Renee Russo

Renee, what is the first memory you have of you and art? How did you fall in love with art?

For as long as I can remember I have always loved to create and make my own things. I have fond memories of my Nana teaching how to knit, my aunties showing me how to paint and draw, of collecting sea shells and beads to make my own jewelry, fabric painting and tie-dyeing my clothes. Just anything creative I could get my hands on really

When did you know you would be an artist?

When I was a young girl I dreamt of being an artist but never thought it was possible because I wasn’t academic.

In high school my girlfriends used to say that I would own my own shop one day filled with all the things that I had created

Does your upbringing influence your art? If yes, how? Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

My brother and I were into nature as kids. We were always getting dirty and finding trees to climb. Our Mum would take us on adventures on weekends and holidays. We were either at the beach, climbing mountain trails, discovering waterfalls and creeks, trekking through rainforests or staying with friends on their
farms. We were in nature whenever possible. So my upbringing definitely plays a huge role in my artwork. The love and respect for nature and animals that I developed as a child is ingrained in me and will always be a part of me.

Were you encouraged or supported to be an artist? How?

My family and friends have always supported me along my journey. In high school my girlfriends used to say that I would own my own shop one day filled with all the things that I had created. My Mum, to this day, keeps sending me links to different creative markets and exhibitions. My friends and family are always sharing my new work and spreading the word. It’s kind of sweet, really.

At what point in your life, did you decide you would pursue art as a career? Do you remember the moment?

I started pursuing my career as a full-time artist a little over a year ago. I was made redundant after working or a company for over eight years. That day I decided I wasn’t going to look for another mundane 9-5 job. I thought if I don’t do this now, I never will. Since then I’ve been following my heart and pursuing my dreams.

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