Updated: Aug 4, 2020
During lockdown I decided to start up my own business after just finishing my degree, where I achieved a first-class classification in Photography and not being able to get a job within the arts industry. I tried to put a positive spin on lockdown and have tried to keep this attitude from the beginning. Having applied to over 35 jobs within the photography industry and getting no responses, I was beginning to get disheartened about my creative ability. However, I tried to stay positive and took this time as an opportunity rather than a burden. With the attitude of keep creating, making and trying new things and you never know what will happen, post what you are creating onto a social media platform and worst-case scenario, you create beautiful feeds for your friends and family to enjoy.
I wanted to create art which had an impact on a community of people that I have close connection to, deciding to start using my artwork as a way to openly talk about and express mental health, as these can be extremely hard times for people suffering with anxiety or other forms of health issues. Mental health can actively effect body confidence, from my own experience especially women, but not excluding men or other genders. Therefore, my artwork aims to make my clients, women especially, feel empowered and confident in their bodies and gain back control of how they view themselves in a positive format. The majority of my pieces are colourful, bright and bold commissioned portraits, to celebrate the human form and all its beauty. The majority of the paintings are commissioned from particular clients and are based on nude photos they choose to send me in confidence. Others choose to describe the body type they would like and I paint from imagination.
The client gets to choose what style they want their painting painted in, either a more block style or blended style, as well as their choice of colours used, giving the client full range of control over how their bodies are perceived. Creating individual, bespoke paintings which fully express the clients interests, their personality and colours they associate with.
The steps I take when doing a painting are as follows; I begin by drawing the image on a piece of paper, then transferring the image into the canvas. Once draw out, depending on the style the client wants it painted in, I either do a base layer in the colours they have asked for, mapping out the light, dark and mid-tone areas then gradually build up the layers until I’m happy with the result. I then add details once that’s dry, such as the little squiggles, lines and a black outline, then I do the paint splats in the background at the end to add depth to the painting.
I have always loved art and being creative but hadn’t painted since A Level and wanted to try and get back into it again as it’s something I’d really missed doing. I began by just doing one painting of an artist on Instagram I had really been inspired by and posted it on Instagram with no intention of making any money from it but I had such positive feedback from this one painting, which my friend ended up buying, then after that through word of mouth, I began getting more and more commissions. I have managed to turn my hobby into a full-time job during lockdown and would love for this to carry on and be able to be my main source of income in the future.
I would love to carry on helping women gain back confidence and control of how they view their bodies as I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the girls I’ve painted, saying that its really helped with their body confidence and that they feel so empowered doing it which is honestly the best feeling, knowing my work is giving girls so much confidence towards themselves and how they view themselves, which drives me even more to make this a successful career.
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