Meet Rosa Roberts

Meet Rosa Roberts

Known for her bold, gestural marks and expressive use of texture, artist Rosa Roberts is not one to shy away from bold colour combinations and striking compositions. Drawing on her inspiration from travels, Rosa creates playful, statement pieces perfect for adding a colour pop to any home. As well as having a passion for art, Rosa is continually inspired to work on ways to make her practise more sustainable. After making the decision to go carbon neutral, Rosa continues to promote small changes we can all make to improve the environment without limiting creativity.

Thank you for having us, it was lovely to see your studio and meet you face to face. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and where your passion for art began?

I grew up in the country side, on a farm; my mother was a photographer for her whole career, so it was an arty house, lots of music and visually interesting and beautiful. I remember drawing at the kitchen table and one of my Mum’s friends saying how good it wa - she was really insistent and that stuck. I always loved art at school, anything with drawing and making I was good at, had a good sense for shape, size and colour always, was good with my hands and I was always interested by visual things, design, interiors, fashion. I’d pore over fashion magazines and there were always shoots going on around me right from my earliest times, food, interiors, and my Mum’s own creative series that she conceived and produced herself. Looking back I can see how I was surrounded by creative people and nature and both parents were self employed so you see that kind of career that shapes itself organically.


What gave you the courage to become a full-time artist and at what point did you make the leap?

I became a full time artist in March 2020. The art teaching business I had been running for 8 years could not run during the pandemic and I was desperate to focus on making my own art as opposed to being a teacher and business owner. I felt like my chance had come. The pandemic was a surprisingly good time for selling art because everyone was on instagram the whole time and at home so thinking about their interiors and how to brighten them up. Also there was the Artist’s support pledge which was a really brilliant Art marketing idea that really kept a lot of artists going for that time, me included. I was quickly able to replace the income from my teaching business with income from making and selling work through the Artist’s support pledge and then once I had that momentum in art sales I didn’t want to let it go and decided that I would close down my teaching business after about 6 months. Also I had such focus at that time. I was living alone during the pandemic so going out to my studio and making every day of the working week became my routine and my sanity. It got me out of the house, gave me a sense of achievement and a way of making a living. It got me through.


How would you describe your style and where do you draw your inspiration from? 

My style is colourful and optimistic and quite decorative with a focus on texture and pattern. I think I like to paint things that make me feel good, happy, light, like beautiful gardens, flowers, lush leaves, tropical fruit. I’m drawn to subjects that feel earthy, vibrant and alive. I have struggled with my mental health at times and I’m only really starting to realise that in my work I tend to turn my face towards that sun and paint what I’m dreaming of, what would soothe me, what makes me feel good.


 What has been your proudest moment to date? 

I have 3 highlights; my solo show on the Kings Rd where I got to see a body of my work together for the first time, showing a couple of works in New York with James Cohan gallery this January. And finally I got a real kick out of seeing my work turned into a pattern and made into beautiful silk clothes and being on the run way for Copenhagan fashion week. That was just cool.


We noticed that you are a Carbon Neutral small business. Can you tell us a little bit more about this and why it's important to you?

It means I pay a subscription every month that offsets any carbon produced by my art business. Basically that money is invested in carbon reducing projects world wide from things like investing in energy efficient cooking stoves in Africa to decarbonising the grid across the world by investing in renewable energy. I just pay the subscription to Carbon Neutral Brittain and they invest in the carbon credits. Carbon offsetting is something I feel I can do to care for the planet. Global warming is something that has worried me a lot over recent years, especially with the long hot summers and droughts that we have had and there was a forrest fire at my local nature reserve a couple of years ago on the hottest day that London has ever seen and that really made me want to do more that what I was doing to clean up our act. To make commerce cleaner.


What small steps would you advice other small business owners to take to reduce their carbon footprint?

Look into carbon offsetting subscriptions. Carbon neutral Britain do one for small businesses that turn over up to £150,000 a year for £30 a month. It’s quick and easy and hopefully effective. On top of that I try to reduce waste as much as possible by things like reusing packaging where possible and turning the lights and heating off in the studio before I leave. I also have two bins in the studio so that I can recycle easily and try and not put food waste at work in the rubbish but take it home so that it can be composted. There is an inherent conflict between growth capitalism and being kind to the environment, it’s something I have grappled with a lot in the past. But I, like everyone else, have to make a living and produce and sell things so I try and do it as cleanly and consciously as I can without driving myself nuts and making myself miserable by saying no to too much. Creativity needs a sense of expansion to thrive. I try to both make and buy things that are well made and good quality and will last. I try fix things where I canvas opposed to throwing away. I try, I’m not perfect.


Finally, which Pink City Prints piece is your favourite and how will you be styling this?

I love the white linen dress that I chose with the puff sleeves - it feels pretty and wearable. I’m looking forward to styling it simply with just some cute sandals and a wide brimmed hat when the weather finally gets warm enough to wear it.


Follow on insta: @rosa_roberts_

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