Este Macleod has worked as an professional artist and designer for more than 25 years. Today Este is an established artist with paintings in prominent public and private collections around the world. She sells work through galleries who also represent her at various global art fairs. Este sells limited edition prints online, and licenses images to publishers like Paperchase and selected department stores in the UK and Australia.
What is the name of your business? And what do you do?
Este MacLeod Artist. I am a painter and designer. My background as a textile designer is central to my approach to fine art. I make a living as a painter, and have sidelines of products, and licensing of images for products and publications.
How would you describe your art?
I am a colourist, this means colour is the priority in my work. My work is whimsical and vibrant. Themes of paintings include Still life, Landscape and Floral design inspired pieces.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a professional artist?
Yes I think so, since I was a child art was my passion. My journey as an artist included periods of working as a Ceramicist, Textile designer and printer, and currently I create paintings and sell through galleries.
What drove you to make that decision?
The fact that art is so close to my heart, there were not really any other options, just adapting what I did to suit the time in my career and life experience.
Do you have any formal art training or are you self-taught?
I’m trained as a textile designer and fine art printer, I also have a degree in Ceramics and Glass and a Masters Degree in Contemporary craft, specialising in Jewellery design. I love to learn more, and I do not think a formal education is required to become a professional artist or designer. Learning and developing your style and the quality of your work is vital.
What are the different jobs you have held as an artist?
Studio ceramicist, textile designer, printer of fabric, illustrator, and fine artist (painter)
When did you start selling your artwork?
While I was still a student.
How did you find your first few collectors?
People knew me as an artist, and I have always had encouragement from friends and family, but developing into a fully fledged artist took time, so it was really a situation of putting work out there and getting seen primarily through galleries.
When did you begin selling your work to galleries?
I was still a student when I started selling hand printed fabric and and ceramic work to galleries. I started selling paintings to galleries in my early twenties.
What are the different ways that you earn money as an artist?
Primarily from selling original paintings through galleries, I also sell smaller work online along with limited edition prints through ETSY. Licensing images for wall art, needlepoint, cards and other products are a growing aspect of my practice.
What advice do you have for someone who dreams of becoming a full-time professional artist?
You need to be passionate about making art, this is what will carry you through the tricky stages of finding your way. On a basic level, drawing, sketching and developing observation is a central aspect of being an artist for a variety of reasons.
Este is hosting a three-day live online workshop, Career Paths for Artists. This workshop will show you how to build a sustainable art business that provides the income you need to live the life you want without burning out. You can see the full schedule and sign up here. Save $20 with discount code “EsteVIP.”