We have decided to launch a new intimate style of interview into TheAppWhisperer – the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website. We feel it is important that our community feel close to each other, as it is this support that helps us to nurture one another, gain confidence and continue to grow.
This is our sixth interview, to read the others, please go here. Today, we are publishing this witty, thoughtful and entertaining interview with multi talented digital artist, Peter Wilkin from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Enjoy.
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
Up to the age of eleven/twelve I was football (soccer) crazy and was desperate to become a professional footballer. On my twelfth birthday my parents bought me a guitar and from then on all I wanted to do was make music. At fourteen I formed a rhythm and blues group. Predictably, I guess, we all eventually drifted into mainstream occupations, our dreams of hitting the big time sadly unfulfilled. I am the one cradling my beloved (and very first) Hohner electric guitar.
Winning first prize in a painting competition at our local annual charities fete. I think I was around nine or ten years of age at the time.
My first job was keeping the shelves stocked in our local store. I eventually got the sack for pinching a packet of biscuits! Myself and another rebellious shelf-stocker snuck onto the roof of the store to eat them but we were spotted by an eagle-eyed passer-by, who reported us to the manager.
Private or state school?
State school initially. It was unheard of for anyone to attend private school in our neighbourhood: very working class and my parents had just enough money to get by. At age eleven I passed the entrance exam and went to the local grammar school. It all ended in disaster and I was ‘advised to leave’ age fifteen with no qualifications whatsoever. I was the classic ‘rebel without a cause’, much to the chagrin of my poor parents.
University or Work?
Work: store assistant, cotton mill worker, flower-picker, engineer, bus driver, painter and decorator … and then, aged thirty, I found myself applying to become a student mental health nurse. I was accepted, completed the three-year training course at Manchester University and then went on to do a Masters degree and a diploma in psychotherapy at Sheffield and Liverpool university respectively.
Who was or still is your mentor?
During my nursing career my primary mentor was a nursing professor called Phil Barker. He was the wisest, most caring individual I’ve ever met. Strangely, he retired just after I did and, although he had dedicated almost forty years of his life to mental health nursing, he stepped out of that loop completely, changed his name to Phil McLoughlin and is now a respected and very successful painter based in Scotland. Since I joined this wonderful community of mobile artists there has been no shortage of help and support. There are so many talented people willing to share their expertise and provide mentorship by way of tutorials or personal conversations.
How physically fit are you?
Well, I guess for my age I’m not doing too bad, although I do suffer with gallstones: a legacy of too many puddings and cream cakes over the years I’m afraid.
Ambition or Talent: What matters more to success?
I would say talent. You can have ambition in spadefuls but you need to be pretty good at what you do to be successful, whatever you choose to do.
How politically committed are you?
I’m not! Well, not in terms of pledging my allegiance to any particular political party. I have no faith whatsoever in politicians who, for the most part I believe, are driven by their egos. I despair at the current state of the UK and feel very angry towards the politicians and their puppeteers who are responsible for our Island’s current state of turmoil.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
A certificate presented to me at the exhibition after an international mobile art competition that says: ‘Best in Show’ ☺️
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Going to the pub on a Friday evening and consuming three pints of Timothy Taylor’s Ram Tam. That’s it! We don’t do extravagance in Yorkshire, only parsimony and frugality.
In what place are you happiest?
I’ve been to New Zealand three times to be with my daughters and their families and I do feel a real connection to the country. I also love to be in the Highlands of Scotland and many other places throughout Britain ~ but I’m at my happiest when I’m wrapped up in my wife’s arms, irrespective of the geographical location.
What ambitions do you still have?
To improve and achieve as a mobile artist …… and, hopefully, to see parts of the world I’ve never visited yet with my wife and family.
What drives you on?
The ageing process! So much left to do yet.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
I’d like to think I’ve made a positive difference to many people’s lives during my lengthy career as a mental health nurse and psychotherapist.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
I can’t stand aggression. I can understand and accept anger triggered by perceived injustice but aggression upsets me, particularly if it’s directed towards someone who, for whatever reason, can’t counter it.
If your 20 year old self could see you now, what would he think?
That I’m the spitting image of my dear old dad.
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
I can’t think I’ve ever lost anything valuable enough to worry about.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Global inequality. There’s reasonable evidence to back up the claim that the super-rich control most of the world’s finances, politics and media. Money, as we know, generates power and, rather than redistributing some of their wealth in order to redress this incredible imbalance, their egos drive them on to accumulate even more wealth, whilst abject poverty continues to claim the lives of billions of people. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children (age five years and under) die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world.”
Do you believe in an afterlife?
I’m afraid not. I’d love to experience some kind of sign that death is something other than complete annihilation but until I do …
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
This is the trickiest question of them all. I’ve had my tens, I’ve had my zeros and I’ve had all numbers in between. But how could it ever be any different? I’m finding it impossible to work out an average so I’m tempted to stay in the here and now and answer a big, fat ten …that is, until my 12-year old daughter (on constant hormonal simmer) throws her next tantrum, or my 11-year old son takes the art of morning dawdling on schooldays to a whole new level!
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