Alum Christine Novosel (BFA, 2016) is a visual artist, writer, and print maker who lives in Glasglow, Scotland. Christine works around Scotland as an artist as well as community educator. Below find an insight into her practice along with some examples of her work. This is part of our Get to Know series where we talk to alumni about their current practice. Interested in taking part? Please email us!
You can see more of Christine’s work through her website.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Christine Novosel. I am an artist, writer and community arts educator. I live in Glasgow, Scotland and work throughout Scotland.
Describe your current practice in 3 words
Mark-making, subcultures, language.
What are you most excited about in your work/practice right now?
Collaborating with my friend who is a painter, and making a new body of work for an exhibition together. The first experiments for the project have been mono-prints on fabric. I’ve also got a proper painting on the go, which is a nice break from years of printmaking!
What has had the most influence on your career/creative path?
I worked for Geist, a literary magazine, in the last bit of my undergraduate degree. I did everything from bookkeeping to compiling the mailing list for our printers. I unlearned all my bad art-writing and learned how to articulate myself and pay attention to details.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?
Something craft or trade based, like joinery, tailoring or leatherwork.
Name one thing in your practice you can’t do without?
Good health. Most of my thinking, materials collection and research happens out in the built environment, walking around. I make my prints at the Glasgow Print Studio, using a Columbian Eagle press that has a lever mechanism, and that will kill my back after a whole day of printing. Teaching groups of young people is exhausting – you must be alert and on your feet all day, and you do lots of cleaning up on your hands and knees.
Name one thing in your practice that you can’t live without?
What role should creatives play in the community?
I am uncomfortable with the word creatives as I think that term is used to describe many people in design and tech so I will answer that question by trading in the word creativity.
Creative expression illuminates a plethora of different voices that enrich our own understanding of the human experience connecting us to truths about life. Just think about music and the role it plays in your life. Ask, how has music or art helped you know yourself better? I can name many a book, piece of music, painting or film that changed the way I see the world and myself. Artists can and should be used to create healthy and just societies by using the problem-solving skills they have. I don’t think science and mathematics is so different from creative disciplines like music and visual art and it is truly exciting when these distinct disciplines borrow from each other’s practices.
How did your education shape your career?
I did two years of broad study at the University of British Columbia, which is my Swiss army knife of knowledge – I did classes in physics, art history, German, geography, environmental design… you name it. I had no idea what I was doing, but after two years, I knew I wanted to be at a smaller school. I applied to Emily Carr intending on a career in graphic design, but then switched into visual arts and never looked back. Studying fine art gave me the resilience and confidence necessary to make the life choices I really wanted. There is a freedom in the visual art program, but it does come with uncertainty. I then did the MLitt Fine Art Practice program at the Glasgow School of Art, specializing in print media. I established myself within a community of artists, started exhibiting regularly with other postgraduates, and began working for a community arts charity as a tutor. Life happened alongside my studies, and I was open to change.
What do you wish you learned in school but didn’t?
Nitty gritty professional skills like making frames, packing work for shipping, invoicing, building stud walls for exhibitions. Granted, I did eventually learn, but through much trial and error.
What advice do you have for those just beginning their career such as our class of 2019?
Have an active life outside your practice – your personal experiences are the best primary material for your work. Set goals, but don’t create an agenda. An opportunity that may not fit into your idealized career trajectory might turn out to be an influential experience in its own right. Don’t compete with your fellow artists – work with them!