I have signed up for the Suffolk Open Studios and will join nine other talented locals on the Shotley Peninsula Trail. We are eclectic bunch of creatives, producing a wide range of beautiful things.
This has lead to a revamp of a much under used dining room into a smart and welcoming extended studio space, a space to hang and display work. The walls got a splash of bright white, a nice new carpet and good lighting. That's the easy bit. I'm now frantically painting pieces to sell and reproduce as prints (large order placed with a fantastic print maker). This is one that I have sent to print, that will be hand finished with elements of gold... 'Dragon's Hoard'
I am juggling these pieces in with commissioned work, reading new novels for which I will be illustrating the covers, planning fairs to attend, making items, using my illustrations, to sell and all the while new book images and ideas are popping into my head and saying 'paint me!'
Well by the end of a day my brain is frazzled and I'm managing all this is with post it notes, planning on my calender and squeezing in the sketching between waiting for 'yays or nays' from customers and getting on with artwork, but as ever I'm feeling that I need more time to create all the things that are lurking in my head and longing to be on paper
I love this image used by Mecedes it just sums up a creative mind.
There are sketchbooks on the go, filling up with characters, notebooks of story ideas, big projects, little projects. And then, don't you just know it, the sun comes out, and the garden calls too, and the beach and the woods, all that places that inspire.
How to balance it all? I wish I knew! But one thing I do know, going full time freelance was the best decision I have made with my career, I'm now asking 'why didn't I bit the bullet years ago and listen to my creative heart?' OK so it doesn't pay big bucks, but for me it is all about doing what I love, as long as I earn enough to pay the bills, then I'm happy.
Now then....where's that paint brush?.....
Check out the artists on the local Open Studio trail and hope to see some of you on the first two weekends on June.