I did actually have a really interesting tutorial with Dexter Dalwood, the painter, and he said, “Have you got any family money?” and I said, “No.” He said, “Have you got an inheritance coming to you?” I said, “No.” He said, “What are you going to do?” and I was like, “I’ll make it work. I’ll find a way to make it” — cocky kind of 23-year old.1 And then he was right, like it was a bit of rude awakening, and I think I was fortunate I had a group of friends at different art colleges, and we all started an art collective around that time.2 And we squatted a lot of buildings to have exhibitions in, and my friend gave me a room in her flat and I had this free studio for about three years.3
And I don’t know — if that hadn’t happened, I really don’t know whether or not what I would have done, because I pay for a studio now, but I would not have been able to afford it then. So, I made a decision, when I left college, not to ever have a full time job and just to be poor. So, then I never relied on that income, and find a way to make it work, whether that was squatting or getting an award or prize, or doing something where you get stuff rather than having to earn full time money. So, I was very practical actually when I left about — not so much where I was going to show or anything like that, I don’t have those sort of plans, but it was more how am I going to make work every day? I just have to make work every day, every single day, I could not make work. So, I think that was a very solid decision that I’ve made.