Charlie Collins’ ambition is to put a smile on peoples’ faces and make a difference to their day with her artwork.
The young artist, who left school in Buxton just last summer, discovered she had a talent for drawing five years ago and hasn’t really put down her pencils and paintbrushes since.
So far she has featured on television’s Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year contest and won the Derbyshire County Council Young Artist Award in the 2016 Derbyshire Open competition.
She is the founder and curator of the now annual I Am Collective exhibition at the Green Man Gallery in her home town and is currently one of its artists in residence.
For 2018 Charlie has also devised her own drawing challenge and every week she will be posting on Facebook a drawing on a Mindfulness theme; by now she will have completed Thought, Senses, Emotions and Well-being among others and we have Habit, Happiness and Harmony to look forward to.
“After taking part in the Inkober contest online last year I realised what a great idea drawing challenges were for helping you to be consistent with your work.
“I want to make sure I keep drawing and don’t procrastinate too much so it seemed like a good idea.
“I also want to encourage other people to join in – my goal is to get other people drawing. If I can do that and put a smile on the faces of people who see my work it will be worthwhile. I want my work to make a difference to people in some way.”
Charlie is also determined to give young artists like herself a platform to showcase their work which is why she founded the I Am Collective.
“There wasn’t really anywhere for young people to exhibit their work so I asked the Green Man Gallery if I could give it a go, and it has been a great success.
“We staged our third exhibition in November and I was so proud of the comments from visitors. After so much hard work had been put into it by the artists it was great to get the feedback.”
On top of the community work Charlie is also trying to forge herself a career as a professional artist and sells her work on an etsy page as well as in the Green Man Gallery and at Cabbage Rose arts and crafts shop in Leek. She is also staging The Little Buxton Art Fair at the Green Man Gallery in August.
“I decided not to go to university straight after finishing my A Levels as I wanted to see if I could establish myself as an artist first. I decided that as I was already managing to sell work then it was worth trying before heading off to study more,” explained Charlie.
“I have now found a part time job at the new Isla Fine Art Cards and Gifts shop in town and I am just going to enjoy seeing how everything develops this year. The one thing I am going to be is positive,” she said similing in reference to her drawing project.