Art and creativity has been part of my life forever.
My childhood was spent initially living in a cottage at the farm where my father worked.
Being brought up in the countryside, it was amazing having the freedom to play ferral with my siblings. We were so lucky to have the sights, scents, sounds and the freedom to be kids, and explore.
You don’t think about it at the time, you exist in your world oblivious at times, to your surroundings, but every experience and sense you experience, remains there, sometimes dormant for years, but drawn upon when prompted.
I am married to my leveller Kev, have a son called Tom who is also nifty at art, and have a beautiful granddaughter who I hope to share lots of arty time with and more recently, a grandson, who I hope will also catch the creative bug.
I’d wanted to go to art college when I left school, but mum and dad, had convinced me that there was no money in it, and so my career initially centred around Secretarial/PA work.
I retrained in Graphic Design when I rebelled in my late 30’s. For a few years I was part of a small team at Town Centre Management promoting Burton upon Trent and organising major events. We also ran and co-ordinated the Crime Reduction Partnership. Being part of this business appeased my sense of wanting to take pride in our town.
My love for community also saw me working for the local CVS (Community & Voluntary Service) promoting social enterprise to charities and later in Graphic Design and Marketing for The Carers Association in Stafford. I loved learning about Carer’s lives, how they coped and sharing their stories.
In 2019, along with my fabulous husband Kev, we set up the colourful business known as The Messy Hare Gallery & Coffee Shop in Burton upon Trent. We’d faced alot of challenges getting it off the ground, but we were determined to offer a creative space and to help predominantly local artists been seen.
We offered creative workshops, some led by myself, but others giving our artists the opportunity to share their skills. I wanted to promote the benefits of creativity on mental wellbeing. A chance to lose yourself and find yourself at the same time.
My talented hubby (a trained chef) co-ordinated the coffee shop side of things. Led by myself, our small team ran things through the week with Kev leading the helm at the weekend (he worked elsewhere to pay the bills during the week). It was hard work, which saw myself and Kev exhausted by the end of the week, but satisfied that we had given folk a great experience as soon as they walked through the door.
In 2020, Covid-19 hit us hard, emotionally, physically and financially, as with many businesses. It was heartbreaking, especially as we had just got to our 1st Anniversary and things were looking positive. We decided to close our doors at the end of April 2021.
I now work as a Graphic Designer for a large national charity, who support people to live later life well.
Throughout the lockdowns, for my own sanity, I have been continuing to create… and experiment! My wish to advocate, the value of creativity for wellbeing has been my saviour during the awful times faced. Long may I be inspired to create… and stay reasonably sane!
I love being experimental in my artwork, and whilst I guess, I do have a style, it spreads itself across various mediums.
One of my favourites is coffee and ink, but I love to learn and explore.
My favourite subject is British Wildlife, especially hares! Though, I love observational illustrations, and have a great model to study from in my granddaughter.