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What gets me up in the morning – mother and son artists, Jo and Mark Beattie

Jo and Mark_Feb2014

Jo and I met through Bolder and Wiser (which is bringing me into contact with so many interesting people), and her infectious enthusiasm for both her own textile work as well as that of her son, who is a sculptor, made me keen to include them in this series.

So, with no further ado – it’s over to them…


What gets me up in the morning is the thought of what I have planned for that day.

I MUST have a plan before I go to bed. This plan can change, can be flexible, can by the end of the day have become totally different.

Because I was working full time in a very structured environment ( the school day) with bells and very strict timetables I felt when I retired I was at sea if I did not have a bit of a plan for my day. I need to have a diary and I need to look at that diary and know what I have planned over the next few days, weeks and months. I am always thinking about my art work, applying for art exhibitions and or getting work ready for exhibitions or commissions.

I think about my own art work many times in a day: while I am gardening, swimming, even washing up. My art work is always in my head being refined or developed and ‘sorted’ so that when I am ready to start the practical aspect of the work it is already done in my head. I am very lucky that my sons and my husband are so encouraging, always pushing me to do more.

My artwork allows me to always look forward to the next piece of art work and never back.

Boys Looking out to seeBoys looking out to sea


As I work full-time at an art consultancy in London I have not only a financial incentive to get up in the morning but also responsibilities at work and colleagues relying on me getting in to work. When juggling full-time work and trying to develop my own artwork at the same time, it’s important for me to create lists and prioritise my workload. Being surrounded by artwork of all types throughout my working day I am always considering my own practice, developing ideas and researching new, exciting processes.

At the weekend or when I have the odd day off from work I try and make the most of the day by getting up early.By organising my time during the week I am able to make the most of my leisure time, whether using it to create new works or visit galleries/exhibitions, all of which inform my practice.

Beattie, Mark 'Global Odyssey 2' 60cm x 60cm x 60cm small

Global Odyssey 2 


And more – see what gets other guests up in the morning…

Ruth Hyde, Chief executive of Broxtowe Borough Council

Linda Frier, award winning accountant and founder of Coalesco

Giles Croft, Artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse

Suzy Lishman, Vice President of the Royal Society of Pathologists

Simon Hallion, Shared Architecture


And coming soon….

Becky Speight, regional director of the National Trust

Jonathan Emmett. children’s author

Simon Thompson, headteacher

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