Artist Cornelia Weinmann is a printmaker and fabric and furniture upcycler based Coupar Angus in east Perthshire.
How and why did you start in business?
I started my business over 20 years ago because I wanted to develop my fascination with fabric and colour from a hobby to an income-generating enterprise. I lived in Canada at that point and joined a local network of small and home-based businesses which ultimately led to my first showcase with the local chamber of commerce.
After moving to the UK I started co-renting a pottery studio – clay sculpture, printing and painting are all aspects of my creative practice as well upcycling fabric and furniture.
How did you get where you are today?
I have always got a great deal of joy from making and creating and have a fascination with exploring new techniques in all the art media I cover.
I started with hand-painted and printed textiles, added upcycled furniture, and later took up printmaking and painting on paper and canvas.
For a few years I worked with ceramic sculpture.
Recently I’ve started moving towards upcycling fabric to create colourful handmade garments.
Who has helped you along the way?
I’ve always received help through networking, through taking classes and through extensive online research.
In Scotland I get excellent tailor-made support from the mentors and support programmes run by GrowBiz which supports business and enterprise in rural Perth and Kinross.
Your biggest mistake?
After leaving Canada I didn’t settle in Scotland right away when I came to the UK.
The business support networks and funding options for artists are excellent here.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
It took me a long time to overcome a family tradition of disregard for artisans and renounce a budding academic career so I could immerse myself in the amazing creative world of colour and design.
Hopes for the future?
I want to move my art practice from fine art to functional art, from printmaking and painting to creating unique garments using mainly recycled fabrics.
I am hoping to become a recognised player on the stage of the environmentally-friendly production of slow fashion, maybe being part of a collective of textile designers.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
The freedom of being self-employed comes with a lot of responsibility. Taking care of every possible business aspect and constantly making my own decisions is much more difficult than being told what to do.
Advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Look for help if you feel stuck or overwhelmed.