Close up interview with sketch artist Alissa Duke

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am a librarian and an sketch artist have recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne.

I draw everyday. I carry a sketchbook journal with me everywhere and use watercolour pencil and ink to capture scenes and objects in everyday life.

Lo Res_Alissa_10

Where do you get your inspiration from when you draw?

I can be inspired by anything anywhere. The ‘everyday’ is interesting

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?

creative, optimistic, loyal, thoughtful, friendly.

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?

I have worked in libraries since I left school and have stayed on that path. I starting in my local library and then worked in university and corporate libraries, specialising in legal librarianship. I have a Masters degree in Library and Information Management. I love books and finding information.

Artistically, I have drawn since school, but in 2005 started drawing regularly. Now I draw everyday and want to do more with my art.

hot cross buns 3

How do you usually plan your daily activities?

At the moment in my time afterwork, I am working on my art business: setting up a website, planning my goals of printing cards to sell and a planning an exhibition. I also want to get into art licensing. I have specific tasks to achieve each day written in my OPIC Planner diary. Some are as simple as making a phone call or broader goals of online research into art business.

I carry my sketchbook with me everywhere and will sketch in unplanned time on the way to work or at lunch.

As an artist, what is your biggest frustration?

Not enough time to work on my art. I could draw all day !

As I have moved into the business of art I have been learning curve as I go outside of my comfort zone.

Lo Res_Alissa sketching

Tell us about how you prioritise your art?

A the moment I have specific goals for the year and I have used the ArtShine OPIC planner to set yearly, monthly and daily goals.

How do you connect with other artists, and your customers ?

Through good social network of Urban Sketchers in Melbourne who I sketch with afterwork and on weekends. Also globally through artists in groups on Facebook, flickr and my website.

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Your advice to artist starting out

Draw everyday !

What is your proudest moment so far?

Being asked to be included in Cathy Johnson book “Artists Journal Workshop”. She is an artist I admire and was honoured that she has a high opinion of my skills with watercolour pencils. To see my drawings in print in a book on the shelves is an amazing experience.

Who do you most want to meet and why

All my online sketching friends from around the world who have supported and connected with me.

14Nov13 tomatoes copy

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?

You are stronger than you think you are.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?

I am reading “Art Inc: The essential guide for building your career as an artist” by Lisa Congdon. There are lots of good ideas in here.

I would recommend The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be the Artist You Truly Are by Danny Gregory. He believes we are all creative but it is often discouraged early in life. This book is full of advice to tap into your creativity and draw and celebrate the everyday in life everyday.

13Sept14 Flinders Street Station

How did ArtSHINE Business LifeStyle coaching help you and your art business?

It provided me with the guidance and confidence so that I could take steps to turn my daily drawings in art into something more.

Where do we find you and your products?

all of my daily drawings


Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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