From not knowing how to paint to full-time artist

April 20, 2024 BY

After teaching herself how to paint, artist Terri Pollock has taken on large-scale murals across Geelong. Photos: SUPPLIED

Four years ago, Terri Pollock started teaching herself how to paint, now she paints large-scale murals as a full-time artist.

The muralist started painting during COVID, playing with a number of different mediums when she became obsessed with acrylics.

“For the last four years I’ve just been learning how to draw and paint and do all the things,” she said.

“During COVID, I was home schooling, and just thought I’ve got to stay sane, so I pulled out some watercolours and was kind of like, ‘I’m not too bad at this’, so I just kept going.”

Pollock said she had always been busy with her hands and described herself as “a jack of all trades”, but had never thought about putting anything on paper or painting.

With the dream of one day working on a silo mural, Pollock said she didn’t want to have any regrets.

The Geelong artist taught herself to paint during COVID and now completes large-scale murals.


“I was really bold at the end of last year and I thought just give it a go, if I don’t try then I’ll never know.”

Pollocks first mural was with Geelong Illustrators and was a street art collaboration project with a number of other women in Star Street.

It was this mural that Pollock said set her on fire and made her feel like it was doable.

Her murals are all painted using spray paints and brushes

Recently, Pollock completed a mural with a black cockatoo, which she said resembles her style of work.

“I’m drawn to the Australiana theme, so I love flora and fauna and all that kind of stuff, but I do love the challenge if somebody suggests something random.

“I’m drawn towards animals because you can kind of add that element of personality with the eyes and a bit of character as opposed to just objects and stuff.”

Pollock has also painted a mustang mural, which turned out to be one of her favourites and really challenged her.

“I loved that one for the sense that it looked amazing at the end, but it wasn’t my style.”

Pollocks mustang mural has been one of her favourites to paint.


Pollock said the motivation to keep going comes from her passion and hopes that through her work she is able to inspire others and show them that they can do whatever they put their minds to.

“Don’t hold back, just give it a go because people get too into their head about things.

“There’s one thing in loving something and being good at it, but you have to have that passion for it and that drive for it.

“You can love doing something, but you just do it every now and again, whereas passion sort of borderlines on that obsession side of you have to do it.”

Along with art being her full-time job, for Pollock it’s also her outlet and she truly believes in the benefits of art for mental health.

Seeing the finished result of the mural is her favourite part, describing the process as having an ugly phase and a moment of thinking what has she signed up for and wondering if it’s going to work.

“There’s the end where I’m so glad that I wasn’t so scared off that I didn’t try because the end result is amazing.”

Pollock is also a mother of two and works one day a week running a children’s art program.

“My job is to be the fun art teacher that comes in and they all run up and give you a hug, so that totally fills my cup.

“I don’t remember being introduced to art that much when I was younger, so I definitely think it’s a bonus to have children diving into it at a young age.”

Pollock said part of the process of learning how to paint has been to feel the fear and just do it anyway.

“There’s a process of just knowing what your skills are and even if it’s something that you haven’t done before, just go for it anyway.

“The reward of doing something, even though you’re scared that you may not be 100 per cent perfect do it, the reward afterwards of seeing what you’ve done is so good.”

“Sitting Pretty” is part of her latest collection.


Pollock said doing murals is bold and as an artist showing her work can be very vulnerable.

“It’s kind of like an extension of you, but when it comes to actually paining on someone’s wall, it’s like another step further.”

In the past four years her skills have continued to develop with Pollock saying it has been “a crazy process”.

“I wanted to nail it on canvas so that I knew I could do it, so then when I went to large-scale, it was literally, you can still do it, you have those skills, you just need to push through the confronting side of it being so big and just get it done.”

For more, head to terripollockart.com or check out her Instagram @terri_pollock_art




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