TV art competition helps Sally to pursue her dream

Art dream: Sally Dyer (below) and (main picture) painting actor Daniel Rouse

Art dream: Sally Dyer (below) and (main picture) painting actor Daniel Rouse

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An aspiring artist has been able to give up her job and start her own business after appearing on a TV art competition.

Sally Dyer, 22, from Penwortham, made it the semi-finals of Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year when she applied on a whim.

Art dream: Sally Dyer

Art dream: Sally Dyer

She said: “I hadn’t any knowledge of the competition before I saw an ad to apply for it back in May.

“A couple of days later they called me up to tell me they would like to invite me to the heats stage.”

Sally, who impressed Sky bosses with her self-portrait entry, beat over 2000 people to become one of 72 who were invited to London to take part in filming with presenters Franks Skinner and Joan Bakewell.

She said: “All of the 12 people in my group had their self-portraits hung in the Wallace Collection gallery so we could all see them and see what we were up against.

“Then we were split into groups of three to paint a famous sitter in four hours.”

Sally made it through to the semi-finals of the show after the judges chose her portrait of ‘Outnumbered’ star, Daniel Rouse as the pick of the bunch but, sadly, it was as far as she made it.

But, as one door closed, another opened and Sally, who completed an MA in Fine Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University this year, was able to leave her part-time job at Costa Coffee in Preston to pursue her artistic endeavours.

She said: “Since the show aired I’ve been contacted by a number of people through my website for commissions so I’ve been able to go full time with that instead.

“And I’m about to open a shop on Liverpool Road called Random Makes in February with my mum so I’m able to sell my crafts and artwork, as well as support other local talent.”