Margo is joined by Bex Morley, a British-Canadian artist living on Vancouver Island with the two teenage sons and daft dog. Bex creates joyful digital art for a variety of products including bolt fabric, stationery and home decor. Her work is inspired by the lighter side of life and nature, often featuring fun animal characters and colourful botanicals. She is also drawn to nostalgic colour palettes and funny or meaningful hand lettering.
Bex came late to her art career. She got her degree in Creative Arts many MANY years ago but her artwork was criticised by art professors for being “too commercial”, which discouraged her from continuing after university. Whilst Bex remained creative and always kept a sketchbook, it took her 25 years to finally embrace making art again when she found the Make Art That Sells classes online. It suddenly dawned on her that being “too commercial” might actually be an asset, instead of a fault. That was in late 2015. Since then Bex has done lots of online classes to learn the technical aspects of the surface design industry. In late 2017 she signed on with her agent Brenda Manley and has now sold and licensed her work all over the world.
Bex & Margo discuss:
Bex’s unusual path to making a career in art
Why she originally pursued a degree in music instead of art
Her personal mantra of Create, Share, Repeat
How her mom is a source of inspiration and has reinvented herself several times over
Repressing creativity due to comments and opinions from others and how to block out the noise
Her experience of working with an agent and how that relationship came to be
Repressing her own creative desires and working a ‘9-5’ for several years before making a living from art
Why creating is better than meditating and acts as a source of therapy
Bex turns 50 next year and feels happier, smarter and braver than ever before. She is a passionate believer that it is never too late to reinvent your life and career, however scary that may seem. She also knows that so many creative people repress their creativity owing to one small comment or opinion during childhood from an adult, which makes them feel that they aren’t good enough. This is such a shame as she feels that finding a creative outlet you enjoy is like therapy, but cheaper. It has certainly helped her through some tough times in the past 5 years. It’s never too late to change the direction of your life and start doing something you love.
Connect with Bex:
3 People that Inspire Bex:
So many people inspire me all the time for so many different reasons it’s REALLY hard to narrow it down to just 3, so I’m going to cheat here a bit by including a couple of groups – let’s call it artistic license.
My online support: Katherine Quinn and Eulalia Mejia are a constant source of support and inspiration. We’re very different artists from very different locations but we message each other often about both art and personal stuff, which has been so valuable.
My real life support group: my local creative group here in the Cowichan Valley called Creative Headspace. We meet up regularly as an accountability and support group for each other, something doing joint ventures together (all virtual right now). In our group we have a couple of digital artists, a stitched-collage artist, an abstract painter, an eco-friendly bag maker, a potter and a soap maker. This mixture of skills really helps us to see the bigger picture too.
My Mum, who’s a natural entrepreneur, turning her hand to anything in life that needs doing and doing it well. I saw her change career 3 times during my life and she made a success of every one of them: 1. restaurant (owner & cook). 2. commercial food distribution service (owner). 3. higher education diploma validating agency (founder & CEO).
Katherine Quinn https://www.katherinequinn.nz/
Eulalia Mejia https://eulaliamejia.com/ (Episode 7 of Windowsill Chats!)
Creative Headspace Group, Cowichan Valley https://www.instagram.com/cre.ativeheadspace/