• Mhairi


Mhairi Lockett

Press Club Facilitator

5 bits of advice to my teenage self…

  • Be brave, try things that interest you, chase adventure, don't worry about not being like others

  • Talk to someone you trust if you’re having problems with your mental health and social anxiety

  • Have confidence in your own ability get involved with community projects and local events

  • There’s no right way of doing things especially when it comes to creative expression, so don’t worry about the detail, have fun with it

  • This is life as grace jones would say

About me

As a teenager…

I loved music, art and textiles at school but used to get in trouble in the rest of my classes for drawing or talking too much. Looking back now, I think I was just pretty unhappy, struggling with anxiety and feeling trapped and claustrophobic at home and at school. I left school at 16 with the title of “rebel without a cause”, which I didn’t think was quite right – I always had a cause! After 2 years at Leeds College of Music playing music and running riot, I decided I’d have a go at studying art. I hadn’t done art at GCSE or A-level but somehow, from gathering all my sketches throughout the years, I managed to get onto the Foundation course at Leeds College of Art. I remember turning up for the interview, marching along in the rain with my work all jumbled up and wrapped in a black bin bag, only to arrive and see everyone had their artwork in pristine portfolios! Slightly embarrassing start, but I then spent a very fun year feeling at home alongside lots of fellow odd arty people and learning that I wanted to be an illustrator! 

After school…
After college I took the train down south to study Illustration at the University of Brighton. I made a few mockumentaries while I was there, one where I dressed up as a wall, another as a seagull and in my final year I painted a pallet and placed it outside the uni with the message ‘FOR SALE: ONE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE £27000’ to protest the ever-increasing student fees and lack of studio space and resources. Management locked my work in the basement of the uni but I managed to get it out in time for the end of year exhibition! After I graduated I played lots of gigs, busked around the city writing folk-punk songs and worked at a wood-recycling project, unloading scaffold boards and selling timber to try and scrape together enough money to pay the soaring rent prices.
Now I’m…
Having a quarter-life crisis and have moved back up north to pursue the dream of being a freelance artist and musician in Lancaster!