The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Rhed Fawell: Rhed Fawell. Collagist and Printmaker. Self Employed.
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
RF: I love heading off on my own for a run or taking an early morning walk with my greyhound, Betty. I use this time to catch up on my podcasts or listen to music. I tend to use this peaceful time to drift off in a world of my own thoughts. I’ll plan my daily structure or think about ideas for new art works. I’m quite a home bird and adore relaxing in the evening by watching a film or catching up on boxsets. I read avidly and make the time to read pretty much most evenings. Although the majority of my collage work is very personal I draw inspiration from all of these areas of interest, music, books and film. I find this helps me to broaden out my subject matter and stops my work from becoming too self-absorbed.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
RF: I lectured for many years on a Graphics Design Degree course. I tried to balance this alongside my own practice but eventually found it difficult to combine the two. Teaching is so demanding - as is finding the time to achieve work that you truly feel happy with. I now work solely on my own creative practice - which I manage to balance nicely with my home life. I’m quite good at structuring my time and planning my schedule.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
RF: Most definitely the earlier hours of the day. I have a strict morning routine which involves organising my family, walking the dog and answering emails. Luckily, I’m obsessively organised with my time so I’m ready to start working by 10.00am. I tend to work through until 5.00pm. Then I can set aside the evenings to focus on my family and to wind down. For me, it’s really important to have sufficient time to relax and read.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
RF: I’m always striving to refine my processes. Each time I make a new collage I want it to be my best yet. I aim to broaden my knowledge, continue exploring my practice and remain open to new methods of working. I want to connect creatively with other like-minded practitioners and try and open up new opportunities - either through collaborations or one-off projects.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
RF: I recently set up the Edinburgh Collage Collective (ECC). We are a small group of collage artists who share a similar creative vision in our methods, materials and visual narratives. The aim of the collective is to create a network of collage artists to support each other, share ideas and promote interest in an area we all feel passionate about. We focus on workshops, exhibitions and public live events.
I’ve always enjoyed working collaboratively with other artists, whether it’s setting up exhibitions or sharing processes and ideas. This may well stem from my years of teaching - the open discussions regarding your area of interest and the constant exchange of dialogue. It’s a great way to really begin to question your practice and, importantly, to be open to learning from one another. Setting up the collective has enabled me to create a balance between those intense isolating phases when I am totally in my own head and those times when I’m meeting other artists and sharing in open discussion.
TCU: What scares you?
RF: The thought of not being able to hold my children—or of living in an uncaring and unjust society.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
RF: I don’t view success on a monetary level. You can make lots of cash, never want for anything materially, but feel empty inside. For me success is having the freedom and the ability in life to do something that you feel truly passionate about and can be proud of. That and retaining a moral sense-of-self and being able to sleep at night.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
RF: Be encouraging and supportive to your fellow humans
If you'd like to see more of Rhed's beautiful work and learn more about her, head over to www.rhedfawell.com.