We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline McFarlane-Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caroline, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think that success comes not so much from doing something well, as it comes from loving what it is you’re doing. Obviously skill and experience are necessary, but I only really became successful when I stopped creating custom pieces for what I believed my audience wanted and instead started creating something I personally felt passionate about. I made what I loved, told visual stories I wanted to tell and then shared this world I was in love with with everyone else. It probably boils down to – “do something you love, do it well and success will follow. “
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I could write an entire book about how difficult it was for me to even enter the industry I have, let alone become successful within it, but then I am sure many artists have a similar story! I wont dwell too much on why it was so very difficult and the number of times I wanted to quit. Instead, I would encourage people who are thinking of entering the arty side of the entertainment industry or of becoming a self employed artist that you must have three things in order to survive and/or thrive; a thick skin, a burning desire to prove yourself, and a genuine love for what you’re doing. The reason I stress this is because talent, a great work ethic and enthusiasm are not nearly enough. And if you’re going to be freelance (as most in my niche field are) you’re truly going to be married to your work, so make sure you love it enough before embarking.
My brand is easily recognizable because the witch theme permeates. When I was a little girl growing up in a medieval village in England, reading history books about a local belief in witches and being told fairy tales about the storybook witch, I was fascinated and inspired. I created ‘Good Witches Bad Witches™’ because of this endless passion for the topic. My character witches are sold all over the world and my children’s book series is eagerly anticipated by my many followers. I never get tired of writing the books and of producing the figurines, which have been known to sell out in under 12 minutes of being released. So, again I stress – create what you love and there’ll be those that love it too. Luke-warm feelings towards a project will be sensed by your audience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Friends have joked that I could work for the tourist board for LA – such is my enthusiasm for the city. I came to my area of Los Feliz about 10 years ago and especially love this area because it is pedestrian (you can walk everywhere) and full of wonderful little independent coffee shops, book shops, a fantastic vintage movie theater, award-winning taco stands, the tiki bar which invented the ‘zombie’ cocktail and of course all with the Hollywood sign neatly in view. If friends visit in the summer I like to take them to the huge outdoor movie experiences at the Hollywood Forever cemetery which is like a music concert which ends with thousands of people lying on blankets on the grass watching a classic cult film on a huge screen… the fantasy masked balls in grand 1920s locations in DTLA where you arrive in a full ballgown and watch live entertainment which is so spectacular and imaginative it could only exist in LA. Then there’s rooftop bars with outstanding views, hikes up to the Griffith Observatory and please, let’s not forget the award-winning fish tacos… Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The fuel for my creativity and my motivation comes from my mum.