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Kayleigh McCallum

Kayleigh McCallum Art and Illustration
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Freelance Illustrator and Contemporary Artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Painting people and animals in ink, watercolour and oils.

60-Second Interview

Who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
My parents were my biggest heroes when I was younger. They taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to and have supported me through all my decisions - big, small, sensible or mad.
What initially attracted you to enterprise?
I worked in the Marketing and Advertising industry for 7 years before finally taking the leap into the big self-employed world. Working for SMEs I saw the huge gains for running your own business and I realised it was something I’d love to do. It took me a while to think about what that business would be, but one day it clicked - I should do something I love! And that something was art. It’s really quite different from what I’d been doing previously, but my background has given me a brilliant grounding for starting up and promoting myself.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
My first job was a Photographer’s Assistant at 15 years old. Back in the days of spools I used to have to change them really quick in between shots. I also held up the big reflective board.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
Consistency. I think that no matter what sector you work in, keeping work rolling in consistently is a challenge. But it keeps you on your toes - I’m always thinking about the next big idea!
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
I’m very lucky to have really close and supportive family and friends around me. There’s always someone who’ll pick up the phone or meet me for a coffee (wine) to let me moan. Wouldn’t change them for the world.
Plus a good Kate Bush soundtrack to dance around to helps the endorphins :)
What is it that gets you out of your bed in the morning?
I’m a night owl so it’s not always easy! However being able to get out of bed and do the one thing you’re really passionate about all day is just the best! I’m happiest with a paintbrush in hand.
How do you define success?
Success to me is being content in my life. I’m not very materialistic so as long as I am happy, can pay the bills and get to do what I love everyday, I’d say I’m successful. Anything else on top is a Brucey bonus.
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
My goal is to have a portable business that allows me to travel the world and paint everywhere I go. There are so many wonderful people out there that I’d love to paint, and so many wonderful galleries I’d love to exhibit in.
If you could give your “teenage self” one piece of advice, what would it be?
Believe in yourself and don’t give a damn about what other people think. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of not following your dream because you don’t think you’re good enough or you think other people don’t think you’re good enough. Don’t play mind games on yourself, just do it!
If you could have any 1 person on your business contact list who would that person be and why?
I actually don’t have one specific person. My favourite part of my job is seeing someone’s face when they love one of my pieces of art. The fact someone can have an emotional connection with something I’ve created and want to put it in their home to look at everyday is just amazing to me. So I’d like my contact list to be full of all the people I’ve managed to touch with my art.