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Creativity Never Leaves You Unless You Leave It.

Updated: Apr 2

Feral Interview with Sarah Rychtarova

Sarah in her ceramics shed/haven with MoonTrees in the making.

What area/field are you in?

I’m an interdisciplinary visual artist, with ceramics as my main focus and pivotal point in my works. You can view my work on my website.

Describe in as many ways as you like what you do. Tell me all your job titles.

I’m a freelance mother of a teenager, visual artist and ceramics technician and tutor with Dundee Ceramics Workshop.

What is the biggest eye roll you’ve given a question or comment about being a freelancer? Or what would you like waged people to understand about working as a freelancer?

I would like waged people to know that I work as a freelancer because I choose to do what I love, enjoy and fulfils me. Money and routine and predictability are not my motivations.

It’s not my ambition ever to retire and put my feet up. I’d have to have failing health or die first. Creativity never leaves you unless you leave it.

What’s your favourite part of being a freelancer?

Freedom! The freedom to choose how, when and what I work on. Having a varied day to day life. Different freelance jobs in different places, working with lots of interesting, talented people.

What is the hardest part?

Having to be more than just an artist ie. you have to know how to be a bookkeeper, promoter, social media whizz, marketing expert, salesperson, budgeter, writer, photographer, funding application buff, and know where to find the sources of funding, opportunities, information. Have a look here for my use of this skill-set.

How long have you been feral?

Officially since 2017. I graduated in 2014 and took on several part-time life-modelling jobs and teaching several evening classes in the art dept of Dundee & Angus college. These allowed me flexibility in hours and enabled me to make the gradual transition to spend more time on my creative practice and take up freelance opportunities with Dundee Ceramics Workshop.

What have your highlights been? (Take a moment to have a brag about your accomplishments) Ha, I have no highlights to brag about! Although my greatest personal achievement was organising my own first solo exhibition in Dundee, 2018. It was only during the show, that I actually felt I could say to myself and others ‘I am an artist’ with 100% confidence and feel it. You can view some of the work from that show here.

Hand built ceramic MoonTrees happy together in their wee community

Why did you decide to become self employed?

I’ve been self-employed before so I know very well that I prefer to be my own boss. I also love creating my own jobs, that in itself is creative. I have an amazing balance of working at home on my own and working at DCW as part of a team. Being at DCW supports my work and my experience supports DCW. It’s a great relationship. It also creates opportunities to meet others with similar interests and passions. I enjoy this mix along with all of the unusual jobs I’m doing in my life.

Money ... routine and predictability are not my motivations.

How do you protect your work time from distractions?

That was very difficult at the beginning, it was something I had to practice. My confidence in myself as an artist helps me to acknowledge that I am working so everything else can wait. It’s all in the frame of mind. Previously, I felt I should be doing something more useful so I would look for distractions. Now, after working on ideas and seeing them turn into bodies of work, I feel fulfilled in every stage of the process from researching and writing to sketching and making.

Where do you work? home?studio?/favourite cafe/all of the above?

I work in various rooms at home but I do have a spare room used as a studio for the messy processes of painting and claywork. I also have a garden shed at the bottom of the garden which I use from Spring to Autumn for all of my ceramic work including throwing. I love working in that shed which faces the sun as it sets in the summer. But the best place has to be outdoors in my garden in the fine weather. I’ll do everything out there if I can, before I go indoors.

Do you think you’ll ever retire?

Not a chance. I’ll be nearly 70 at retirement age anyway. I shall always be making and experimenting and connecting with others through my work. It’s not my ambition ever to retire and put my feet up. I’d have to have failing health or die first. Creativity never leaves you unless you leave it.

8' willow MoonTree woven through hazel branches supporting bean growth in the summer.

If money wasn’t factored into your work choices, what would be your most glorious dream for your future as a freelancer? Be as outrageous as you dare.

OOOOhhh, to be asked to make outdoor installations comprising of my sculptures with sound emanating from them AND video projected onto them AND fantastical use of lighting throughout the work AND work with a crew of other professionals who will help me to achieve my ultimate dream!

Anything else you’d like to highlight about the life of a freelancer?

It’s an amazing life. It’s so varied, I don’t know where it’ll lead and who I’ll meet when I look down different avenues of opportunities that interest me. Always keeps me open-minded to new things and accustomed to learning new processes. I like that not knowing, uncertain, experimental, perpetual learning style of my freelance life. Take a look at my social media to see the feraI, freelance fun I get up to... instagram/sarahrychtarova

Thank you so much Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions, I can definitely see your dream life becoming reality!

If you want to be part of the feral freelancer gang, get in touch with me through my contact page. You don't have to be creative to be included, just be a touch too feral for regular employment.

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