Creative mind helps young artists sketch out a career

Julian Mayhew-Heijo, 12, Gabriel Mayhew-Heijo, 13, and Jasper Millican, 13, with Trina Collins at the Anchors Aweigh Studio which celebrates its first birthday this week. The studio teaches youngsters urban art techniques through workshops.Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Julian Mayhew-Heijo, 12, Gabriel Mayhew-Heijo, 13, and Jasper Millican, 13, with Trina Collins at the Anchors Aweigh Studio which celebrates its first birthday this week. The studio teaches youngsters urban art techniques through workshops.Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

ANCHORS AWEIGH ART STUDIO

First birthday party

Saturday

138b Auburn Street, Coniston

There's a pretty good chance that Trina Collins is teaching the artists of the future.

An artist in her own right, Collins also runs Anchors Aweigh Art Studio in Coniston, where kids and teens can learn the techniques of urban art. But Collins teaches them more than that - she shows them that art can be a career as well.

"I like to show young people and also adults that you can make a living out of art," Collins says.

"So all of our workshops start with an audio visual presentation of an artist who focuses on the medium that we're going to be using in that workshop.

"All the artists I show are living, they all make the majority of their income from their art.

"They're not artists who died 200 years ago and didn't sell a painting until after their death.

"It shows people different ways you can go about becoming an artist, the different things you have to do.

"It's not just about selling artwork, it's also about printmaking or doing commissioned artwork as well."

That said, Collins knows the field of creative arts isn't known for being "a big money earner".

She established Anchors Aweigh a year ago after completing a stint as artist in residence at the Wollongong City Gallery.

Collins says she saw a gap in the market for art workshops for teens but still admits starting her own business was a bit scary.

"I was selling quite a bit of artwork at the time, which made me a little bit more confident and also knowing there was a need for those sort of art workshops in the area, because they weren't being offered. So I decided to take the risk.

"The first months were scary, though, because I didn't have money to market the space so I was relying on word of mouth.

"It took six months to grow to a stage where I was getting people in that I didn't have a contact with prior to setting up the studio.

"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but there was certainly a time where I was like 'what the hell have I done?"'

To celebrate the studio's first year, Collins is throwing a birthday party on September 6 from 11am.

Events on the day include screen printing, kids' art and craft table and face painting.

From 2pm, Sydney aerosol artist Grizzle paints the studio roller door, artists Tait, Stacie Sims and Spate add colour to the studio's inner walls and the public can participate in some stencil art on a wall in the yard.

Also, some Anchors Aweigh students will get a taste of being a professional artist with the Young Artists tote bag sale.

"During term three I taught the kids and teens how to screen print using the emulsion process," Collins says.

"Each student has hand-printed their own design on to 13 tote bags and sales will go back to the maker.

"We are hoping that the young artists will be able to cover the cost of their own term class, pocket a bit extra, gain some skills and see the benefits of printmaking as a medium." 

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