ART Before HOUSEWORK
I am a wife, mother and emerging artist.
I love that term “emerging artist”, it makes me think of the transformation that a caterpillar undergoes. It’s a bit how I feel about my own journey into the art world.
This blog will be the place I share this adventure. I will talk about what I am doing, my current projects, my inspirations, frustrations and self doubt.
I must admit I am a bit nervous because I am new to this. A friend pointed out that I am, in a way, already blogging my journey through my postings on my “Art Before Housework” Face Book page, (which I will link here somewhere once I work out what I am doing), but I want this blog to be different to that.
Today I want to talk a bit about dreams.
Not the kind you have while you sleep, but the “what if” sort of dreams. The ones where you daydream about what life could be like if you were able to fulfil some lifelong ambition.
Some dreams are obvious, like furthering your career or having a family, buying a new car, going on an overseas holiday. Others are hidden just below the surface and we don’t even know they are there, it’s not until we scratch an itch that we begin to see what they are.
When I was younger I had daydreams of becoming an author – I would see myself sitting at a desk, cat on my lap and one of those big old typewriters in front of me, piles of paper on the desk. And for a long time I pursued this dream in my spare time, I have many, many pages of different half finished stories. I have created characters and even a pseudonym to write under. But it was always just a dream – something to do when I retired from a “real” job.
Fast forward to 2006, we started a family and I quit my “real” job to raise my daughter. This was a decision my husband and I made before we fell pregnant, I was going to be a stay at home mum. I knew that when I went back to work I wanted to work from home so that I could still be there for my family when they needed me. For years I thought up ideas for home-based business’, from party plans to service type ventures. Nothing seemed right.
I began toying with the idea of writing children’s books. I developed a character but the story just didn’t come to me. I had always drawn and painted for personal fun or gifts for family and friends so the idea of illustrating my own book really appealed to me. But as it sometimes happens, life gets in the way, we had another baby and everything got put on hold.
Then one day I was asked to illustrate a book for charity. I naturally jumped at the chance. It was a huge learning curve as I had never done anything like that before. All my previous works were one off’s, in this instance however I had to create a series of pieces that told a story. It was also the first time I had worked with watercolours, which was another whole learning experience again.
I realised that although I could draw I wasn’t up to the standards that I thought an “illustrator” should be. I searched out books and websites to help me learn how to draw better. I read a lot of different artist’s blogs and came across some things that really spoke to me. One of them said something along the lines of “inside every one of us is 100,000 bad drawings, so it is best to get as many of them out onto paper so that you can get down to the good ones”. Another site talked about an artist who was drawing a dog everyday till it got to the point where he would doodle a dog without even looking at his page.
It was these two things that helped me with the next stages of my journey. I challenged myself to do a drawing a day and posted these on my personal Face Book page. I got such a fabulous response that I was encouraged to continue, and so I started my “Art Before Housework” page as a way of keeping myself honest and consistently working to improve.
I never knew I wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t until I scratched an itch and followed through with a dream that the ambition came to me.
I entered several competitions over the past 2 years. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I won the 2012 Just Nudes Best in Show by an Ipswich Artist. Since then I have been commissioned for several pieces and my work is represented in a number of private collections. My work is available at Handmade Highstreet in Annerley and I am at the Sunset Markets at the Top Of Town in Ipswich every Friday from 3-7pm.
And all this after only playing with an idea for fun. I have to keep pinching myself to see if I am going to wake up…
Do you have an itch you need to scratch? It is never too late to find out…