I’ve been wanting to share my story of how I became an artist with you for a while now, and it seemed like a good time to do it today.
The story starts many years ago in an art class, in a college in Sheffield. I was generally a good student but like alot of 18 year olds I also enjoyed chatting with my friends and helplessly giggling too. One particular day my art tutor called me into her office – we were having one on one tutorials. She was a rather robust woman with a no-nonsense attitude, floaty clothes and Mary Jane shoes. I remember her asking me what I wanted to do in the future and I told her I wanted to be an artist. She shuffled some papers together and frowned slightly – I will never forget what she said next; ‘You will never make it as an artist, so I suggest you start thinking about an alternative career right now’.
My world crumbled and I felt hopelessly crushed and small. At 18 in those days, you listened to your tutor, they told you the truth and you respected their opinion and didn’t think to argue back.
I left her office, closed up the creative well in my soul and stuffed my paints into a drawer to be forgotten. I was no good at it, my tutor had told me so – so what was the point? I left college with three A-Levels and a heavy heart, and took a job in the Payroll Department of the NHS for almost six years. A few years passed by and one day a chap in the Pensions office brought in a framed painting his daughter had done – he was proudly showing everyone and I felt a wild stirring of envy – I could do that – yet I didn’t – not anymore.
That night after work, I went up to my room and dug out my watercolour pad and paints. I remember drawing the Island in Newquay surrounded by crashing waves from an old postcard and painting it slowly over the next few days. When it was finished, my Mum asked if she could frame it and hung it in the living room.
I began to take on less sign writing work, and spend more time painting at home. In 2006 I made the leap to work full time on my art, which was a short lived affair as soon after doing so I discovered I was expecting my daughter!
However, a milestone had been achieved. I had rediscovered my confidence as a creative person during those years, and I fnally felt comfortable calling myself an Artist, something that was impossible to imagine ever doing once upon a time.
As my wee girl grew, I found scoops of time to create more art, teach workshops, take part in exhibitions and to begin writing this blog, which I started a few years ago when my girl was a baby. A friend suggested I do it to keep the grey matter ticking over, when I was sleep deprived and short of time with the demands of a little one to care for. A blog seemed like a good thing to do, to find something creative to write about each week that could be done whilst the little person napped.
This blog has led to some wonderful things – I have got to know many lovely people, have been endlessly inspired and had the most unexpected opportunities come my way. You have all been a part of my journey as I reconnected with my artist self during those blurry days as a new Mama, to now (Big Thank You’s).
I wanted to write this story here because I know there are other people out there who are afraid they can’t do something or have been told that they shouldn’t, just like I was. I am in the process of creating something to help encourage souls who want to get messy with paint, smudge coloured oil pastels onto paper, draw furiously or stitch wildly with rainbow threads…and I will post about this once it’s all ready to go 🙂
Would you like to find your inner artist and let it out to play? Then come and see me again soon and I will share my new project with you!
Thanks for reading and visiting, Ive enjoyed your company!