Cathy Franzi | Episode 364
Cathy Franzi is an Australian artist making ceramic work inspired by plants, science, and the environment. She holds a BSC from the University of Sydney and an MVA and a PhD in Ceramics from the Australian National University. When she is not in her studio she may be found botanising in the field, studying natural history collections or admiring botanical ceramics in museums.
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Do you feel that people are born to do something?
Oh, I don’t know. I think we certainly have very individual personality that comes through and hopefully with enough opportunity and ideas of how you might find the things that suit you that you can find those things. I guess it’s culture and nature. It’s both.
How do you think one would go about finding a passion to pursue?
I think trying lots of different things to find what really makes you excited. Maybe sometimes you don’t know it’s exciting as it could be until you’ve spent some time getting deeper into that subject. I think most young people are drawn towards some thing. I encourage people to follow the things that really excite them. And hopefully that will become some work opportunity or certainly some passion that they can keep through the rest of their lives.
You have used ceramics to call attention and to praise nature. How should a person use creativity to make an impact in this world?
Well, I think the human being responds to beauty. And I think they also respond to skill and handmade. We look at objects from thousands of years ago and still appreciate and wonder at the skill that might have been there to create that object. I think we do respond to that.
How do you market yourself and your work?
Well that has changed over time. I think one thing being an artist you need to be on your toes all the time and looking for new things. You can’t be complacent. The market as we all know is changing rapidly and the ways that we can market our work is changing very rapidly. So I think you need to be changing with things. The way I sell my work now is very different to fifteen years ago. I sell my work through galleries and exhibitions predominantly. So I have built up a relationship with some galleries and that is the way that best works for me.
Do you ever feel the desire to do direct sales where you are not doing it through galleries where you sell directly to the customer? Do you like that process or do you not like it?
I have liked it very much at times. It is not something I tend to do now or seek now. Occasionally I might have a commission where I am working with someone. But it is more that I prefer to do some research or engage in some way with a group of people around the environmental plants or science or visual art and it’s through that interaction that I get that feedback and that interest and that connection with others. And then I go and make my artwork and then I like to have that exhibited in a place where it can show that to its best. I don’t tend to sell directly at the moment.
You recently started posting on Instagram. How important has that been for you?
I actually really love Instagram. Yes, it’s only been a really short time. I knew that I had to get onto social media and it was something that I planned to do sort of this year but I had a whole lot of other things I had to do first and I wasn’t really looking forward to it but now I absolutely love it. I love having the opportunity to look at people’s work from anywhere in the world and I think it just captures it really beautifully with images and short amounts of texts. I really like it actually.
How important are goals and goal setting for a small business person?
Very important I think. I mean I think there are goals set up for us anyway, whether it is working towards deadlines which are always there for people, whether it’s a craft fair or a Christmas event. Or whether it is an exhibition in a gallery. Or making work for a competition. I think there is a whole lot of goal structure that helps us as artists. There are certainly opportunities if you want to seek them.
If you were to enter your work in a show and the prize was a million dollars and you won, what would you do with that million dollars?
I would probably buy my children a house each, so they could get into the housing market.