Artist Spotlight: Justine P-W

How lockdown kickstarted this artist’s passion for painting


Despite putting her artistic pursuits on pause after getting pregnant, Justine never gave up on it. As lockdown rolled around, she started to get creative and finally picked up her paintbrushes again. Alongside working as a fashion designer and tailor, she continues to use her free time to paint but knows there is more inside of her besides being a dressmaker.

Justine talks about the inspirations behind her work, the connections between art and fashion and some of the challenges of being an artist.


How does your background in architecture influence your creative practice?

I like to paint landscapes with lots of buildings so that definitely has a big influence on what I’m trying to create. I also went to Warsaw this summer and visited the royal castle where there were lots of paintings by Canaletto. He always inspired me at school and he is probably why I’m so into painting buildings and landscapes.

“If you want a picture, take a picture. But if you want a painting, it will have something from the artist.”

You paint lots of different landscapes, what inspires these locations?

Usually, I paint places that I’ve been to because it’s much easier for me to visualise when I’m looking at the picture, and I can twist that with my imagination. I always think if you want a picture, take a picture. But if you want a painting, it will have something from the artist. That’s my personal opinion about art in general.


You also work as a dressmaker, what connections do you see between art and fashion?

I think there is a huge connection. Many of the dresses I make could be put on a red carpet because you have to use so much imagination. Sometimes customers bring in a rough idea of what they want and when they come back to try it on, my imagination goes wild: “let’s add some embellishment here, add some ruffles there.” If you’re creative, fashion, painting, drawing and any kind of art are all connected.

“If you’re creative, fashion, painting, drawing and any kind of art are all connected.”

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?

Netflix is something that always distracts me! I have no time to spend with my husband, so if I’m not working, I’m painting in front of the telly as I want to spend time with him as well. Netflix is a bit of a distraction for me.

Otherwise, if there’s something I want to do, I’ll just do it. I do like challenges so if someone says to me, “oh you won’t be able to paint this,” the next weekend I’ll sit down and prove them wrong.


What does it mean to be an artist?

I think we are all artists at heart. Everyone has some artistic feelings inside of them, but some are stronger in different fields. I feel artistic about the dresses I make, even when customers call me I have to draw what they describe to me. Being an artist is a state of mind.

If you could star in any movie, which would it be?

Probably The Dressmaker because you could get lots of funny stories from behind the scenes.

See more of Nicole’s work at https://app.brushwrk.co.uk/user/justinep-w