Words: Simon Paterson
Images: Rosana Coll
Meet the hugely talented local artist and mum of three, Rosana Coll.
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Rosana: I have always loved art and had an urge to create things from a very young age. I am in my element when I am covered in muck, splashing paints around.
Prior to being a self-employed artist, did you do any other jobs?
Rosana: I’ve had mainly office jobs but found myself doodling a lot! I may have been told off a couple of times for doodling. Prior to this though I went to Chesterfield College and studied art and design, then I went on to Manchester Uni, but at the time I was a little bit more into my social life than my studies and left before I finished the course.
Weren’t we all at that age… Manchester is a good uni, so you must have been pretty talented from a young age?
Rosana: I hope but I wouldn’t like to say so…
So, you contacted us to take on our cover artist challenge. I take it you read our magazine.
Rossana: Well, I went in to get a tyre fixed at John’s tyre’s…
Quick plug there for John’s tyre’s, that’s where I go as well.
Rosana: Haha, S41 magazine was sat in the waiting room, the one with the front cover that Brenden Jones did (Issue 6 – June, mega!) which made me pick it up. I saw inside that there is a competition to design your front cover art. I decided to get in touch and here we are. I recognised Brenden’s work as we know each other from hanging round in similar social circles years ago and we follow each other’s work on Instagram. I hope he doesn’t mind me entering the competition.
Brenden’s a pretty chilled guy, I can’t see him getting upset with anyone really…His front cover is amazing.
So, what was your creative process for designing the front cover?
Rosana: First I asked Bekah (S41 Editor) what she had in mind and then I headed off into town for some inspiration with a camera and a sketchbook. I sat on a bench near the market, had a few chats with some people about town. What did strike me was the number of empty shops in the town centre. Predominantly left by large chain stores. I then noticed that keeping the town alive are old and new independent, local businesses and at the heart of it is the market and I wanted to reflect that in the image.
I agree. What we are seeing is a rise in locally owned businesses entering the town centre, providing either services or experiences, which is great.
Rosana: I think they make the town more diverse and interesting. Coffee shops don’t seem to be struggling though.
Two jobs and two kids, coffee is the only thing getting me through the day right now!
So, you mentioned you have multiple children, how do you find the time to be creative?
Rosana: I don’t have a TV, well technically I do, but don’t have any channels. If I have any free time, which can be rare, I’m pretty much sat drawing and painting. I do watch the occasional documentary and YouTube video I must admit. I have a great family around me, my mum and dad help with the kids, which frees me up a little.
Well, they say it takes a village to raise a child! I don’t know what we’d do without the grandparents, aunties and uncles etc….
How many kids do you have?
Rosana: I have three children; Elanor, Mia and Lucas. Elanor is the oldest at eleven. She attends a SEN school in Shirebrook who are fantastic with her as she has additional needs. I can’t really work a 9 to 5 at present as I need my hours to be flexible for my family. I’m just getting my portfolio together. At the moment I am a ‘want-trepreneur’.
Want-trepreneur, brilliant! Once you have a full portfolio, West Studios has artists exhibiting their work regularly.
Rosana: I know West Studios quite well. I go to John King’s (artist based at West Studios) life drawing class and he’s given me lots of fantastic advice about my work along the way. I know Helen as well (Helen Rowan photography), she’s also been lovely and very supportive.
So, who are your influences in the art world?
Rosana: I like a lot of fine art.
As opposed to rubbish art, no one wants that!
Rosana: Haha! Well It’s subjective, so who’s to say what’s rubbish? I just like the idea that mark making can evoke feelings in people. I love Maggi Hambling’s work. I love illustration too though. As a kid I was a bit of a book worm. Some illustrations add magic to children’s books. I had a massive Roald Dahl phase where I read every book he’d ever written and the illustrations by Quentin Blake are just like childhood in ink.
What’s next for Rosana then?
Rosana: In September I am doing two murals. One in Pilsley Primary School and one in Cavendish Junior School. I’m also doing an album cover for LeftyChris, a fantastic local songwriter and musician. I’m working towards hopefully doing my own small exhibition of the faces I’ve been painting which has been an ongoing project of mine for the past year. I’ve also just agreed to do an illustration for one of Mark Gwynne Jones’s poems. He’s a performance poet and his work is brilliant!
I look forward to seeing them, Thanks for your amazing front cover and time
Rosana: Thanks for having me.