My art journey started back in 2010 on a one day Paint a fairy in watercolour workshop with my local adult education service in the West Midlands. I enjoyed that workshop so much I enrolled on a 6 week learn to draw course and that was when I felt my artistic flame ignite. I fell in love with graphite and I have never looked back. This is my story of how I got there.
I was born 12 weeks premature, weighing only 2.2 oz, and the doctors prepared my family for the worst. Against all the odds I did survive the night and at around 18 months old I was diagnosed with Diplegic Cerebral Palsy.
Growing up and living with Cerebral Palsy has not always been a smooth ride. Both of my legs and right arm (although only ever so slightly) have been affected which causes me issues with my mobility and some everyday tasks.
I am constantly told I could not do certain things because I had Cerebral Palsy and I should basically sit around and do nothing with my life. Admittedly there are somethings I could not do but I always found an alternative way of doing it and the more people tell me I could not do something the more determining I am to prove them wrong.
In high school I had my first major operation. In short, I had corrective surgery on both of my legs, however there was a complication with my right leg which resulted in me having to have the leg re-broken a couple of years later. Unfortunately, it was not as successful as we hoped it would be and has contributed to some of the ongoing issues I still live with today.
It was during the rehabilitation of the second operation that art seriously entered my life. I have always had a creative flare growing up. I always enjoyed being drawing and was getting told off all the time for doodling over my maths homework. My friends had gone off to college and I spent most of my days in my bedroom with my cat, Tiger, and my Rottweiler, Zara, (who are sadly no longer with us) due to being in a full leg cast. That is when I picked up a pencil and a bit of printer paper and started doodling for the first time since year 9 of high school because the art teacher had told me that I “could not draw”.
As my recovery continued, I learnt to drive a hand controlled car (again driving was something I was told I could not do as I have not got full feeling a movement of my legs – so I found an alternative way) I enrolled myself onto the adult learning scheme where I met Sean who was running the one day paint a fairy in watercolour workshop. I continued under the guidance of Sean tuition until 2017.
I did take a little bit of a break from art (although not completely) in 2013 to study an AAT Accounting Qualification and I am now a qualified member of the Association of Accounting Technicians.
Shortly after I achieved my qualification, I moved to the beautiful location that is Cornwall. I continued with my art on a part time basis while working part time in accounts.
I made the decision towards the end of 2018 to take my art full time, giving me to time to focus on my commissions and to build on my skills as a photo-realistic graphite and coloured pencil artist.
I now live with my husband, his family, seven Ragdoll cats (yes, I said seven!) and our four horses, although I do not ride myself due to my physical limitations. I also have a little Bichon Friese, but she lives with my granddad to keep him sharp and on his toes!
My art journey continues as a whole like my life journey, with ups and downs but I have stuck with it even through the tough times. For me art has played an extremely important part in building me as a person and gives me great pleasure to be able to create drawings of people’s loved ones and beloved pets that bring them so much love and joy.