Saturday, March 9, 2019

March Meet the Maker Part One.

Over on Instagram there is a month long challenge called 'March Meet the Maker' it's created by Joanne Hawker and is an opportunity for artists/ makers to tell a little about themselves and what they do etc. This year I decided to take part. I know many of my followers don't all have instagram or Facebook, so felt it might be nice to share the posts on here too.
Every day has a different prompt and we began day one on March 1st. So here are the first seven days.
Day 1. Is ‘Favourite to make’ 
I like making all items that I create really, so haven’t really a particular favourite. There is something special though playing in the sketchbook and letting ideas appear. From those first marks made, or adding magical adornments onto a hanger, or the quiet solitude of painting, I enjoy them all. My favourite time though is the completion of the work. Getting the idea out, and into the physical realm from the imagination. That’s the icing on the cake for me. ✨💫
Day 2. 
How you started.
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” Wassily Kandinsky
Looking back,  it began with the colour blue. At primary school I loved using the big easel and remember being attracted to the beautiful sky blue poster paint which I would slap onto the sugar paper so thickly it would crack when dry.
As a child I was always drawing in my sketch pad or colouring in, being careful not to ‘go over the lines’ sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t cared so much about those lines my work may have turned out very different? Who knows maybe even abstract? Scribbling and painting my way through education, I ended up at Art College doing Illustration. After leaving I worked freelance and then when my children got older and I had more time again, I discovered Etsy. I opened a shop in February 2008 and after 11 years, it’s been a fantastic journey. This picture ‘Travelling circus’ was one of the first prints to sell in the shop.  
Day 3.
Treasures that inspire my imagination. ✨💫 Who can spot the ladybird that sneaked into the picture? He’s been hibernating in the window sill and woke up.

 Day 4 
Tools and materials
I’m quite frugal with tools and materials. I don’t have a vast amount and tend to keep the minimum paints that I need in my toolbox. I don’t have pots and pots of brushes, just the one pot and use the same ones until they wear out, then buy new when I literally haven’t got a decent one to use. The same goes for paints. I use mainly Winsor and newton paints and brushes. Sometimes I buy other brushes such as pro-arte. I paint on wood, watercolour paper or canvas. I like using all, but work much slower on canvas. 

Day 5 
Detail or close up. 
Day 6  ‘Full or part time’ 
When opening the Etsy shop back in 2008 I was working a part time evening job to sustain it. It suited because I would have the whole day to create alongside having a family and in the evenings would work solitary in the local school, cleaning and listening to music through my headphones, so my imagination could build and plan things in my mind whilst I dusted and washed the floors. A year later in 2009, it began bringing in the same amount per month as I was getting in my part time job, so this gave me the courage to leave the job and go full time. I’m happy  that it was the right decision 🙌 I’m still grateful for each and every sale, which enables me to do the work I love everyday. Sales have flown past the 12,000 mark now, so that’s a lot of happy dances.

Day 7 
Less glam side. 
 “So you just sit down and paint pretty pictures all day long”  Someone once said this to me years ago. 
I suppose ‘Artist’ does sound quite glamorous.  Seeing pictures online of perfect work and perfect studios it really is just a glimpse of a moment and a lot of the time it’s far from that captured image. 
The reality is sometimes you don’t actually get to paint. Only 50% of my time is actually spent on painting. The other half is packing, planning, photographing, listing, designing, and marketing.  Whole days are often spent just packing orders, answering messages and ordering stock. There is often not enough time to create the work and ideas. Pages of sketches never make it to finished pieces, or a whole day or week maybe spent on a design that never comes to fruition. Sometimes I eat lunch in front of the computer or realise its 4 o’clock and haven’t stopped to have any or even brushed my hair!  Like any job there are bad days too, when nothing goes right. Times when you feel like you’ve forgotten how to paint, someone’s order has not arrived or you’ve made the 3rd mistake in a row on a print job.
The last post said that I worked full time. In reality full time really means 24/7 because you never switch off. 

But I wouldn’t change it for the world and count my blessings each day that I’m doing what I love and yes ‘this’ year I WILL be more organised. 

I've never done a month long challenge, so hope to keep up? I'll be back with part two next week :-) 


  1. Ahhhh found you on insta ;-)
    Always to lovely to see your art !

  2. Oh Karen your work is just magical. I have so loved your work for years♥ I spotted the tiny little ladybird or ladybug as they call them here in Oz. Sigh my favourite all time bird is of course the Robin and although we don't have them here I have a small collection of pottery ones. Have a wonderful week:) Linda

  3. Its nice to be able to read this as I don't have instgram or facebook. I have your Starlight hare picture. Also was lucky enough to have the wooden hanging version as a present. Magical works.

  4. I love hearing about the ‘ordinary’ side of being an artist. I often feel like I’ve wasted whole days on admin so It’s good to know it’s not just me who doesn’t always get to the paints when they want to! Well done at fitting this meet the maker into your busy schedule, you must be more organised than me!😉xx

  5. Your art speaks to me and I enjoyed this post of insights into your life as an artist.


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