Lives: Northamptonshire, England, UK
I'm a self-taught artist currently living in the town of Corby, and I specialise in pastel portraits of pets. I've been doing this for a living for a few years now. I am incredibly lucky to spend my days doing what I enjoy most.
I may have only been drawing and painting animals in a professional capacity for a relatively short while, but as far as I can tell, I have always been an artist. I have always drawn. When I was little, I thought horses were the most amazing things ever to walk the earth, and throughout my childhood I would draw them endlessly. I never got tired of it! I drew horses and dogs all through school, both during lunch breaks in the library, and in lesson time (and yes I was caught and told off a few times). Then I'd get home and draw them some more.
This obsession with drawing continued into adult life. During my twenties, I would come home from work, eat my dinner and then sit down to paint or sketch for the rest of the evening. Drawing and painting became something I would throw myself into during stressful times. The worse my day had been, the harder I'd work. At this time, art was my sanctuary - my motive was to learn, improve and to just enjoy the feeling of creating. I tried new mediums and techniques, and new subjects too; it was during this time that I cultivated a passion for painting birds. Although I was really quite dedicated to creating artwork, the thought of doing it for a living didn't enter my mind once, purely because I didn't think it would be possible.
I'd already been sharing my work online - first on the website deviantART, and then on Facebook. It was a wonderful feeling to connect with other artists, and people who enjoyed seeing my work. In time, I began to receive requests from people who wanted me to draw their own animals. And so I found myself tentatively dipping my toe into the waters of pet portrait artistry! After some time (and much deliberation) I made the decision to leave my job and become a full-time artist.
In the time since, pet portraits have remained my primary focus, and I continue to enjoy them immensely. Alongside these, I do continue to expand on my own creative practice where I can. I have the use of a fantastic studio space in Corby's Rooftop Arts Centre, in which I work on my own paintings of horses, birds and wild animals.
Being able to do something that fulfils me every day doesn't come without a measure of some surprisingly hard work. Like many artists, I run everything absolutely on my own (with the exception of some assistance with my website, hanging work and creating painting panels, from my amazing other half, without whose support I would probably collapse!)
With that said, I am hugely thankful for those who support me by choosing my work, be it by commissioning a portrait, or buying an original piece or a print. I'm also very grateful to everyone who supports me in other ways - by following my work online and leaving comments, and coming to see my work in person. Even though I am fairly certain I would still be creating artwork even if there was no-one else on earth to see it, knowing there are people who enjoy what I do and hearing their kind and encouraging comments makes me smile every day. I hope you will enjoy it too!