Monthly Archives: September 2017

I’m a mature student! BA (hons) fine art degree

Guess what has happened?

Well if you read the title you already know ๐Ÿ˜‰ but seriously this wasn’t on my life dream list, I had no intention at all of ever doing a degree, what little old me doing something so grown up and proper hahahaha I make myself smile.

Actually it went down like this:

I went to college to enroll on a 9 hour art colour course and the tutor said have you thought about doing a fine art degree, I said “No, I have read the blurb and it sounds to poncy to me”.

I don’t mince my words, I use the excuse I am 41 but I don’t think in the past 20 years or so, I have held back on my thoughts or feelings, well, as you can imagine his face went all squiffy and he just said

“oh right”. hahaha I had pissed on his bonfire hadn’t I?!.drawing-sept-2017

Fast forward 3 days and I had to pop back in to get the price of the course and pay for it as there had been a discrepancy when I originally went, with how much they wanted to charge. I had to ask for a bloke called Nick who ran the art dept, I was in reception, which is in the cafe bit and the receptionist pointed out a grey haired gentleman queueing up for coffee, so I went over and then stood there awkwardly while he chatted to the cafe server about her cakes, anyway I eventually introduced myself and explained what I wanted and he hadn’t even heard of the course, then went on to say, “have you thought about doing a degree”, here we drawing-fine-art-sept2017go again I thought, maybe the staff are on commission to recruit people onto courses.

This time though, I didn’t say it was poncy or pretentious, I asked what was involved, because maybe this was a sign from the universe. Nick explained the whole thing and I fell for it, I fell in love with the romantic notion of being a student at art college like when I was 16, before kids, before stretch marks and when I thought my main ambition in life was to be a fashion designer in London.

 

And that, friends is how you end up signing up to a 3 year art degree, I have had questions about the money, of course it costs billions to do a degree but its only bits of paper, when I am rich I will pay it back, because then I will be qualified and talking pretentious bollocks and selling my art for millions ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am not one for worrying about what if, I take it day by day and see what happens. I have also been asked why am I going back when I am already an artist?, good question and one I asked myself, the thing is I love to learn, just because I am good at certain art I am not good at everything, I also love researching and finding info and discovering new things, people and designs, this gives me an excuse to do that, I can justify the hours spent on the internet or reading books, I can also try new mediums and see and develop styles that I may not of touched before.

 

I also want that bit of paper with degree written on it. This may sound weird as I am pretty much against the man and the establishment, but I do have reasoning behind it. Firstly we want to move to somewhere amazing, over a wetherspoons breakfast, one rainy morning we narrowed the list down to Canada, Germany and France, then after more discussion and dreaming we have settled on Canada, if you know us already, you will wonder what happened to the Portugal dream, well bush fires, hairy caterpillars and uranium mines put pay to that, plus I am really shit in hot weather, I actually moan and itch a lot and Tom (Mr Delightful) would have a breakdown if we lived there because I would be a million times worse. Anyway back to the degree, to move to Canada, it is pretty helpful if you have a degree.

sept-2017Also, get this!, my mouth started talking the other day to a tutor and what was coming out was making my mind go crackers, a voice in my head was saying “shut up you nutter” but my mouth wouldn’t stop. So this is what I was saying, basically I feel like a fraud sat in my lovely home, making art, having a jolly time, being super happy and doing stuff I choose to do everyday. I feel like someone in a suit (because suits mean bossy authority in my mind) is going to come and knock on the door and say “oi, what do you think you are doing, being so happy in your pinafore/dungarees/petticoat and playing with paint, it’s against the law, now do something proper and grown up”

Crazy eh! but that’s the kinda stuff that happens in my brain, so I feel that with a bit of degree paper that has my name on it will make me proper and grown up. Like I can actually prove to the person in the suit that I am allowed to play and be happy.

So there you go. What is that all about? God knows, but I do know that I am enjoying myself, its tricky balancing everything because I am still a mum to the nutters and still have to run my biz and sort the house, dogs, food etc but I kinda like it. Plus I get to buy supplies, like fancy pencils and new paintbrushes (like I don’t have enough already) I also get to have 2 studios, does that make me greedy? one at home that is amazingly pink and full ofย  junk I mean collectables, and one at college that is white and minimal, phew what a learning curve that is for me, but again I like it because its challenging me.

I also get to use amazing equipment like big old print machines and be around other creatives. Nick is fabulous and our main tutor for drawing and painting and his passion is infectious, especially for condensed charcoal!trees-sept-2017

The art I have been making is very different but it is god to have a challenge and a change. I am starting very slowly to learn about arty bollocks talk and have discovered some new words (it’s like another language), they have some cool books in the library too. So being a student def has its perks.

I am going to take each challenge as it comes up and not get too caught up in the deadlines and that side of it, I am just going to give it my best shot and enjoy each day. I am finding it very mindful too, because the art I am creating isn’t for money or I don’t have to break off to cook dinner and deal with a meltdown. I can put my headphones in and listen to beautiful music and create.

  • Dotty
  • September 30, 2017
  • Uni

Woo hoo 150 Etsy sales

I am over the moon, thank you all so much for your support, when I started on Etsy I was imagining what it would feel like making 10 sales and wondering how on earth would I do it, after many hours reading, researching, posting and sharing I am super happy that today marks my 150th sale on Etsy. Thank you Sue for being my 150th Etsy customer <3

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If you are just starting out, believe in yourself, don’t be discouraged by other peoples wins or successes, use this to inspire you to greatness. I really recommend you check out some of the threads on Etsy in the community section, network on social media, have a look at Mallory Whitfield,ย  who is awesome at digital marketing, has youtube videos and podcasts, also if you sign up to her newsletter she sends out really great content.

150 sales might be a tiny drop in the ocean to some bigger handmade businesses, but I have learned to celebrate and be proud of each win, no matter how small or big, this is about your achievements, not anyone elses. Don’t compare yourself to someone elses journey either, because we are all at different stages, no one is better than you because they have sold 20,000 things or even sold 10 things, they are just further on or behind you, in their own journey. We are all people and we all get 24 hours, some of us have more money, some of us have bigger homes, some of us has hardly any help with our children, some of us, have no children, some of us work 40 hour weeks for the man, some of us work 70 hour weeks for ourselves, the idea here, I am trying to get across is, the only thing that makes us the same is we are human and each get 24 hours a day.

So be inspired, learn a lot, ask questions, research, make lovely things, keep creating and be awesome!

  • Dotty
  • September 23, 2017
  • Art

What I wore my eclectic style

Hello beauties, loads of you don’t see me in day to day life and I am famous around my town for the weirdo in the bloomers ๐Ÿ˜‰ so I thought it would be fun to share with you the kind of things I wear on a day to day basis without going somewhere fancy. I do spend the odd day in my unicorn nightie and rainbow bed socks, when I have no where to be or if I feel like I need a chill day and if you really want a photo of that let me know in the comments ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Most of the clothes I wear is either handmade or found in charity shops, people also pass things onto me and sometimes I buy something new if it really makes my heart sing. Pink girl above, I made the skirt, I love how when I twirl around it swishes out and has some old hand dyed net curtains as an underskirt. The vest is from H and M ยฃ4 (new) and the cardi was ยฃ1 from a catalogue seconds outlet in Blackpool town centre, the socks are amazing and are handmade by a lovely lady who I did a swap with online, I got some ace socks and she got a canvas. By the way, I am always up for sock/art swaps so get in touch if this is something you fancy.

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My most recent purchase, a Monsoon top from Banardos charity shop for 99p!! I love the shape of it too, the skirt was from Primark and I got a hot pink one and a grey one too becuase they are super comfy and I was tired of feeling frumpy, so I thought I would show off the legs a bit, well with tights at least ๐Ÿ˜‰ these rainbow tights have been an autumn favourite for a few years.

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This is my most favourite skirt in the world, I got it from Seasalt 2 years ago in Dartmouth, I love the shape, because its got pockets and it’s great for travelling in, you can roll it up in your bag and the creases just drop out. This stripy slouch top was ยฃ2 in the sale at Primark. It kinda doesn’t match but I was all about the comfort this day.

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My friend got in touch and sadi she had a pinafore dress she didn’t suit and did I want it, as soon as she mentioned it had pockets, I said yes! well its super ace and I have worn it so many times already, I might take a pattern from it and make some more before I totally wear it out. I’m wearing it here with handmade bloomers (by me) and a top I have had for years.

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Handmade bloomers in Cath Kidston fabric, I might make some more of these for my Etsy shop, paired up with super comfy shoes from Clarkes, I got these in the sale and if you bought one pair you got another half price, so I chose a canary yellow pair. I had the pinafore on with this from the previous picture above.

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I got this for 99p from Trinity hospice charity shop, this day was lovely for me because it was chilly enough to wear tights and scarf I and felt almost like autumn, I love autumn, the colours are wonderful and it’s not cold enough for a coat but not too hot that I get sweaty and irritable

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The same 99p bargain, the monsoon top which fits me beautifully and feels amazing as in a previous photo. I’ve had the skirt for years, I made it from an Indian wall hanging, it was also chilly enough to wear my brown velvet jacket too.

Comfort is always my first priority when wearing clothes all day, I used to change about 4 times a day when I felt insecure in my past, I thought I had to dress to show off my shape (which was very different then, I was a size 8, but unhealthy becuase I lived on toast and cigarettes) so I chose clinging clothes, with push up underwired bras, fancy pants etc but it wasn’t me, I didn’t know I could choose to wear whatever I wanted just for me, not to impress men or fit in with the girls, I could find my style, live in it and love feeling like me everyday. Sometimes its hard being true to who you are, because you get laughed at or name called, you always get weird looks, but now I’m 41 I have realised its not my problem what others think of me, they have their own issues to deal with, what is important, is being me, being the true authentic me because that makes me truly happy.