Anna-Marie Wallace | Episode 331
Anna-Marie is the half-Italian, British-born Australian artist behind Made OF Australia. She has a Product Design background, & lived & worked in Italy & Sweden for 6 years, travelling extensively throughout Europe, fine tuning her creative talents & immersing herself in the international art world before returning to Australia in 2011 & starting her professional practice.
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We often ask , What would we tell your younger self that you have learned?, but I want to turn that around. What do you think your future self would say, Thank you, about that you did today?
Well I hope that my future self says thank you. I hope the business continues to grow and I manage to make this work the way I want to. I think my future self would thank me for teaching other people how to do the same. I think one of the saddest things is that there are so many artists that don’t make money making art and I have kind of taken it upon myself to spread that word that it is possible. I teach a lot of workshops and things to teacher other people. I think my future self would probably be the proudest of that.
Why are you so passionate about finding a path to success as an artist?
I just think it is really important for people to do what feeds their soul. To do what they love doing and so many people don’t do that. It makes people sad and less able to love each other and be kind to each other. When you are cranky all the time because you hate your job or you are commuting somewhere to do something you don’t want to do. People are miserable like that and I think being able to support yourself doing what you love is so nourishing for your soul and it’s good for other people to see as well and it gives them inspiration.
You make a style of work that is so beautiful. What do you call your work?
What do I call it? Well I refer to it as saggar fired ceramics. But as a marketing point of view I think that is a little troublesome for me as most people don’t know what that is. I spend a lot of my time explaining to people what that process is. So I may in future change that to something a little more accessible to people who aren’t ceramicists, but I haven’t decided what that is yet. So stay tuned.
Do you get more thrill out of making, finding a path to sales, marketing? Where is your biggest thrill in this whole process?
I think my biggest thrill comes from innovation and from collaborations. I find it really humbling to work with super talented chefs whose food is artwork in itself. When someone that talented and that focused has a vision for their food and they choose to work with my humble plates, I find that really, really, empowering.
Do you think someone else can truly follow in your footsteps and find path to making a living as an artist?
Absolutely. I think everybody can do it. As long as you are able to commit to being a bit of an entrepreneur and doing the stuff that nobody wants to do and the business stuff too, then you can make money out of art.
Do you remember your first sale?
Yes, my first sale to somebody who wasn’t related to me was to a prop house in Sydney. She still buys my stuff today but she has my very first pieces that ever sold on Etsy.
Do you remember what you did with the money with your first sale?
I didn’t pay myself for about three years out of my business. It went straight back into buying more clay. (laughter)
If your life were a book, which genre of writing would you be?
I am not sure if it would be a comedy or a drama. Probably a bit of both.