Interview with Caroline McFarlane-Watts

Apr 20, 2016Career, Creative Talent, Interviews

Caroline McFarlane

Caroline_McFarlaneArtist Spotlight is a place to showcase new artists as well as revisiting talent. Enjoy this interview sharing the stories about their work, career, and process for navigating the winding road that artists must take in order to become a professional in such a creative, respected, and sought after career.

This is artist Caroline McFarlane. For more about this artist visit their CTN Profile: CLICK HERE


What were your beginnings(childhood and or how you evolved to being a professional artist) as an artist? Where did you grow up and did that influence your art and path to your career?

In a tiny remote village in the English countryside is a long winding dust road, which leads to a 500-year-old thatched cottage, lived in since before the time of Henry VIII. This is where I had my childhood and it was in the copse and fields behind that house that I looked for fairies and went on adventures with treasure maps. That start in life is probably imprinted in all my work.

Dinky and Pooky the Christmas Elves by CS McFarlane-Watts

Can you talk about your career being a sculptor? How did you prepare yourself, skills for this career and what is the process you use for projects?

It was a happy accident that lead to a career creating things using clay. I’m self-taught and once I started (really quite late in life) I wondered what I’d been doing until then.

What made you want to do the work you are doing now? What are the materials you use for your pieces and what makes you choose them instead of others?

Before I did the work I’m doing now I worked in a big shiny office in London – managing peoples’ diaries, fetching their tea and inputting data into spreadsheets. At last I realized that if I did it a single solitary second longer I’d go stark raving mad, so the career I threw myself into instead (following a shift to another country, another flat, another everything) was the only conceivable option for me.

I use sculpey (polymer clay) because I find it perfect for my purposes and really easy to use.

Good Witches Bad Witches Halloween by CS McFarlane-Watts

What is a typical day like for you?

Being English, it starts with tea and it starts early. Being self-employed, it goes on for 12-15 hours with nary a break between, but I love it. My day is filled with commissions – drafting ideas for clients / completing their commissions, sketching, sculpting, photographing, and a bit of admin thrown in.

The English Witch2 by CS McFarlane-Watts

Can you explain your process when you create a new sculpture, the concept, the armature, and how you get to the finished piece?

This answer will be boring, because describing the process is boring. It starts with a sketch, then armature wire twisted into a skeleton, then clay (sculpey) is built up on top, and it’s hardened in the oven before final touches are added with paint and other mixed media. Told you.

The Irish Witch at the cottage by CS McFarlane-Watts

Do you have any advice for people starting out?

If working for yourself, running your own business is something you want to do (because you have almost total freedom to do what you want and be creative 7 days a week) then there’s no reason not to do it. If you’re not keen on the idea of living to work, and working every day of the week and into the wee hours (because that’s really what it takes to make a small business profitable when you first start out, at any rate) then it’s not for you.

The Mad Hatter by CS McFarlane-Watts


You’ve done so much with your career already, what would you like accomplish over the next 2 years?

Projects I’m developing come to fruition and the publishing of more books.

Good Witches Bad Witches by CS McFarlane-Watts


Interview by Heather M. Shepherd

Heather Heather is an experienced artist, modeler, and CG designer. She has worked at Disney,Dreamworks, Jim Henson and Warner Bros. Recently shehas been writing, directing,and producing her own award winning films.