Thanks to my brainy brother all kinds of fancy technical things have been happening to my website, including setting up a newsletter subscription! (Like a lot of artists, I’m not amazing with computers).
It’s been a pretty crazy journey since I quit my job as a hairdresser and decided to throw myself into my art full time with the support of my amazing husband. I think the main thing I’ve learned is to just give things a go and see where they take you.
I started off being quite ridged and one track minded. I thought all I needed to do was paint what I love, put my pieces up in galleries, sell them and repeat. This didn’t turn out to be quite how the art world works especially in a bit of an economic down turn.
I think the first thing to shake me out of that way of thinking was when we moved up to Karratha for a few months. There was no way that I could take all my painting equipment up there and Karratha only has one art supply store which is more of a craft and knitting store. So I decided to bring some good paper and pencils and focus on my drawing. Luckily, right around that time there happened to be an art competition on in Port Hedland (a couple of hours drive from Karratha) called “A Dot On The Run” and so all my animal head drawings were born.
My husband, being my biggest fan, was showing off all my animal head drawings to his work mates in his new office and they started asking if I would draw their animals. Also being around Christmas I put out the word on social media that that was a service I could provide. The response was huge. I thought I was going to bored in the middle of the desert for three months but I was busy drawing commissioned portraits and animal heads for an upcoming exhibition the whole time. Nothing like isolation to really help you focus.
Another lesson I learned is to talk about what you really want. I have a few mural artist friends and I’ve always thought it looked like fun but didn’t really know how to get into it professionally. I started mentioning it to friends and getting more confident about the whole idea of it. I mean…if I can paint on huge canvases that take up half my studio…why not a wall? All of a sudden people started agreeing with me and when they saw opportunities they threw my hat in the ring for me. Another lesson: Don’t be a jerk…if you try to help people out they’ll do the same…the world is what you make it.
So now I’ve painted over twenty walls and am getting ready for some other projects coming up in the future. I’m loving the diversity of my work. When I’m not painting murals on people’s wall, I’m doing commissioned portraits or paintings and even doing some sign writing which I think my Grandpa Benbrook would be proud of if he were still around. He was a sign writer, photographer and artist.
All in all, being your own boss really shows you who you are and what you’re capable of. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and really enjoying every lesson along the way, even the really hard ones.