RAW Artists Joy Sparkes: Interview

So this week I thought I’d explore an organisation which is supporting local artists, and having quite the impact on the art world both locally and internationally. RAW is an independent arts organisation, for artists, by artists.

Introducing Joy Sparkes the State Director of RAW, Adelaide. Joy grew up in Adelaide and has always been interested in the arts. She’s a super self-motivated young lady and loves supporting creativity. Joy was kind enough to answer a few questions about her love of art, RAW and how RAW is raising awareness of/changing the art world.

Joy with her portrait painted by artist and friend Lisa King.

Joy with her portrait painted by artist and friend Lisa King.

Janni Fewster: So you’re the director of RAW Adelaide! Could you please explain What exactly RAW represents?

Joy Sparkes: I am indeed the State Director for RAW in Adelaide.

In the words of RAW itself… “We dig the underground”.

Basically the state directors of RAW concentrate on scouting and showcasing the work of 30-40 artists every 2 months in our respective states across 9 categories of art including Hair, Accessories, Fashion, Visual Art, Film, Performing Art, Makeup and Music.

JF: And how does RAW work?

JS: It is my job to find talented emerging artists who would like to put their work in front of a large audience. I then work closely with a venue to completely transform it for one evening and then we go for it… a full art extravaganza.  Film-makers, Musicians and Performing Artist performances are usually interspersed with Visual Artists having the spotlight on stage to chat about their achievements thus far and we end on an amazing fashion show at the end of the evening exhibitioning the talents of grouped Hairstylists, Makeup Artists and Fashion Designers. To make this event happen I have a team of talented photographers and videographers and dedicated volunteers.

JF: Excellent, What makes you want to work in the arts/ RAW in particular?

JS: I am true blue aussie. I love supporting the underdog. It’s in my blood. RAW supports those who may not have had a chance yet to showcase their work, or are in the beginning phases of their artists careers OR are simply caught in an ‘art show rut’ where their work is only being seen by the same people every show. We just provide something a little different that is well organised and it’s also part of an international community.

JF: Cool so who are some of your favourite local artists?

JS: Alpha Manta – Visual Artist

Chloe Gray – Photographer

Nadia Semanic – Hair Stylist

Closet Mod – Fashion Designer

Yeah Dope – Visual Artist

The Rememberz – Musician

JF: So the art world is constantly changing and evolving. Do you think that the digital age is helping or hindering artists?

JS: It can be both a hindrance and a help. I think artists need to become MUCH more organised if they would like to be professional in their field. We have entered an age where hobbies can also be professions and we can have multiple professions at once because as soon as we leave the office we can fire up out online personalities and market ourselves to our small communities that we involve ourselves with across different social media platforms. SO in this sense artists must be organised enough to accurately and succinctly communicate their recent works across social media HOWEVER, because there is such ease involved with this type of process of disseminating their specific information many people have had the same idea… Which means that competition is stiff. The run on effect of this is that we only ever have our friends who show up to our art shows and mostly artist have artists friends… So they can get trapped into showcasing their art to people who simply cannot afford it.

JF: Does RAW have any events planned soon?

JS: Well Melbourne has a showcase on September the 19th at the Melbourne Pavillion in Flemington and here in Adelaide we have one on September the 26th. But worldwide we have 60+ showcases happening all the time. It is big and getting bigger because we are constantly digging up new artists to proudly showcase.

Creativity. Art on Instruments.

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