Who is Diana Paterson and what do you do?
I am ultimately a Fine Artist working in Durban, KZN, mostly working in watercolour, pencil, ink and acrylic paint. But along with my fine art, I am the only specialist hand-poke tattoo artist in South Africa, a dancer, a clock maker, a needlework and knitting nut, and I am involved in several animal rescues.
Tell us about your work?
I love the idea of contrast and juxtaposition. Everything I do involves the play of two very different things against each other. This can best be seen in my favourite choice of media. I love the organic and unexpected nature of watercolour, paired with the regular and precise black pen dots and lines. I am a realistic artist by nature, but I thrive in taking the realism but applying it to what may be considered fantasy.
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by the thought that my work may change someone’s mind. I want my work to open up a different avenue of though, be an influence, and allow the viewer to subtly grow. Nothing makes people question their previously held beliefs by finding out that their beautiful animal portrait, or delicate landscape has actually been created by a heavily tattooed animal rescuer with blue hair.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a series of drawings and paintings based on the idea of turning the “camera” around, so to speak. Everything I am working on takes the focus away from the finished product, and turns it towards the artist and what they use to create the work. For example drawing the hands of fellow artists, the feet of dancers, and all the things that may possibly be considered mundane or even “ugly”.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Force yourself. Some days, you just don’t feel like being creative, but push yourself the hardest on those days. Find a Facebook Group or a group of fellow artists, and decide on an idea or “theme” for that day or week, then all work on it. The more work you have out there, the more likely it is that someone will one day come across it, and want to own a piece of it – because even starving artists need something to live on! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t be an artist if you only create part time, or that you need a qualification to become one. My greatest life lesson was getting my Fine Arts qualification…because it taught me that I didn’t need someone else telling me what to do. Do your “thang” and put it out there to get opinions from other artists, not just family and friends. Sometimes a dose of reality is what we all need. Not everyone is good at everything they try, and maybe oil painting isn’t your forte, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try drawing. One day you will find your niche – even if that niche is in helping others promote their art, which is a way of being creative too!
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
It may sound like a bit of a cliche, but every new piece of art that I put out there becomes a new highlight for me, because they are all so different. I love creating new pieces and showing them to the world.
Where can our readers follow your work?
Most of my past and present work is available to view on either my personal art Facebook page, The Artful Fox www.facebook.com/Artfulfox1 , or else on my business Facebook Page, The Hellfire Club www.facebook.com/hellfiretattoos (look for my Art folder)