemporary and I would walk past everyday with the dog. I’d look in and think: “maybe I should show them my work”. Sophia invited me in one day and to a private view. I went on my own and a photographer asked me if I was an artist, I said yes and he called Samir over and we chatted for a while. A few days later an invitation came for an interview and it progressed to me being part of debut.
How has your career changed as a result of being involved with Debut on both practical level as well as your future prospects?
I think my work being exhibited in debut has defiantly made me realize that there’s something brilliant about placing your work on public display, just getting feedback from people that you may otherwise never have met is invaluable. I think the future will be easier for having had this experience as I have a new found confidence and understanding of the art industry.
What’s your opinion on the importance of professional development of creative people, both artists and designers?
It’s incredibly important to have professional development as an artist or designer, Imagine not having the hard work and dedication of many creative individuals who have achieved this to get their vision out to the world for us to appreciate, it’s not an industry you can sit back and wait for.
Could you please share some of your success stories with us? You have managed to pull off some great artistic projects throughout 2012 that perhaps had not happened before, can you share one of your lessons with us as well as any scary moments you faced in the development stages and how you overcome all your concerns and obstacles to get to where you are today?
I was particularly pleased to have been chosen by Kira Heuer (Bib & Sola ) for the ‘Imbue’ pop up store in Mayfair. This was so exciting, she chose three pieces of my work to be shown alongside other creatives and artists, I particularly liked the jewellery made by Bex Rocks and even though I’m not a handbag woman I thought the Milli Milllu handbag collection looked beautifully made.
I think that doing the “pop up” for Kira’s dedication to water aid made it more important to me knowing that a percentage of the profit would go to the One Foundation to pay for a water pump in Malawi, having survived Meningitis from contaminated water as a child it was pretty close to my heart too.
I was asked by Natalie Bruyns to be a part of the Notting Hill exhibition 2012, I didn’t think I could create a piece in time. Some of my pieces are very complex regarding the metal process, I had a friend who was working with me, but he had to get on with making runways for the Olympics so I was left to source other help. But I did this and finished the piece on time .I could have just dropped out but I work better under pressure so a lot of the time my finest work is produced this way.
We would also like to ask you some personal questions:
Who is your favourite artist?
My favourite artist has to be someone who gets under my skin, who makes me think.
Who and what inspires you?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by very individual, powerful women, who no doubt inspire me. when I was younger that was my tutor Kate Adams who has been awarded an MBE in May of 2012 for her work as co-founder and Director of 'Artworks' for her services to Art and Disabilities in Hastings She put me on the right path to be the artist I wanted to be. I will always be inspired by her.
I find it easy to be inspired by people who are excited about life, when I’m with friends bouncing ideas of each other that’s when I feel really inspired.
Do you have a favourite designer, both fashion and jewellery?
I don’t really have much fashion knowledge being pretty ‘Scruffy’ I like to wear Supra trainers and Jeans, but I have to say the French fashion designer Thierry Mugler is brilliant having designed Beyoncé’s famous gold Robot suit which I love.
I have a Pandora bracelet; this to me is a great idea as I can have a story of moments in my life on my wrist at all times.
Artists are, just like designers, active in a very creative field. Are there plans to collaborate with one or more designers or creatives in the future?
I’d like to do a “Pop up exhibition ‘ with some of the alumni artists . But I would also like to collaborate with Carne Griffiths and Anne Vinogradoff , I do have a couple of ideas I’d like to run past them both in the future.
What are you currently reading and where is your next holiday?
I'm not currently reading anything because I find it too difficult, I read comic books and make sure I pick up Wallpaper Magazine every month which gives me amazing photography to look at but most of the time I'm too busy drawing!
Next holiday I'd like to be going to New York although I think a log cabin with a wood burner would be just perfect.
Anything else you’d like to add that we did not get to ask you?
It took me 5 hours 24 minutes and 19 seconds to answer your questions whilst having Batman on in the background.