18. Aug, 2015

The Only Way is Up!

It's been a while since my last blog, for various reasons.  Life has been hectic to say the least and has thrown us a few curve balls as a family, but we are slowly getting back to normal.  

Does this affect my creativity?  Yes, it most certainly does.  It affects every aspect of your life, when there is upheavel of any kind and other things have to take priority.  That, however, does not dilute the burning desire I have inside for creating art, which is still there througout.  I still get excited when I see something that inspires me...and frustrated when I can't just sit and work on it.  

Family life and all it's ups and downs have not been the only hurdle to my creativity recently.  I have learned a very important lesson on the business side of things too.  Having attended a couple of craft markets recently, attendance seemed very poor, I sold very little and interest in my art seemed to dwindle.  It's hard not to take it personally when that happens and your confidence starts to slide downwards as you wonder whether what you are creating is actually any good.  

The one thing that has kept me going with my art through this time is the picture you see with this update.  The woman working, with the sleeping child on her back.  She is smiling and joyful whilst going about her work.  It was a turning point in my drawing.  I found pleasure drawing such a beautiful image and relaxed whilst drawing the calm waters.  When finished it was a real hit and seemed to strike a cord with a lot of people, including a gallery in my local town.  

It was only when talking to the gallery owners, I realised that the lull in business had nothing do to with my art or my ability as an artist or even business person.  It was the time of year.  I had neglected to take into account the peaks and troughs of any business and what affects it.  People were not thinking about buying gifts, they were thinking about their holidays, much needed breaks.  They were busy keeping their children entertained during the school holidays. 

Since that moment, I've had an up turn in business,  and that gallery (J & K Gallery, Crowborough) have offered me a wall in their shop to display my work next month.  In addition, orders are rolling in again as people are slowly getting back to normal before the start of school and are now thinking about the dreaded 'C' word!  (Christmas, if you didn't get it 😉).

Despite everything, I have not sat dormant.  In the last couple of months I have been busily working away at the illustrations for our childrens book, I have donated a free portrait to a fundraiser for the Kent and Sussex Air Ambulance, agreed a percentage of preschool portraits to be donated to my daughters preschool and have started to design some Christmas cards for a ugandan charity, Childs I Foundation.  There is something so satisfying and rewarding about giving back through art.  It's not all about the money for us artists and this is the best way to reflect that. 

So, there may be quiet times, there may be hard times, but it's nothing personal.  Remembering that is the secret to staying creative and confident about your art.  Just keep pushing on and things will look up.  

 

*You can see my exhibition during the last three weeks of September at J and K Gallery in Crowborough.  

*Childs I Foundation Christmas cards will be available from October and all profits go straight to the charity

*The Owen and Molly Adventures - volume 1, will be available from October (for 2-5 year olds)