Your Say: Kylie Rusk

Artist, mum and student

I’d name my autobiography…
‘Cracked hands and blank canvas’

To me success is…
Success is a constantly evolving thing. Success to me happens daily, weekly, yearly or even over a lifetime. Success could be as little as getting my toddler fed, bathed and in to bed, to as big as achieving an A+ in an assignment or mastering new skills in my art. The ultimate success is personal and is down to the health and well-being of my family.

The best advice I’ve been given…
Was the encouragement by my mum and dad to change schools in my final year of high school to a school that was renowned for its art teacher (Mr Harris) and his results in getting their students into Elam School of Fine Arts. The flow on effects from this was that I was accepted into Elam and from there have become the artist I am today.

I made my first dollar: Milking cows on my parents’ farm.

The most rewarding part of my job…
As a mum is hearing my kids laugh. As an artist, I don’t have instant gratification from my art when it’s complete. It’s not until weeks later when I look at it, I truly admire what I have completed and I get that warm, proud feeling.

Life motto: Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.

Favourite book: Anthony Keidis’s autobiography Scar Tissue.

My goals for 2018… Is having a successful solo exhibition at Grey (37 Scanlan Street, Grey Lynn: 30 October – 10 November) and a successful group exhibition with Seed Gallery at Studioone.toitu (1 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby: Preview 24 November) by selling all of my art works. Also, raising two healthy little children and passing all my papers at university.

The women who inspire me: It’s hard to pick one because there are so many. A few that I am affiliated with are – Angelina Jolie for her public double mastectomy. Princess Diana for her charity work and J. K. Rowling for following her dreams.

The gender stereotype I can’t stand: I dislike the whole concept of gender stereotypes in general as for me my life choices by way of being at home with children, wearing make up and using a drop saw. I do it because I want to do it and instead of feeling like I have to conform to a concept of a gender stereotype.

The main challenge for women in business… Women have to take time out of work to have a family so they sacrifice their career position when they come into the work force – its fair, but it’s a challenge. It affects their career progression as they may have fallen years behind.

I advocate for change… For increased awareness around growing your own food in your back garden to reduce your carbon foot-print and reduce negative environmental impacts. Added to this, awareness needs to be increased around the importance of composting waste as fertilizer for the garden.

The change I want to see in 2018 is Muriwai Surf Club to open up for drinks on a Friday and Saturday evenings. It would help bring the community together.