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It's catching

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

I'm a strong believer that art shouldn't be a stuffy elitist indulgence but an accessible-to-all part of everyday life. Looking at it, creating it, thinking about it, talking about it and just being around it.

For well-being and balance in a crazy busy world, I feel it has an important role to play, in a similar way to sport. A release and a life-affirming experience that can bring peace, pleasure, sensory stimulation, escapism, engagement, confidence, social interaction, comfort, endless benefits really.

I'm not talking about hanging out at art galleries pontificating and reciting the history of art, more about appreciating and exploring the colour and shape of things during a normal day because it feels good and lifts your spirits.

I can see it in my own children, how it can help them de-stress, express themselves, explore ideas, take control and have fun.

Painting is something I do because it makes me happy and I feel most like me when I'm doing it.

And over the years, I've also become aware of the positive effect putting myself out there as a professional artist can have on others. After all, I went into journalism because someone I knew was doing it and I thought, if they can do it, so can I.

Unfortunately, I have encountered a tiny smidge of snobbery since embarking on my art adventure, from those who think you have to have a fine art degree to be taken seriously or who want to preserve some kind of pretentious mystic around creating art, as if only a gifted few are allowed to partake. Sod that! I take any opportunity to encourage people to get stuck in, have a go, play around, and have art in their lives in some relevant way to them.

I attended a women's business breakfast this month where we were joined by some Year 10 girls from a local school. I don't think any of them were considering art as a career option, but I put my message out there, that if you can find your passion in life and turn it into your purpose, go for it. To keep doing whatever it is in life you love and see where it takes you.

I loved English and art at school. I followed my head and studied English at university, becoming a journalist for nearly 15 years. Now I am following my heart and making a career out of art.

And when asked what my definition of success was, it was happiness of course.

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