This journal has always been a space to share a little bit of everything; personal thoughts on life as an artist, exhibition summaries and for a big chunk of time an insight into my travels when I spent nearly 11 months backpacking, that seems like a lifetime ago now! As an artist I feel like all sorts influences my work and so it’s important to keep note of whats happening as a change in circumstances might be the catalyst for change in my art practice. With that in mind I wanted to share two life updates, one of which is very significant.
The first is that my partner and I are in the process of buying our first home. We’ve been together for 12 years but never lived in our own home together, rented or otherwise. In those 12 years I’ve lived in Cheltenham to study my BA in Fine Art, he has rented a room from a friend, we’ve spent a total of 19 months backpacking the globe together living in camper vans, hostels and hotels and we’ve lodged with my family. Finally, we will have a little place to call our own. North Hampshire is a pricey part of the U.K. to get on the property ladder (due to its proximity to London) so it hasn’t been easy and with me being a full time self employed artist we are only able to use my partners wage to get a mortgage. Still, we are chuffed to bits that soon we will have the keys and be able to hang all the art and illustrations that we’ve collected over the years as well as display all our travel photographs.
The second and most exciting piece of news is that my partner and I are expecting our first baby! Little one is due at the end of January and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Watching my bump grow over the last few months has been magical and we cannot wait to welcome him/her to the world. Of course, having a baby is life changing and will affect every aspect of my life and especially my art practice. In fact, baby isn’t even here yet and already so much has changed. I haven’t felt in the right frame of mind to create work for some time, the nausea at the beginning of the pregnancy, the overwhelming tiredness and the raging hormones have all contributed to me slowing right down. I’ve been trying not to berate myself for this as it’s just what my body needs at this time and I’ve been extremely fortunate in that working from home I can allow for time off without letting anyone down.
I’ll be the main caregiver to our baby as we need my partners wage to pay the mortgage and bills and I hope that in time I’ll be able to return to some of my work, squeezing in the odd drawing between the chaos. I will not be going on ‘maternity leave’ as such, I receive so few orders that I imagine I’ll still be able to pack and post any that I do receive (though there may be a slight delay) and financially I won’t be in a position to turn down any sales or opportunities to make a few pennies, the pursestrings will be very tight for some time going forward. I envisage that new drawings will be very few and far between and that my social media channels and journal entries may look totally abandoned but hopefully that’ll all be temporary and I’ll be able to bounce back.
It’s been really lovely keeping this news private for us to enjoy with our family and closest friends for so long but as I enter the final trimester I felt it was the right time to share, I didn’t want anyone wondering what on earth had happened to me come January when I’m no longer able to draw/make/share anything!