Then and since then,

Once upon a time, in a land not far enough away…

I’ve known that I am supposed to be an artist since I was a teenager. I was wholly out of place in my body, and I couldn’t navigate the world in any other way apart from creatively.  Even before that I wrote weird poems, and made up crazy, depressing stories, didn’t want to play outside with the neighbours, or make ‘friends’ just for the sake of it. I suppose it was always there, that, and my unknown Autism (they feel like one and the same to me now I reflect). I was encouraged to take art at high school by my wonderful Art Teacher, Mrs Jan Stephens. She supported me in so many ways, artistically and emotionally. I learned then, I was allowed to talk and that my voice had value. I was given permission then to express myself, honestly and authentically, and in one way or another, I haven’t stopped since.

My artistic education was a mixed bag. After A levels (resulting in very poor grades for someone who is now so academic and determined) I was accepted on to the ‘best foundation course’ around, yet it was a crappy intake, with such a lot of extra travelling, so I went to my local art school. Best decision I ever made. I loved it. 

Then began my turbulent relationship with art, education and my own divisive personality.

Creative Career – the reality

My career now officially spans over 2 decades! That isn’t to say I have 20+ years of work under my belt! By no means would that have been possible for me. I have worked on and off, catering to my own needs, my children’s, and of course, financial. I always received a decent amount interest in my work, and thankfully at times, formal recognition for my style, commitment, and voice, from colleagues, Galleries, Arts Council England and other organisations. There came a point where I questioned, when does an artist stop being ’emerging’? When it is success? I have had several artistic successes. I am a professional artist because I have received money for my services. But at what point is that over? At what point did I arrive and go away again? (Well I can tell you exactly when it went away – was taken away – but it’s another story). I never stopped being an artist. I just stopped creating sometimes. I suppose, what I have decided is that I am constantly re-emerging. Is that a thing? Well I just made it one. So yes. Re-emerge.