Pollyanna is no stranger to receiving awards for her acclaimed paintings of endangered species - but at the end of last year she was recognised for another aspect of her work. Pollyanna was honored to be one of just six finalists chosen from hundreds of entries for the Midlands Businesswoman of the Year Award.
This extremely prestigious award is presented annually at the Women of the Year Luncheon in Birmingham. "I was amazed and delighted to be selected" Pollyanna told us "When people think of artists, they often have no concept of the sheer hard work involved, or even realise that art can be a 'real job'. There are very many talented artists who leave art college each year, but sadly very few go on to a successful career - unfortunately it is not enough to be able to paint, it is vital to have a head for business as well."
The judges were highly impressed by Pollyanna's business skills. Starting out as a freelance artist in 1969, following five years at art college, she often found it very difficult to be taken seriously, but through hard work and determination is now at the very top of a field which remains very male dominated. Not only are her original paintings exhibited at top galleries internationally, but her published work - cards, fine art and limited edition prints etc. - are now sold throughout the UK, and exported into 83 countries around the world.
Pollyanna has recently signed to a second publisher in the United States, now one of the biggest markets for her paintings. Her skill as an artist, combined with her professional reputation for meeting deadlines has lead to corporate commissions from many top companies including British Gas, the Derbyshire Building Society, Hoover, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Harrods, for whom she designs a range of exclusive gift ware.
'Meeting the judging panel - which included Virginia Bottomley MP, and the Chief Manager of the Allied Irish Bank was quite nerve wracking " Pollyanna commented " but I found it very inspirational to meet the other finalists, who are all women at the very top of their chosen fields. Even though I have been working professionally for over 30 years, I am still just as committed and ambitious, as the day I first started out."