Tell us the journey from first seeing the prompt to the final creation.

I have been thinking recently about a trip I made during a break in the lockdowns last year and chose to explore that for my chosen memory. I had no real idea of what aspects of my time away I would represent in my artworks but decided not to overthink it and just make a start. For my first piece I chose to copy a photo that I took of the takeaway afternoon tea that I had that weekend. It's probably one of my favourite meals from last year and I enjoyed sketching it out. I then had a break of a week or two while I thought in the back of my mind about the photography prompt. I chose to combine 3 images with different textures (if I had clay in I'd enjoy recreating these as physical textures). These are all tiny snapshot memories from that weekend. I stayed in an Airbnb and the host shared a very garlicky dinner with me, she also had a bowl that is exactly the same as one we have and finally I took a lot of art materials with me and these water-soluble crayons were my favourites. The purpose of my trip was to have some time for myself (leaving my husband to look after our children) in what was a stressful time. In normal times I would go on a retreat twice a year and decided to create my own by staying in a local Airbnb and taking my art materials, sketchbook and a little Creative Retreat prayer book (from Lindisfarne). For my other 2 pieces I looked through the sketchbook that I filled on that trip. The words around the flip-flop are from a prayer that I wrote. I chose the flip-flop as it is symbolic of making a promise and also the lady I stayed with had loads of sandals, slippers, flip-flops at the front door for guests to change into. It made me smile to remember this quirky part of my stay. Lastly I created a collage including a map of the area I was living in and went for my retreat. The circles cut into it are taken from some of the artwork I made on that trip too. I had a real feeling of reconnecting with a joy of discovery and playfulness in creating that took me back to my Art Foundation year. This was lovely but also came with an echo of the anxiety that the final outcome needed to be good enough. I found it worthwhile to think through these feelings as I created and leave with a feeling of freedom that there was no pressure on the final outcome and that the process of creating was valuable in itself. 

I guess I've shared a lot about myself again but it's hard to separate the creative journey from the personal. Overall I was surprised to find myself enjoying all of these prompts, not just in a technical way but with a genuine sense of fun and joy in remembering such a lovely time from in the middle of a mostly difficult year.


How are you creative in a 100 words?

I see three aspects of my creativity: desire to create, enjoyment from creating and creative skill. I absolutely love creating. Whether it’s drawing, baking, playing music or making paper dolls with my children. Sometimes other, necessary tasks distract me and I notice signs in myself that I’ve not done anything creative for a while. When I create it boosts my self-esteem, helps me reconnect with who I am and what’s important to me and provides me with a way to process things. At the end of creative process it is just a bonus if the end product is good quality.