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Siân Coules- an interview

It's time for another tale to be told, and today I've chosen that of Siân Coules- an extremely talented young artist. Since discovering her Instagram (@sianmary_art), I have been obsessed with her work, as I'm sure you soon will be too. She currently obtains over 1,500 followers, though truly deserves a whole lot more. Using a whole variety of materials, she creates such beautiful artwork, lots of which is relating to musical theatre. After falling in love with one particular piece (shown in photo), I thought I'd request and purchase a print, to bring her work onto my wall at home: I am utterly delighted with it!

Sian is a university student, looking to continue creating to further build a career using her amazing gift. Intrigued, I reached out to her again, but this time, asking if she'd like to share her story. The following is what she said.


Tell us a bit about your background. When and why did you begin drawing?

I’ve been drawing and painting from literally before I could walk- I’m not sure you could call it art but hey, I managed to get at least a bit of paint on the paper and not just on myself and my immediate surroundings! As for why, I’ve always found communication through drawing more natural than through words. I like to think of image-making as my native language. I have a form of dyslexia, so I find words awkward and clumsy. They take so much effort, energy and translation, while drawing sets my language free.

From your Instagram, we can see the wide array of drawings you've created. Is there a medium and style that you prefer working in? If so, why?

Not really! I really love working in a variety of styles, and I’m trying to make the most of being able to truly experiment while I can. In general terms, I like things I can have high control over, such as coloured pencil, acrylic and digital work. I am making a conscious effort to use watercolour though, as it’s hard to get it to behave itself and it scares me!

As a huge fan of musicals myself, I adore all of your theatre themed artworks. What made you combine the concept of musicals and art, and is there a musical you particularly like drawing from?

Firstly thank you very much, that’s lovely. Art just finds its way into every part of my life, so it found its way into musicals too. Plus, when I love something it’s usually because I find it very creatively inspiring, and I have to act on it. Out of everything, Wicked still continues to inspire me the most. Aside from just being gorgeous, it holds a very special place in my life for several reasons really.

Do you have a drawing that has been particularly challenging?

Most of my uni stuff is equally challenging to be honest, as I’m trying to experiment and step outside of my comfort zone as much as I can. In terms of my theatre work, my drawing of Jessica Vosk as 'No Good Deed' Elphaba was really hard. I was using different paper to normal and the top layer kept lifting beneath my pencil. The pose itself is actually a combination of two different photos too. Tricky, but hopefully worth it!

Do you prefer doing sets of pieces, like your A-Z of musicals, or stand-alone pieces?

I love doing sets! I’m fascinated by the relationship each piece has to the piece that comes before it and the piece that comes after it. Each drawing not only has to work as a standalone, but becomes part of a larger narrative. I love the challenge in that: it helps me focus while keeping my work from stagnating.

How do you stay motivated to complete artworks, especially if they're part of a set, or take a long time to complete?

To tell the truth, I just don’t have a choice. This is what is hopefully going to become my career after all, and not finishing things isn’t professionally acceptable. To actually motivate myself though, I like to set a time in the day when I want the work done by, and I’ll always have a show or music on so that my brain is kept entertained- I managed to watch the entire six seasons of Downton Abbey in two weeks this way! Plus, I actually find it super hard NOT to draw. I can probably count on one hand the number of days I haven’t picked up a pencil in the last year or so. It’s addictive!

Who inspires you?

Artistically, so many people! It changes with every project I do. And I love to be inspired by my artistic friends as well as big name artists. Life-wise, my lovely mum. Her last wish for me was to live my life to the very fullest and I am determined to do just that.

Over time you seem to have developed quite the portfolio! Do you ever look back at old art, to see how much you've improved?

Every now and then! It’s interesting to experience all the memories that my old artworks spark.

What would you say to someone who is looking to get into art, or struggling with their confidence towards what they create?

Just draw! Draw, draw, draw. Create terrible drawings, make mistakes. It isn’t necessarily fun all the time, but I can tell you for sure there will be a day when you think of an idea, draw it, look at it and discover it finally looks exactly as you wished. Also, look at the early sketches of people like Vincent Van Gogh. He was really awful at proportions at first, and now we consider him one of the best artists of all time. Finally, what you see on sites such as Instagram are polished, final, edited drawings. They do NOT tell the whole story. I probably post roughly 5% of what I draw. If I posted my preliminary sketches, or pieces that I just don’t feel hit anywhere near the mark, you’d probably tell me to go take up accounting or whatever. Instagram is someone’s highlight reel, not their reality.

And lastly, how would you describe your journey with drawing so far, and what are you looking to do next?

My journey with drawing so far has been exciting and turbulent. It’s led me to so many cool opportunities and people. My wishes for the near future are just continuing to get commissions and passing my degree! Long term, I would love to get a book deal, and work on programme covers for new musicals. Who knows though? I’m up for whatever this crazy career throws at me.


I hope you've enjoyed finding out a bit more about Sian and her wonderful artworks- you should really drop by her page (@sianmary_art on Instagram) and give her some love! Many thanks to Sian for taking part in this interview.

{Some grammar is amended for clarity}

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