Meet the Future Shapers : A conversation with Donna McGee at Donna McGee Fine Art.
We love to share stories from past entrepreneurial students of Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace. Here we chat with Donna McGee, a landscape and abstract painter with a new-found appreciation for the art of reflection, failing-forward and networking as ways to create one’s future. Donna recently completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship and is now looking forward to continuing her artistic pursuits and opening her talents to a bigger audience.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I am an Irish landscape and abstract painter creating original oil paintings. I work from my studio in Dublin. I had always loved painting but never seemed to find the time to dedicate to it. Following a successful career in financial services, I took the bold decision in 2000 to focus on rearing my family and dedicating my time to focus on creativity. Following my dream, I set up a studio and developed my artwork practise.
What has inspired you to do what you do?
My paintings are inspired by the timeless beauty of the Irish landscape encompassing those moments when light makes a dramatic impact on the subject matter; a dramatic sky or a crashing wave or the arousal of curiosity in the viewer as an abstract illusion unfolds. This is all a part of an exciting journey waiting to land. My paintings are available for both private and corporate purchase.
When did you first hear about the Tangent Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship course and why did it attract your interest?
I absolutely believe in life-long learning and have studied quite a bit in the past. The course Creativity & Cultural Entrepreneurship continuously popped up on my radar - it was on social media, my friends had mentioned it to me, it was beckoning .... meant for me to do it.
Did you have any reservations about applying?
I knew that I would enjoy the content so that wasn't an issue and it was a very exciting prospect to attend Trinity College. However, taking on a Level 9 course would demand time and effort, it would mean disrupting the family set-up attending lectures in Trinity early evening - formerly meal time! Who would be on the course? Would I be the oldest? Did that matter? Did I really want to commit the next 6 months to this course?
I did what I always do, took on my 'can-do' attitude and jumped in head first.
What you did enjoy most about the Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship course?
I loved attending Trinity albeit for such a short time before Covid hit. I loved meeting such a diverse range of creatives and learning what they did and their mindsets. I loved the learning as it was delivered in such a fun way. The tutors were exceptional in their generosity. I loved the challenge and getting out of my comfort zone.
What were you key takeaways?
I confirmed to myself that I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to do.
I learned the value of networking and the impact it can have on my world.
I learned to retrain that inner voice that implants self-doubt and criticism.
I learned that there is a lot of help and assistance out there that I had not tapped into.
I became more focussed on what I want to achieve through my artistic practice.
I learned to place a greater value in what I do.
How has the course most helped you & your business?
The course has helped me focus on progressing my artistic practice and to be more confident about my work. I recognise that I have many skills that I can direct more effectively and efficiently. The concept of failing forward and having a growth mindset is such a positive response to the learning. Reflection is also a great learning ground for what works, why, how, when and where, in going forward.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I wish to continue my artistic pursuits, find a bigger audience for my talents. Work smarter - by this I mean having clear goals that are specific, measurable, achievable and time-bound. Be proud!
Is there anything you would like to add for anyone reading this?
As Peter Drucker says 'the best way to predict your future, is to create it' This course can be a life changing experience if you allow it to be - open your mind to the possibilities, have fun and let your creativity flow.
It was great to hear Donna’s experience as an artist in learning the business skills and techniques for realising & creating new opportunities and defining value. We look forward to watching her continue on her journey of success with www.donnamcgee.ie. If you’d like to follow Donna and view her amazing work, you can do so on Facebook, Instagram or keep up to date on Twitter.