Leap of Faith

I have been a full time artist for over 3 years now and I never thought it would be possible to be a successful artist and have constant work coming in. It hasn’t always been that easy.

I studied at the National Art School when I first left high school and then I studied fashion design and business because I thought there was no way I would be able to make money from being an artist. After working in the fashion industry for over 4 years, I knew something needed to shift as I was getting nowhere and there was no ease and flow with what I was doing. I did a few painting commissions over the years and had 2 at the start of 2013 when I decided to quite everything and become a full time artist.

I knew God was calling me to do this but it terrified me to step out of regular income and comfort and into the unknown. It was the biggest leap of faith I have taken as I didn’t know if I was going to get work. It has been over 3 years now and I have never been without a painting commission. God has blessed me beyond what I could have ever dreamed or hoped for and what I have learnt through all this is that if you are where God wants you then he blesses that and there is an ease and a flow.

I entered the Archibald over the years and it was quite hard to find people to sit for me. Lots of people said no to me but since becoming a full time artist, everyone I have asked has said yes. This year for the first time I am a finalist in the Archibald prize with my painting of Garry McDonald (Actor and Comedian) titled ‘There’s no humour in darkness’. This painting is special as it is such an expression of me as well as Garry. Like Garry I suffered from major anxiety growing up from performing in piano, any sporting activity and just in general. We all go through struggles in life but God always brings us out of them and into a place of victory. I have been anxiety free this year since being at bible college doing Leadership and Ministry and what God has taught me this year is be obedient and know his voice.

I submitted myself to God and trusted his plan for me at the beginning of the year and the fruit that I have seen from that obedience I could have never dreamed. I have so much work it’s crazy and so many amazing opportunities have come my way this year because of that. I feel so blessed and honoured to do what I love to do and I know everything I do is for Gods glory; not my own. 

About Kirsty Neilson
Sydney based artist Kirsty Neilson is known for her fine detailed portrait work, stunning landscapes and figurative subject matter. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting she has been successful in prestigious Australian art prizes including the Archibald, Portia Geach and Mosman Art Prize. Kirsty is a member of Portrait Artists Australia and paints on a full time basis with ongoing portrait and landscape commission work from a wide range of clientele. Her use of vibrant colours, high contrast style and fine detail is the hallmark of her paintings and gives the viewer an intimate and personal experience when up close. People and their stories are what inspires Kirsty along with other creative mediums such as photography. She is interested in composition and keeping things relevant to worldly issues.