Q + A with Chloe Esmee
Chloe is a London based artist specializing in watercolor botanicals and pet portraits. Her goal is to make a home feel like a home with her paintings.
1. When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
I know it’s cliché, but art really was my first passion and hobbie. My Mum has so many photos of me with crayons in my hand scribbling away as a little toddler (hopefully my art has improved a bit!). I studied art at school but did philosophy and politics at Uni under the pressure to take a more traditional route in life. I ended up working in the creative industry anyway after graduating, for a package design agency. I actually worked in operations but had the opportunity to sketch one of our concepts to put forward to our clients and they ended up choosing that route. It reignited my passion for art and I started to get commissions through family and friends which I did on the weekends. Five months ago I took the scary decision to quit my job and the London Rat Race in pursuit of my art and have never looked back!
2. What struggles do you face?
The biggest struggle is probably working alone all the time. I really miss the company of working in a team (especially at lunch) and having other people to bounce ideas off. Although I definitely prefer painting alone with no distractions, when it comes to marketing my work or approaching businesses to stock my work I have to try and figure it out on my own - luckily I still have designer friends who help out! Marketing is definitely the second biggest struggle – trying to cut through all the noise on social media and connect with people, whilst at the same time avoiding the impulse to change your work to appeal to what other people like.
3. What has been the most rewarding experience thus far?
At age 16 our school got our final art pieces for the year exhibited at a local gallery. Someone actually contacted me to try and purchase the work but my Mum didn’t let me sell it (it’s hanging in her house now). It was hugely flattering to think that someone was willing to part with their hard earned cash to purchase something I’d created.
4. Are there any particular artists whom you admire?
There are so many artists!! I have such an eclectic appreciation, from John Constable to Georgia O'keeffe, Edvard Munch to Grayson Perry. I saw a Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition in Verona last year and was obsessed with his work. I love the boldness in his strokes and how he completely captures the energy and mood of whatever he’s painting. Particularly a painting of his that transports you back to a bohemian Parisian bar in the late 19th Century.
5. What's next for you in 2018?
I’ve predominately worked in watercolour this year so far, so I’d love to do a collection of botanical inspired pieces in oils & acrylics; something more free and loose. I’m also in talks to get my art prints in select stores in London so watch this space!