Sheffield Based Artist Rebecca Stewart
To see in 2021 we are showcasing the work of Sheffield Based Artist Rebecca Stewart. We came across Rebbeca’s “house portrait” work on Instagram and loved it, so thought we needed to find out more.
Volta: Were you self-taught or have you had formal training?
Rebecca: I am mostly self-taught in terms of how I’ve learnt and developed over the years but I did study Art and Textiles for my A-Levels and continued with an Art Foundation course at Manchester School of Art in 2014. That was such a fun year of exploration and one of the best things about it was just being around creative people 24/7 – it sort of rubs off on you and I miss that a lot now.
Volta: What did you do before you did what you do now?
Rebecca: I’ve been drawing, painting and making things since I was a kid, but I still feel like I’m only just starting out when it comes to getting serious about art. After my Art Foundation course, I came to Sheffield to study Languages (French and Spanish) which meant I had a bit of a break from art, and lived abroad for 18 months which was super exciting, before settling back in Sheffield.
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Rebecca: My current style is generally figurative and illustrative, leaning towards realism. It’s down-to-earth and represents what I see, or what I like. Because a lot of my recent stuff has been commissions (pet portraits, house portraits etc.) it has all been very literal and bespoke. I’d like to go deeper into one subject matter or theme and see where that takes me, and would love to be able to see a clearer style develop without trying to force it! I’m also hoping to make some of my work into prints in the near future too.
Volta: If you’re not originally from Sheffield, why did you decide to settle here?
Rebecca: I’m from Manchester but immediately felt a sense of home in Sheffield. My husband says it’s the best place in England (he’s from Northern Ireland) and aside from my distant dream of living in France or Spain, I think Sheffield is the next best thing.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Rebecca: Sheffield has a really nice vibe for encouraging small creative businesses which has given me confidence in starting the creative journey from zero! I also love being so close to the Peaks and local places like Bolehills where you can easily draw on nature or hilltop views for inspiration.
Volta: Have you ever made a mistake while creating a piece that you learned a lesson from?
Rebecca: All the time. I recently googled how to use a certain type of varnish after I had already covered my painting in it. It’s good to learn as you go, but sometimes you need to do your research first!
Volta: If you could choose famous one person to own one of your pieces of work, who would it be?
Rebecca: One of my favourite singers – Lianne La Havas. Every time I listen to her voice I want to paint her (and I haven’t done it yet!) but when I do, she would be the person I would choose to own it.
Volta: Can you remember the first piece of work you ever sold?
Rebecca: I sold one mystical acrylic painting that I’d shamelessly copied from a piece of digital art I found (and loved) on deviantArt when I was about 14 or even younger (I didn’t know any better!) Fun fact – the wife of the guy who bought that painting 10 years ago recently got in touch with me to say she’d like to commission a piece from me for her husband for Christmas!
Volta: What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Rebecca: Independent shops & cafes, the friendliness, maybe even the hills.
Volta: What advice would you give an aspiring fellow creative who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Rebecca: Try to spend more time creating than you spend on ‘building your business’ or your social media. I think if you have the body of work and the consistency of practice, the other things will come more naturally. Also, link up with other artists.
Sheffield based Artist Rebecca Stewart
Want to find out a little more about Sheffield based Artist Rebecca Stewart work?
Here are links to Rebecca’s Etsy site and social media channels – enjoy!