In this edition of GRL Talk, we’re probing Kayleigh aka Marshall Art about being a freelance artist, living in the Cosmo house and making it all work…
First up tell us who you are, what you’re about and what you’re doing in this big bad world?
Kayleigh here, Artist and proud founder of marshall-art.co.uk! I’m an emerging urban artist working my ass off in my Clapham studio to shake up the London creative scene and be that new kid on the block.
You took the plunge about became a full-time freelancer, what advice would you give other artists who want to do the same?
The scariest part about going freelance is WITHOUT A DOUBT the period of time before you take the plunge into solo life. Once that seed of solo-life is planted it will be come all-consuming, all you’ll think about is working for yourself. When you have a cushy and stable full time job, leaving all that behind is a pretty daunting prospect.
So my advice to creatives thinking of going solo would be 1) DO IT. Don’t deny yourself what could potentially be a life changing experience. 2) Prepare yourself to make some serious sacrifices. When I went freelance in November last year the first thing I had to do was give up my amazing life in the city to move back home with my parents in the midlands. A damn privilege to be able to live at home rent free but a sacrifice nonetheless 3) Be nosey. Reach out to those who are already doing it and have a conversation with them- they will give you a huge amount of insight into what you’re getting yourself in for.
You’re currently living in the Cosmo house, how did this opportunity come about?
I’m known amongst my friends as a lucky AF gal, and this is a prime example… On my very first day of freelance life, a very good friend of mine sent me a Cosmo article titled ‘Want cheap rent in London?’. Err yes please! In short, Cosmo partnered with a property guardianship company called Dot Dot Dot to offer cheap rent to 10 of it’s London readers and in exchange we would pledge to carry out volunteering work in the local area and become ‘property guardians’. After a lengthy application form, vetting calls and interviews I got the call in February this year to confirm that I would become a Cosmo property guardian!
If you had a time machine what would you tell your 16 year-old self?
Well this is an easy one. Picture 16 year old me sat with my parents at a school parent’s evening, and opposite me is my Physics teacher. When asked what I was thinking of pursuing after school I told him I wanted a creative career, I was met with the response “you’re too clever for that, why don’t you do a proper degree?”. That single conversation denied me of the path I wanted to pursue; at just 16 years old he made me believe ‘i’d never get a job’ studying art at university. Fast forward 7 years and I have a 2:1 degree in Law from Newcastle University. I’m very proud of my degree and how hard I worked for it, but if there’s one single piece of advice I’d pass onto my younger self, that would be ‘girl do what makes YOU happy’. NOT what pleases your teachers or your parents. It’s your life, take advice but don’t let anyone make you believe that you shouldn’t pursue something because it’s not ‘proper’ or that you’re ‘better than that’.
What piece of work are you most proud of?
That would have to be my very first wall mural I painted at a friends apartment in Sheffield in March this year. It was the product of hours and hours of work and preparation. I arranged to have the whole thing filmed for a time-lapse video and so there was the added pressure of technology, timings and of course to deliver something visually stunning. The sense of relief I felt when I finished it after 7 solid hours of painting was testimony to the amount of pressure I had placed on myself to deliver this piece. And i’m SO happy to say that it looks cool AF!
If you could have a dinner party full of your fave creatives, dead and alive, who would you invite and why?
Lady Gaga is a creative POWERHOUSE; what i’d give to pick her brains and listen to her story about growing up in New York and grafting in the music industry. The second would have to be Bowie, I’m in total love with him and his liberal views on gender, identity and limitless creativity. Finally I’d invite all my best gal pals to mix things up (they know who they are), we’re collectively known as ‘the sluts’ and my word can we drink for England. It’s a certified recipe for a creative orgy…