MY NAME IS JANE WALLACE MITCHELL AND I AM AN ARTIST, WRITER AND HOSPITAL CLERK.
I spent my childhood drawing patterns. I trained as a graphic designer but found it wasn't creative enough. A friend offered me a book to illustrate and my life changed - I worked as a freelance illustrator for nearly 30 years. It's tricky making a living as a creative person - and there's a perception that art shouldn't attract a 'normal' wage because you're doing something wonderful that you love. People will pay more for a pair of shoes or jeans than they will for art. Bizarre but true. I create art for myself now and sell it in a couple of places -Incube8r in Smith Street Fitzroy & my Donalstreet store on Etsy.
If I was not a Jane I would love another name such as Agatha, Virginia, Brunhilda, Constance or Ethel.
I became uncharacteristically practical about eight years ago and found a job in a hospital. It can be soul-destroyingly mundane but occasionally I make a difference. I'll make a cup of tea for someone, or show a bit of humanity when a person looks beaten up by their situation, and it makes my job worthwhile.
I agreed to be part of this project because I love art.
I’m not plain Jane … I can't finish that sentence … it sounds like a sales pitch.