Gerry Sexton
Gerard retired from a purchasing job in the automotive industry in 2005 & since then has made it his purpose to become an accomplished digital photographer. Photography was already a hobby for him but one he in common with many never really had time to fully perfect due to work & family commitments. He is largely self-taught & with his time well spent after retirement, he can now boast a remarkable portfolio of images across a broad cross section of subjects though he will argue street still holds the most fascination for him.

Digital artist-designer and photographer

Can you share a brief overview of your creative journey, from when you first started pursuing your creative career to where you are now?

Did foundation in graphics then fell dormant through 32 years of a career in an automotive co’ took up photography in 2005 which led to my digital art and design work.

What inspired you to follow a creative path?

So many things. I knew I could draw and my dream to pursue a career in art was thwarted by the ned to get a proper job the pout bread on the table for my family.

How do you balance your creative pursuits with the practical aspects of being an artist, such as marketing, networking, and financial management?

I don’t do this at all well. 32 years in a commercial highly toxic industrial environment left me cold when it comes to the commercial side of promoting and marketing my work. That aside the constant chatter of ‘I’m not good enough’ & ‘whats the point’ combine to sabotage any effort to sell my work. I working on it!

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a creative person?

The joy of seeing the end product and the idea that I created it.

What keeps you motivated and passionate about your craft?

A mix of obsession and the idea of recreating the joy. As at the very least I can plaster my walls with my output. Of course there is an element of the rewards that a sale brings which is an added benefit but its not the MO.

What advice would you give to young artists who are just starting out and considering a creative career?

Keep doing but don’t stop being.

How did you discover and develop your own artistic identity?

Experimentation is my by word. I have so much time and multiple outlets that I can choose though photography is often weather related and requires more of a shove to get my attention away from a computer screen. But once I fill an SD card I end up back in front of a screen LOL.

Can you talk about the role of failure and perseverance in the creator’s life?

What is failure in a past life it was a spur to do better though in truth the lack of me time to overcome my limitations when in a family unit is restrictive. Now I realise that the mind is a tricky customer and it takes an awareness of that to process the constant negative chatter of whats the point to the usual imposter syndrome narrative. I have two little books one on creativity and the other on success that sit in prominent places in my home each is approx 100 pages of axioms relating to each subject. They help. Like creativity starts when my critical mind stops….and so on.

What misconceptions or myths about being a creator that you would like to debunk?

That art is truth. Bollocks art is a journey into ourselves. Yes its our truth but no one else truth (unless of course there is a way that this translates into the visible output). It is about dispelling demons curbing the go and just doing finding the dishes and swirls instead of the straight rigid lines its about finding the peace dispelling the mind talk and dealing with others with love. I used to dispose people who told me what I should do once I converted that idea to ‘they are only trying help’ I was free. And of course when we talk of love making art and going down the rabbit hole can only be done if we learn to love ourselves.

How do you navigate the industry and find opportunities to showcase your work or collaborate with others?

I don’t as I have yet to transcend my cynicism around how someone can take 50% of my sales price for really doing sweet FA.

What are some common challenges artists face regarding recognition and financial stability, and how can they be addressed?

Most have appeared in proceeding answers. Read about Sean Scully he has sorted it he drip feeds his work to the world and dictates the price and keeps it all. We are not all SS’s but first thing we certainly need to address that it is not failure to prostitute ourselves to earn an income from something other than our art. It’s a means to an end and it may protect “our truth” from corruption. I would also say take money out of the creative equation. Do art for love do art to feed your passion and with luck your work will reflect that love and passion and the rest will be history.

How do you stay connected with other creators and the larger creative community?

Yes in a way my entry in to the world of the curated photography platform has been a source of inspiration and challenge and many of my connections still remain. I do though draw a line at photography clubs but can give something back through joining in with others organising annual art fairs etc. Pro bono is a good idea from time to time to.

Can you share any tips for creators to market and promote their work effectively in today’s digital age?

No, but would willing to receive them!

Are there any specific resources, workshops, or organisations you would recommend for young creators who want to further develop their skills and knowledge?

Keep learning but where is their choice. I really do believe the part that 80% of us have to really work at it 20% it comes naturally. Get through the idea you know it all. I am 70 and still learning to use photoshop and adobe Illustrator and will connect with AI occasionally. I have a mission to have my scarf designs screen printed and that has yet to be realised….watch this space.

What strategies do you use to continually improve your craft?

Everyday is a school day.

How do you approach self-criticism and growth as an artist?

Been said don’t run with your head run with your instinct. The ego is in your head, it is a great creator, a great creator of lies.

Have you ever experienced creative blocks or periods of low inspiration? If so, how did you overcome them?

Not that I know. All around me is my play ground with and infinite choice of subjects.

Do you believe it’s necessary to have a degree in a creative subject to succeed?

I think not nothing like that is a necessity its a nice to have. It can open doors end of year exhibitions attract buyers and galleries can’t be a bad thing also you interact with others and you learn that its you paddling your own canoe but with a peer group you realise that sometimes you can’t do it alone. I briefly spent time in a commercial art studio and realised that my year in collage was barren when it came to the real world. But that was in the 70’s things will have change a great deal since then.

Can you share any memorable experiences or achievements in your creative career that have had a significant impact on your journey?

I sold a paper print for $2000. It was the fulcrum to help me realise I wasn’t a bum.

Is there anything else you would like to share with young creators aspiring to pursue a creative career?

Don’t let your creative arrogance impede on your ability to connect with your audience. They will be your source of income.

You can find Gerry at:
Gerard Sexton