Earlier this year I was compiling all the images for my portfolio, which on my website goes back to 2017. That’s when I feel like I developed a certain ‘style’. Of course I have lots of work which came before that, but a lot of it is hard to access or I wouldn’t dare show the world. I think we’ve all had a lot of time for reflection this year and the majority of mine has been on my art practice. So I want to talk about how my art has developed over the years. 

I want to share this with you as I think its important to recognise the journey an artist takes to get to where they are. Sometimes it can take a long time for a ‘style’ to develop and sometimes our style is continuously changing and evolving.

START

My earliest work was very lacking in colour- during my angsty teenage I years I very much created as an expression of what I was feeling and as a form of therapy. When I started my BTEC in art and design (pre university) I felt immediately compelled to find my art voice. It was my first time setting foot in an art establishment and I think I felt I needed to prove myself. 

This was also the moment I discovered contemporary art which had a big impact on my style. Conceptual art really captured my attention and my work went from being quite figurative and depicting emotion to being visual representations about ideas. The fact that art didn’t need to be true depictions of object and feeling really set me free.

My art became very minimal and I shifted away from painting into other mediums like sculpture, film and photography. This saw me through to my first year of University. I really felt like my work needed to have some profound meaning to be considered ‘real art’ and in a way I think this is quite damaging. My work became even darker as I became interested in philosophy and my creations were often accompanied by text.

CHANGE

My second year of uni brought about a couple of changes in my work. The first being my shift towards using colour- a huge turning point in my life and practice. I noticed my mood lifting as I begun to use vibrant hues in my painting; this sparked my interest in art and the effects it has on our mood. I started questioning myself and my art. Why did I feel like my art needed to have so much meaning?

I experimented with creating art which just made you ‘feel’ using mainly colour and pattern; avoiding the need for ‘deep thinking’. Through moving image and painting I made pieces which were either designed to play with your emotions.

In the end I just wanted to make stuff that looked nice, but I found that people will always try and find meaning within art. The topic of my dissertation was ‘Apophenia: Seeking connections and order in chaos’. Apophenia refers to the human tendency to find meaning in everything, and the work I submitted along with my dissertation experimented with hinting at ideas through the use of image and symbols.

POST ART SCHOOL

After graduating I worked in an art shop where I learnt more about materials than I had done at University. So I was very much just creating art for fun. I’d lost my studio space so my work became a mix of digital and smaller mixed media pieces.

Whilst trying out new mediums my interest in abstracts started. I was cutting up a lot of old work and playing with colour and image. It became a very experimental phase and I kind of gave up a bit on becoming an artist.

My desire to do something with my art but also make some money lead me to start ‘Brush + Botany’ a business based on using colour and plants for personal wellbeing. I found it too restricting and realised that it was important for me to create work under my own name.

NOW

I definitely feel like I had to cycle through this whole process to get to where I am now. I struggled a lot to find my place in the art world but at the end of the day it all came down to being authentic and true to myself. 

I’ve placed myself somewhere in between the two extremes I was battling with in the past- art which is all about the concept and art which is just pretty to look at. 

I now understand why art and becoming the best you can be is such a lengthy process. I’m sure in another 10 years I would have developend so mucvh morew and I cant wait to see hwere my jpourmney takes me.