Five years ago, Chelsea Agno graduated from St Mary MacKillop College with dreams of becoming an artist. Now that those dreams have been realised, Chelsea has returned to MacKillop to inspire the College’s aspiring artists to do the same.
After a successful trial of the Artist@MacKillop program last year, MacKillop invited Chelsea to participate in the program for 2017, bringing her into the College once per week to share her knowledge and skills with MacKillop’s art students.
Chelsea is a graphic designer, illustrator, and artist with a passion for 3D graphics. In just five years, she has already had a successful career, winning multiple competitions, working for high-profile clients like hip-hop artist J. Cole, and having her work featured in a range of magazines. She is now an intern with No Cure Magazine.
As the daughter of an artist, art was always something she was going to pursue, but, according to Chelsea, the influence of her art teachers also contributed to her success.
“When I was at MacKillop, I tried to take every single art class that I could, basically because it was a bit of a refuge for me. I think it’s important to find your passion as a student and put your energy into subjects you enjoy,” she said.
“I think the teachers at MacKillop are part of the reason why I’ve decided to pursue art later on in my life. They were all huge influences in my life and they were always really supportive of my style and what I wanted to do.”
As part of the program, Chelsea has made presentations to the senior Visual Arts, Photography, Media, and Graphic Design classes and has been available to run workshops and mentor students one-on-one.
“I enjoy sharing my experiences, being able to have an impact on the students, and to inspire them and get them excited about art, because it’s something I’m passionate about and I like to share my passion with others,” she said.
So what advice does Chelsea have for MacKillop’s aspiring artists?
“Don’t compare yourself to other artists; work on your craft as often as you can, maybe even every day; take it easy; talk to other artists; network.
“During my career, I’ve been rejected from a lot of competitions and a lot of jobs but that has directed me onto the right path and taught me some valuable lessons. I think it’s important to receive criticism and receive feedback from other people in order to improve your work.”