Meet the Artist: Mandy Keating
Find out more about the artists delivering darts activities
Mandy is a visual artist, arts educator and graphic designer. Her exhibition ‘The Glasshouse Project’ explores the Glassmaking heritage of Pilkington Glass in Doncaster.
What made you become an artist?
I’ve always been creative, since I was.a kid, but I don’t think being an artist was something I really knew existed as a job. I ended up becoming a Graphic Designer for around twenty years, but sitting in an office behind a computer all day just didn’t suit me. I’d been thinking of going freelance, so when I got made redundant from my job, it pushed me to take that next step. From then on, I never turned down an opportunity and that led to more creative work and people calling me an artist.
Can you tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a Visual Artist and parent of eight-year old twins – an important fact because some say that you can’t focus on being an artist and also be a parent. It’s hard but you CAN! I have over thirty years’ combined experience of working as a Visual Artist, Arts Educator and Graphic Designer. I specialise in creating paper-based and digital art that tells a story, and often invite people to be a collaborative part of the creative process.
What do you like best about working with darts?
It has been a refreshing experience to work with an arts organisation that respects the artist and is kind and thoughtful towards artists and participants.
If you could work on anything, what would your dream project or workshop be?
I think I might have already worked on one or two of my dream projects! However, there is always room for more – I’ve recently realised that I definitely enjoy working on combined arts and heritage projects because there’s so much to uncover and use creatively.
Artists are a bit like detectives sometimes. They research and uncover hidden histories, they see things that others don’t , they act on what they discover. They pull that information together and they create.
What do you love most about working with members of the Doncaster community?
Particularly with The Glasshouse Project I have loved listening to people’s stories and finding out new information. It has been heartening for people to recognise faces from the portraits I created, or someone in the old black and white photographs displayed alongside my work.
Art brings together communities people, even if it’s for a short amount of time. It gives people the chance to love something again, or discover something about themselves.
Any advice for someone wanting to get more creative?
Don’t procrastinate, just be creative. Spend more time immersing yourself in creative pursuits, be it visiting a gallery, going to the theatre, listening to a live band, baking or writing. There are endless ways to be creative, but don’t think too much about it.
Daydream first, then put your thoughts into action.
Image by Mike Stubbs