Posted: Fri 23rd Sep 2011
"It really makes me happy when somebody asks me to do a painting for them or wants to buy a painting I've produced to put on their wall," reveals Katie Muckle, whose Katie Muckle Art has earned the votes to receive Â£150 from Fund101. "But I've been struggling to get interest in my work because people don't know about me.
"I've just started a website, but people mostly know about me through friends and family. So I really need the money for promoting myself," the 27-year-old Preston-based artist continues. "I want to spend it on flyers, business cards and a banner to take to craft fairs. I'm planning to do a lot of craft fairs this year." Though she works as a personal assistant and office manager for a firm of chartered surveyors and architects, Katie's ambition is to turn her lifelong love of art into a full-time living. "I've had an interest in drawing and painting since primary school and at high school it was the only homework I wanted to do!," she laughs. "I got an A* in Art at GCSE and went on to college to do an A-level. Then I did a foundation course at university and took a degree in fine art." Katie received her first commission while still at university and has continued accepting paid work since. But it wasn't until a year ago that she decided she'd like to turn her part-time income into a business. "I set up a page on Facebook and started putting my paintings on and got lots of comments from friends," she recalls. It was the spur she needed to set up herÂ Katie Muckle Art website. "I'm still in the process of becoming a business and it's all very new yet. But I'm getting there bit by bit." Working with acrylics on canvas, Katie specialises in atmospheric landscapes - but her work is nevertheless distinctively personal. "I've recently done a commission for a groom who wanted to give his bride a present for her wedding day and it was the place where he proposed to her." "I'm doing four or five commissions a year at the moment, but I'm still getting up and running really," she emphasises. "I'd like to double it. I'm looking to get to the next level."
"I was getting everybody on Facebook to vote for me, and on Twitter as well," Katie explains. "I was telling people where to vote, what I needed the money for and how I was doing. "But I've also got a friend who has 24,000 followers on Twitter and I asked him to tweet for me. Lots of people retweeted it and he gave me shout-outs, and I got lots of people following me on Twitter from him!"
"I'd just really like to keep selling. Next year I'd like to see if I can get my paintings into a few galleries locally for sale. In the future I'd really like my own shop that commissions and sells my paintings, and other people's, too. I'd also like to get into glass art, but that's a pricey thing to do"¦"