To celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to shine the light on our female artists to discover what inspires, drives and motivates them in their work. In the lead up to International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we are sharing mini-interviews with our artists and designers which we hope will empower our followers to champion women and take action for equality.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I am Val Goldfinch, married to Terry for nearly 40 years, with a grown-up son, Andy. I love painting and creating all sorts of arty things. I always seem to return to watercolour painting with as much detail as possible, which is ideal for jigsaw puzzles. My agent, Image By Design, showed my work to Gibsons, who gave me the chance of creating my first puzzle, Baxter’s General Stores in 2012 and then carried on commissioning me to do more!
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I had no idea! (but I had always loved Art) I was pushed to get a “proper job” and took the offer of a job as a Trainee Accountant, which included a year at college doing the foundation course for an Accountancy body. I enjoyed college (and met my husband while there!) but I was unhappy in the actual job and fortunately made the decision to go to Art College in the 1980s, where I studied Graphic Design.
Q: Why did you choose to become an illustrator?
A: I really enjoyed working as a graphic designer, but as computers started to take over, I began to miss the ‘hands-on’ creative process that you get with a paintbrush in your hand.
Q: What motivates you to work for yourself and be an entrepreneur?
A: I had a serious back injury and found regular employment difficult. At that time I was unable to stand or walk unaided. So I started painting more and more, as a way to distract myself from the chronic pain and to feel I could achieve something productive. My work was accepted by Image by Design and has licensed on many products. I also produced a series of alphabet prints of local places which I self marketed along with other commissions and projects. I love painting and designing all sorts of things and it gives me great pleasure to see my work on products in shops and hear that people really enjoy having it on their walls, receiving cards or doing jigsaws!
Q: What’s your biggest achievement?
A: With a lot of help from family, friends and professionals, I think my biggest “achievement” is coping with the bad times and enjoying the good....like most people!
Q: Who is a woman you admire and why?
A: I admire all sorts of women, but relevant to art I think it is Beatrix Potter. I loved her books and illustrations as a child (and would love to illustrate books!) I think she created an incredible “brand” and gave a huge amount of pleasure to many through her talents. I also really admire her conservation work preserving the farms and land in the Lake District...such an amazing legacy!