“Always work around what you know and what you love,” Patrice Wills.

Patrice Wills is a name familiar in the Sydney art world. A person so humble, thoughtful and warm. She has opened doors to countless artists and counting. As a finalist in numerous art prizes over the years, she shares her daily life, inspiration and future hope in this interview.

Tell us how it all started out?

“I have always been painting. I was an artsy kid. After school, I went on to study visual arts and then studied Education and eventually a Bachelor of Counseling. I have had the pleasure of working as a counselor in mental health for 10 years and then as a high school art teacher for another 10 years. Currently, I am running the arts studio at Blacktown City Council where we conduct workshops, events and other art related programs.”

Patrice continues to add that this provides opportunities to local artists, whether new or experienced.

“I’m connected to the community and try to provide pathways for the many local talented artists through the studio and workshop program. The Blacktown Arts Studio is inexpensive and accessible to artists needing the space and resources. ” The programs we have had attracted a diverse mix of a creative and eclectic group.”

“Seeking” by Patrice Wills

Besides teaching in a workshop, Patrice also guides and offers advise to fellow artists as needed.

When asked what differentiates her artwork, she mentioned human experience. Her background in counseling and teaching has led to her artworks having a deep emotive character.

“Painting is what I do for me. With four kids, aged between 15 to 26, I make sure I spend at least a few minutes a day in my home studio. Whether it’s writing in my journal, painting, or just sitting down admiring the works of other artists, I make sure I protect my time when it comes to art. Otherwise, you get derailed.”

As a woman with many commitments, she mentioned the importance of carving out time for yourself.

By this point of the interview, I understood that Patrice has had a fulfilling life with vast experience in her career. I proceeded to ask about any other skills that she has.

“Horse riding,” she mentioned excitedly. “I used to stay with my grandmother whose neighbor’s had a horse. By the time I was an art student at Uni I was working on the race track and at the local riding school.”

What is that one advice you would like to give to the readers?

“Follow your heart,” Patrice said. “Be kind to yourself and one another. Do what you love. Always.”

I concluded the interview by asking Patrice who inspires her the most to which she mentioned her daughters.

“Not only as a mother, but as a woman I am constantly amazed by them, my daughters. And of course, other wonderful artist friends I have around me.”

Patrice Wills works of art and other information about her can be found on her website: patricewills.com