The UK went into its first Covid lockdown roughly a year ago now. While the country opened up a little briefly over summer 2020, we’ve been very cautious - my last haircut was a year ago; as was my last visit to a restaurant/cafe! It's been excruciating living at the centre of a lively fun-loving city, that is normally bursting with culture and the arts, during lockdown.
Creativity-wise it’s been a mixed bag. I’ve struggled for inspiration on many occasions. On the other hand, I’ve had a little more “time” to be creative. I don’t have kids to home-school and work is ticking over but hasn’t been as busy as usual without wedding orders. Just the fact that we aren’t going anywhere has freed up a lot of my time!
So, at the start of lockdown (back when we naively thought this would last a couple of months at the most), I made a list of things I would like to learn/have a go at. Painting was a large proportion of that. I’ve wandered into taking up painting/drawing several times over the last couple of decades, but it never stuck – something else always took priority (work mostly). My reasons for wanting to stick with it this time were:
- I watched with amazement as painting got my Dad through a few tough episodes and fancied a bit of that "art therapy" myself
- We moved into a new place which we had to refurbish (which got me inspired) and which also has lots of empty wall space
- I just needed creativity in my life (and in particular I needed it to get me through lockdown - yes, I have a “creative” job, but it wasn’t enough)!
So I drifted back into painting very slowly from 2019. We had a spare bedroom which we first called the “tea room” (honestly it doesn’t have the best views for tea-drinking in!). This eventually turned into the “art room” when my Dad was visiting that summer and needed space to paint.
Over the course of 2020, we slowly furnished it with cheap Ikea furniture (+ a lush chaise longue from Loaf and a rug which won't mind paint spills) and transformed it into an “art and craft space” for both Rob & I. It happens to have a sink too (OK fine, at least one room with a sink was one of my requirements when house-hunting 😉)!
If 2020 and the horrid lockdowns gave me nothing else (other than very messy and grey hair), it gave me this wonderful creative “space”, both physical and mental. Keeping the creativity ticking as we very slowly emerge out of lockdown is tricky. I’m slowly arming myself with a bookcase-full of art books and paint supplies though!
If you want to follow the journey as I grapple with this, I’m sharing a little every week on my Instagram account.
I don’t intend to separate the art journey from my creative business. Both are parts of my creative life and it’s all just “me”. So I hope those of you who are here for the jewellery, will stick around for the art 😊!