The Artistic Mind: Interview With ARTSOC

Fatima Bobboyi and Gemma Cockrell

The first thing that intrigued me about Gemma Cockrell was that she’s a Psychology student and, between being the Music Editor at Impact Magazine and the Publicity Secretary of ARTSOC, I found that really fascinating. In this interview, Fatima encourages Gemma to explore her journey with art and creative self-expression, as well as her work with the University of Nottingham’s Art Society and Impact Magazine!

I believe ARTSOC is for everyone… regardless of why you want to create, you’ll fit right in!

Fatima: Growing up, what do you think made you so drawn to art?

Gemma: Despite being quite academic in school, I was always just drawn to art and creative expression. I remember always having my drawings all over the house and I’m only recently realized how being creative has and will always be a such a big part of my life. I’m not sure how I’m only realising now that I want a career in the creative industry.

F: But how could you miss that!?

G: It doesn’t make sense how I missed that, cause I used to write made up stories and articles when I was younger. I even had a music blog too. I literally had the biggest signs but maybe because I did quite well in the sciences as well,  I was pushed more towards pursuing them over the more creative things. But the creative industry kind of keeps the world going, especially during the pandemic. Like what would people have done without the creative industry? People would have really struggled. I think sometimes people forget just how important creative careers can be. If you are a creative person, you don’t ever lose that, that is just part of you as a person.

F: How has experimenting with digital art been? I saw a piece on your Instagram page and I loved it!

G: I feel like a lot of artists find what they like, and they stick to it. I usually don’t do that, I wake up one day and I want to do a pencil drawing, the next day I want to do an abstract! So, I just woke up one day and was like I really want to try digital art. So, I went to PC World and got the cheapest touch screen pen and it was at the same time that Impact Magazine was looking for people to do a drawing for their Print edition, so I just gave it a go and it turned out great. I don’t even have fancy software or anything, and I was just experimenting, but I really enjoyed it so I got carried away and ended up doing like six illustrations- it was all thanks to Impact!

everyone has some creativity in them, people just use it differently

F: How would you define the Artistic Mind?

G: Everyone has it to some extent, it’s just that some people have it more than others. Different parts of our brains process different things; our Artistic mind could be that part of our brain that processes everything creative. Anyone can make art, whether they objectively see it as good or bad, anyone can do it but some people shy away from doing it because they are better at doing other things. Everyone has some creativity in them, people just use it differently and I think that is the creative mind to me.

F: What is your opinion of ‘Nature vs. Nurture’? It is a concept that came up a few times as I did my research.

G: Well, to start with, my parents are both in science-related fields and they never studied Art-and neither have I- but they’ve always had an interest in it. Art is the kind of thing that you do not have to study to understand or appreciate and it is the kind of thing that needs time and practice. It is definitely ‘Nurture’ in the sense that you have to put in time, even if it comes naturally to you. It has taken me at least ten years to be able to look at my portraits. for instance, and think, okay, I like how that looks.

So, even if you do have that natural inclination, it is still something you have to put some time into. I also feel like people forget that most of art is not only about the final product but also in the process as well. Even if you are not naturally inclined to it, if you do it a lot you would definitely get better. Maybe if you nurture it enough it can become like nature.

F: What has your experience with ARTSOC been so far?

G: We’ve always had an ethos that everyone is welcome! ARTSOC is very diverse in the kind of people we have, so it doesn’t matter if you create masterpieces at one go or you just want to have a nice chill evening, messing around with some paint- both are equally valuable. I believe ARTSOC is for everyone, as long as you have an interest in being creative, regardless of why you want to create, you’ll fit right in! It is a chill and relaxed atmosphere and it’s often the atmosphere where the best artwork comes from, when you are not even trying and are just having fun with people who are nice and who inspire you.

F: Is ARTSOC open to collaborations with other societies?

G: We do collaborations with a lot of societies- we are always up for those. We had a really successful one with The Creative Writing Society a while back, so yes!

F: How has it been managing your role with ARTSOC as well as being Impact Magazine’s Music Editor?

G: I’m not musically talented whatsoever but I’m always listening to music and I always having an opinion on it. Music  has always been my favourite thing to write about and thanks to all the collaborators who have written, the Music section is doing so well!

And music often inspires my art. Without music, I don’t think I would have gotten into Art as much as I have. What got me into Art was drawing singers and people whose music I like. I’m really into these two Swedish Artists who I drew a while back and even ended up doing some of their merch which was really cool-like 3 years ago- and it was just amazing how that was able to bring Music and Art together and sparked everything for me! The opportunity gave me my first taste of the music industry and because it involved my art it made me think, hold on, this could go somewhere!

Fatima Bobboyi and Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of @welldone12 via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image 1 courtesy of via No changes were made to this image.

In-article image 2 courtesy of @uonartsoc via No changes were made to this image.

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