I thought my first ever blog post should really be about how I ended up as an artist. It's definitely not a traditional route and I could have got here a lot quicker looking back if I had been brave enough.
I remember doing my art foundation course and feeling at such a cross-road as to whether I should do my degree in Fine Art or Graphic Design. I felt the pressure of the words around me "what would you do with an art degree?!", "you'll end up sitting in an art museum", "there's no money in it" etc etc. I had alsways wanted to do graphic design ever since I could remember (filled with excitement when the teachers would say we were going to design a poster) so I chose the safe route. I had a big wobble in my first year but persevered and came out with an honours degree in Graphic Design. I got a job immediately, after being approached at my end of degree show and started my career in Graphic Design.
Coming from Shropshire, I had always been surrounded by self-made commerce. My father was a farmer (as was most of my family), he then went onto set up his own vending business and my sister has her own branded workwear business. In an area so rural I could see it was important to make your own commerce and so I had always just assumed that's what everyone did and that I too would start my own business one day.
I moved on from my first job as a designer in Cheltenham and had moved to Bristol and was commuting to my design job in Ross-on-Wye, constantly stuck in traffic (once for seven hours!!) so I decided now was the time to set out on my own.
My business flourished quickly, mainly due to the amount of business networking events I was attending and I soon felt brave enough to get my own studio. The business started to grow and I took on my very first employee and not long after, another and the business continued going from strength to strength. We had ventured into the world of web development and were then approached about merging with a technology business which seemed like a fantastic opportunity.
I was now the Managing Director of a technology company and doing little to no design, I had my head in spreadsheets, emails, staffing issues and client meetings. Although I enjoyed the face-paced nature of the business, I missed the creative element. Every day felt relentless and so when I had my son, I felt that was the right time to step away and take some time for me to plan my next steps. Fast-forward four years and a toe dipped into Interior Design and I have finally come full-circle back to that cross-road from 1999 but this time I have chosen Fine Art.
I move into a cute little art studio in the Cambrian Building in Oswestry next month (working in the dining room at home has been challenging! Lots of teas on knees!!). I was accepted into the Borderland Visual Arts network a few months ago and already have an open studio event planned in the coming weeks. I'm meeting lots of like-minded artists and feel very excited about the future and the fact that I get to paint every day is just the best!
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Thanks for reading!