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  • Suzy Bashford

Big Juicy Creative conversation with artist Ann Vastano




Ann Vastano was one of the launch episodes of Big Juicy Creative podcast and, in the early stages, I transcribed (ish!) the interviews.


Here are some of my favourite quotes of Ann's.

"Art was like a friend. It’s always been with me. It’s something that I’ve been able to have as a soundwall for me. The best way for me to contemplate the world is to draw it. It’s like a form of meditation. It could be anything. A tomato or a tunnock’s tea cake. I’ll just consider and think about all the elements that make it up. Then put my slant on it. It’s very mindful. It takes my head away from other things that trouble me. Or frustrations."

"My parents didn’t swamp us with toys. We were encouraged to use our imaginations, sandcastles, drawing in the sand, den building, long chats. I don’t ever remember being bored. We seemed to be outside all the time."


What do you think of kids being bored after 5 minutes not on a screen today? "It does trouble me slightly."


Commenting on the portraits of NHS workers she did during lockdown:


"It was quite a carthartic thing to do because otherwise I felt quite futile through the whole process."


On the mundane:


"The mundane is the greatest opportunity for creativity. I love ironing, weeding, hoovering, because of this."


"Painting helps me see things for what they are and face the reality."

"I’ve never felt that I needed anything back from my work. I paint and I draw and I create because it’s who I am. I live and breatahe it. I start with the joy. I hope I never ‘retire’."


"I feel really lucky that I am engaging my life in a way that I can really absorb what is happening around me because I can take time to really look at my landcape, the people in it, the objects in it and just meditate on that, in the sense that drawing or painting or taking time to look. Creativity helps you do that."

"You’re never going to please all the people all of the time. So please yourself. Ultimately, if someone else likes the piece of work, then that’s a bonus."

For the full, illuminating conversation with artist Ann Vastano, see episode (Number 2) of the Big Juicy Creative podcast.



Listen to the podcast for the full story of how a 'silly thought' of Ann's led to her work being commissioned by Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

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