Updated: Mar 11, 2020
MY STORY....WELL SOME OF IT
I'm probably a bit of a late developer when it comes to painting, and I didn't paint my first painting until into my 30s. I was always a maker and a doer...sewing clothes for my dolls as a child;I loved dressmaking and textiles at school, but didn't have the confidence or even the knowledge that I could be a creative person, let alone make a living doing it, until I was an adult. I think I always believed that that was a life for naturally, born talented people, who were much cooler than me.
I didn't do that well at school to be honest. My 'friends', if I can call them that, weren't very nice and they certainly didn't encourage doing well at your studies. You were more likely to be bullied if you did try hard...so I didn't. When I left at age 16 (you could do that then) I went to secretarial college, mainly because I didn't have any idea what I hoped to do or become. This was an era that didn't encourage a lot of ambition in girls. What did it matter what you were going to do? Surely you will just get married and have kids. I went along with what my parents thought best. Following secretarial college, I worked as a secretary and PA, moving into a bit of marketing and licensing, before doing the predicted thing and getting married at 24 and having 3 (gorgeous) kids, by the time I was 30. Whilst at home with kids, I threw myself into creative projects...making my home my focus.
Home has always been a key focus for me, and now it is in my work. I had a vision in my head of what 'home' was supposed to look like and it probably had roses growing around the front door if I am honest haha. I set out to try and create this perfect home for myself and my family, in the hope of feeling whole and content. Life experience has a way of teaching us that rarely is life anything like we expect it to be, and it is certainly never perfect.
Once my kids were all at school, I decided it was my time to find what I needed, so I went back to school, as a mature aged student at 33. I hadn't been great at art at school, but then our art teacher was a bit hopeless at controlling the classroom and the kids wreaked havoc. Not a lot of art was created. I had never really painted or drawn, but I always imagined that I would love to be able to call myself an artist. I really do not know why, but now it is something that I am very proud of.
As a self-confessed Course Addict I have always thrived on learning new skills and loved using my time, making something that didn't exist before. I loved anything that was different and individual. The reason I loved making clothes when I was younger was because I wanted to wear things that no one else had.
For someone who didn't ever feel very qualified, I do have quite a lot of skills. I can knit, crochet, embroider, sew, quilt, cook, make curtains and blinds, cook, decorate, wallpaper, plaster, tile, make artist books, make costumes, create digital art and now paint. You won't believe the amount of courses I have taken over the years. I'll save that for another post haha.
I found myself taking a Diploma in Art and Design at the Surrey Institute of Art, and thought it was the best thing ever! Again, I got to learn so many new skills and and try so many creative avenues. I found it so hard to decide what degree I would take on after completing the course. In the end the decision was to take a degree in Fine Art, as this was the only degree course that I could study on a part-time basis, whilst bringing up 3 young children. If I had my pick, I probably would have chosen Costume or Theatre Design and who knows what I would be doing now....perhaps in another lifetime xx