The medics on the front line are the heroes and I made a doctor figure demo on my youtube to demonstrate the appreciation I feel for them. As well as the government, farmers, postal workers and many more keyworkers keeping this country afloat. But I saw a tweet yesterday and it got me thinking…
The tweet highlighted that the subjects we have seen brushed aside in formal education are gaining acknowledgement and helping in this crisis of coronavirus.
I am a professional artist and I started my business elevenyears ago. The day my firstborn turned 9 months I thought it a clever move to become self employed. I had completed a Masters and Degree in fine art and felt if I didn’t push myself in 2009, would I ever?
From the age of sixteen I worked alongside people of all ages and abilities running art workshops. I realised very quickly that to make money at what I do, a community artist was the way forward. Paintings don’t seem to fly out of the studio like we imagine. A harsh reality!
Anyway, my life with the boys (I had my second son in 2011) looked no different from someone who works full time and then squeezes their own practice in during rest periods or holidays. Community arts was full on and for the most part poorly paid. Add to that my family life – I wasn’t getting anywhere fast.
So I started my own photography business.
Along with my blogging from the box room in our house , I had the bare bones of a creative business.
Photography helped me plan, execute and grow. It also brought a salary and recognition for hard work. Pricing photography, I felt, was determined by the market, it didn’t always matter if a photography degree was under your belt.
Whereas with painting the first class honours in my degree or distinction in my Masters meant very little when it came to rising as an established artist. It was tough to tackle.
Creative careers teach you resilience and it’s a long and hard road.
So today I want to celebrate every single creative I follow, know and appreciate who has worked equally hard to get their career off the ground !
The arts is an essential piece of the puzzle of life. My three sons think they are not creative but since lockdown we dance more than ever in the living room and we bake in the kitchen all hands breaking butter into scones together.
Art slides beautifully into the snippet of life that nurtures our brain away from numbers or molecules.
On a daily basis during lockdown creativity is housing calm for people, offering escapism. When people buy coastal prints they add notes which move me to tears- “if I can’t get to the coast I’ll bring the coast to me”.
So thank you musicians, singers, authors, poets, podcasters, bakers, chefs, illustrators, designers, painters, drinks companies … you (we) are bringing art to the conversation.
I would even include small business owners in my shout out who have had to be creative in making their colourful vegetables reach an audience outside of their store front. Or sewing clothes for PPE wear (did many of us even know that word before now!?) that they would have otherwise sold to make their living .
YOU are shedding light in a frightening and dark scenario. You are valued like never before and I am so happy to see this.
Thank you science for all you are doing to bring testing and a vaccination to stop the evil that is coronavirus. And maths for helping people de code, set up ventilators and cut protective masks accordingly.
But for this moment, creatives everywhere, take a moment to smile at the chance we have to touch a life with song or colour. Thank you and keep making.
Tag creatives doing great things for us during lockdown. I am highlighting people every day on my instagram (@aly.harte) over a coffee break at 11am and can add them to my list!