It wasn’t until Llewellyn Skye enrolled in an evening drawing course in her late 20s that she found something she could be truly passionate about. Her enthusiasm and talent wasn’t lost on her teacher either. She suggested Llewellyn try out for the National Art School (NAS). She was accepted, however, during this period sculpture was her stronger subject and so she majored in that while completing her degree in Fine Arts in 2005. Afterwards, she went to Tafe to get a diploma in painting too. “I knew the minute I walked into NAS that I wanted to make it my life,” Llewellyn says. “I’ve always visualised myself working as an artist in some shape or form since that point.” Now based on the Gold Coast, Llewellyn is represented by Lorraine Pilgrim and Artegiro in Florence, Italy.
Which five words best describe you? Stubborn, creative, busy, loving and earthy.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Lorraine [Pilgrim, art dealer] was definitely my career start - thank you, beautiful Lorraine - and my path has been painting and now heading into design. Watch this space.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? I’m really bad at lessons. I’m learning all of the time and lessons seem to reoccur to remind me or come and go at different times. Right now I would say to believe in yourself. But ask me again down the track and it will be totally different.
What’s your proudest career achievement? In 2010 I was selected to go to Italy for a painting residency the following year. I stayed in Montefiascone, Tuscany, and painted in a convent, exhibited - which later travelled through Italy and France - and met the most amazing people. It gave me the opportunity to make a connection with the European market, to establish a wonderful partnership with Renata Summo-O'Çonnell at Artegiro - whom I owe so much to - my international representation, and to see galleries in Paris and Rome, England, Scotland and Switzerland. Absolutely life-changing.
What’s been your best decision? Artistically, it would be to go to Italy. It was such a big thing to leave my young family but it had such a huge impact on me personally and creatively. I still think about it all the time.
Who inspires you? Apart from a long list of many artists, my big fave is Ben Quilty. The people who inspire me at this stage in my life are women who can balance and succeed at working for themselves, creatively - or not - whilst raising young children at the same time. I love hearing about their stories and how they do it as it gives me hope that I can do the same. Also, people who combine an art and design career really well. I’m fascinated and love seeing how they balance both genres.
What are you passionate about? Hands down, art. Also, dancing. It was a huge part of my life growing up, I feel free when I dance, but the only dancing I do now is to the music channel with a six and three year old.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Can I pick two? Ben Quilty and Frida Kahlo.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To go back to Europe. I have many more things that I need to accomplish there.
What are you reading? To be honest I’m so tired after running around after three little kids, my husband, working, painting, studying and trying to squeeze in a life that I’m taking the lazy option at the moment - I have subscribed to Netflix. Orange is the New Black is my equivalent to a good book. Love it.
images courtesy of llewelyn skye