How We Got Our Jobs as Artists: Interview with DelvesintoHollis

How We Got Our Jobs as Artists: Interview with DelvesintoHollis

Hello lovely readers, and apologies for the radio silence recently! I’ve been going through some exciting life changes recently which I’ll share with you on the blog shortly.

In the meantime, I’ve been speaking to some very interesting twenty-somethings, and I wanted to share the thoughts of Becky and Caitlin with you, the founders of creative arts project, DelvesintoHollis.

If you’ve ever wanted to work in the creative industry but weren’t sure how to get started then read on!


Hey ladies! For anyone who’s unfamiliar with your work, can you explain exactly what DelvesintoHollis is all about?
DelvesintoHollis started as a creative partnership between us both. We began by producing our own short films (including a Barbie version of Titanic in the bath!) and it has now developed into a multi-disciplinary company that aims to support emerging talent. We want to create opportunities for artists to showcase their work, meet and experiment. Most importantly we want people to be playful together: it’s a scary world!!


You guys met at uni, right? A lot of people have mixed feelings about studying the arts in an academic setting. What was the most beneficial thing you gained from your degrees?
Becky: We actually met in our last year of High school in Edinburgh. I went on to study at London College of Fashion and Caitlin at Duncan of Jordanstone. The most beneficial thing would be learning how to live on 3 hours sleep a night! Or on a more serious note, learning how to use time wisely and self direct. During some lessons, you were waiting around for hours to talk with your tutor as they had so many students to see. You needed to be well prepared and getting on with things while you waited. Even if that meant lugging in a huge suitcase filled with work to do each day!

Caitlin: Definitely learning how to be disciplined and motivate yourself. Being in a  creative environment encouraged a good work ethic and we hope our upcoming exhibition ‘Boundaries’ will create something similar.

CAITLIN DELVES FILM STILLS.jpgStills from Caitlin’s work

Why do you think there are so few outlets for creative graduates right now? Is there anything people can do to change this?
Becky: Just before I graduated, my tutor told me that if I didn’t act fast and get myself out there, another set of Graduates would be coming along soon enough. There are so many fantastic creatives out there, so getting noticed is the hardest part.Joining forces and collaborating is a good step! If you can create opportunities and outlets together then even better.

Caitlin: I totally agree with Becky. We want to encourage community not competition. We hope our exhibition will provide a platform of opportunities for creative graduates, giving them time to make their own work. We know it can be hard to fit it in with the stresses of working life!


“We want people to be playful together: it’s a scary world!”


It must be scary thought sometimes, having such a fluid career. What’s the ‘worst’ part of being an artist?

Becky: Self critiquing. I am my own worst critic and always worry I’m never putting in enough time or effort, when I probably am!

Caitlin: The lack of stable creative opportunities and having to hold down a variety of ‘interesting’ jobs to maintain an income.


…And the best?
Becky: Playing! As painful as trial and errors can be, researching new ways of expressing what you have in your head is the best part. I have always found that the ‘artistic accidents’ end up creating the best outcome.

Caitlin: Being able to express your ideas through a creative process. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your artistic vision become an actual piece of work.


Have you ever thought, ‘nah, I’ll just have a 9-5 and be done with it’?
Becky: I have moments where I ask myself “what am I doing!?”. Whenever I’m working on projects, I assume I have 24 hours in the day  because ‘that’s what artists do’. It’s a struggle to know when to call it a day, so yes the structure of a 9-5 is appealing. However, I think i’d be lost if I didn’t have a million creative tasks on at once.

Caitlin: Yes definitely. However, it would be great to have a 9-5 job that involved all of the creative aspects I want to do! Normal working hours and creative jobs don’t tend to go hand in hand though.

“Don’t let bad critiques get you down, use them to your advantage. In hindsight they were the best things to happen, they pushed me to create something even more exciting. “


So tell me a bit more about your upcoming exhibition, Boundaries.

Boundaries looks to showcase emerging artists’ work from a variety of disciplines. We aim to explore the concrete, abstract, tangible and intangible boundaries within society, work, space and artistic practice. Approximately 8 artists will be selected to exhibit their work in response to the theme of Boundaries. Additionally, each artist will be asked to create a secondary piece inspired by another exhibiting artist’s work. In doing so we hope to not only create a dialogue between each artist, but also the selected works on display.


Where does inspiration from your own work come from? Is there any particular thing that you are really passionate about right now?

Becky: Anyone that knows me knows I have a crazy obsession with Stanley Kubrick. I am continually inspired by his films and photography. My graduate collection explored The Shining alongside influences from Scottish heritage. For the past year I have been exploring Public Service Announcements from the 70s, I love how strange and intense they are – these terrifying cinematic experiences that stay with you. I am also rather obsessed with 70s horror films, their lack of inhibition is brilliant.

Caitlin: I’m really interested in the effect of mainstream cinema, as well as popular culture on gender. I think there needs to be more films about women. Cinema still needs a far more varied and complex representation of women and women’s issues. I like creating work that uses humour to look at the absurdness of the media in respect to gender roles.


Do you have any advice for other twenty-somethings who want to follow in your footsteps and pursue art as a career?

Becky: Don’t let bad critiques get you down, use them to your advantage. In hindsight they were the best things to happen, they pushed me to create something even more exciting. Particularly if you want to pursue art outside of university, knowing how to distance yourself from negative feedback and not taking it too personally will help you just power through! As we all know, art is subjective. You can’t please everyone.

Caitlin: Go for it. Its great to have a creative outlet that allows you to explore and express yourself freely.


Ideally, where would you like to be in five years time?
Becky: Ideally, making my own full length horror film. In other words, in five years time I want to be scaring people.

Caitlin: Making films ideally. I would also love to see DelvesintoHollis expand into a creative community where artists can come and go, experimenting with new wacky ideas and having fun in the process.

Catch Boundaries from 7 – 10 April at Dance For All Studios in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.