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It’s ridiculous how I work

Please excuse the bad grammar of my title. It is true, though. I’m not talking about how I make my work. Perhaps it is more accurate to say it’s ridiculous WHERE I work.

As most creative ventures go, mine started out the usual way: At the kitchen table. Ideas generate there. Discussions were made over dinners, glasses of wine, cups of coffee – not all at one sitting but over days, weeks, months, years.

And here I am, years later, still working at my kitchen table. It is no longer a viable solution. I’m storing materials under my bed and my daughter’s bed. The table in the conservatory is heaped with several layers of meters of printed fabric. I’ve grown my business to the gills in here and it’s bursting.

I try to think of the perks of this arrangement. I can pull out the work at whatever hour and go. Downside: I’m always surrounded by work.

I’ve started looking in earnest for studio space. Tricky thing, though, is finding something close enough to home and school so I can do all the things that my life and the people in it require. There are opportunities in empty shops schemes but none of them are in my ‘hood.

The search continues….as does this commission.

The two watercolour pieces at the beginning of this post were made for two charity art auctions: Rock Trust and Art in Healthcare.

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Commission work in progress

Over the last three weeks I have been creating sketches, choosing colours, creating ink drawings for screens and finally, ordering screens of the work to be used in the next stage of creating these two pieces for commission. Yes, that was a lot crammed into one sentence as a lot of work has been crammed into three weeks.

My screens from HandPrinted arrived and they are perfect. We had quite a lengthy email conversation as I had to rework the digital files for their specific screen prep process. Thank you so much for your patience. I had to enlist the skills of a friend to help prepare the files. Thanks so much Keith Paton for all of your help, and last minute at that. This process has made me aware that my digital skills need attention.

Work continues…

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March Meet the Maker prompts and things

A friend suggested I get involved in the March Meet the Maker challenge. Well, it’s not a challenge. It’s more about telling the world a broader, more full and filled out story of how you work and who you are as a maker. It was started by Joanne Hawker, maker of super cute pins and other delightful colourful things.

Last year I noticed the hashtags rolling across my Instagram account and started to root around and find out more about the people that tagged themselves into the thread. This year I’m dipping my toe in and who knows, I might jump in all the way and last the entire month.

Today’s prompt, Full-time/Part-time, required one to spill the beans. Hey guys, is this a side hustle or a proper job/career/thing that pays your rent/mortgage/bills? Maybe I read in to the ask, but anyway, the answers were interesting. I found I connected more than I thought I would with the other makers. I found myself nodding an understanding ‘Yes, that’s my story, too’ with those that declared their work had to fit around children. I tell you one thing, before the school run cane into our lives, I had never been so productive between 8:55 and 3:10. And after 8pm, for that matter. I found that most had other work adding to their creative endeavours.

I teach art and I think that fits in perfectly with the work I make. Two days a week I get to tell primary school children about art, show them how to make cool stuff and also have the fun of watching them create. Children’s art is magic. I’ve seen some children who struggle with the school experience absolutely flourish when given time and space to become absorbed in the creative process. It can be someone’s safe place.

So. Full-time or part-time? I think Most of the Time is most accurate for me.