being an artist + the return of breakfast club

I moved to London the year after graduating from art school (after having not lived in London for 10 long years) and found it very hard to settle into a rhythm of post-university art-making. I really needed a "proper" job that would give me enough money to pay my rent but wouldn't suck away all of my time, so I got a job in a primary school, where I worked with a little girl with autism. Although it was nothing like being an artist, it was a very creative environment in which to work, especially as she was such a visual learner. She loved the fact that I could draw, so I drew dozens of pictures of rabbits, tortoises and lions in her Maths book to help her learn mathematical concepts.

Unfortunately, that was the only real chance I had to be creative, as by the time I finished work in the evenings I was so exhausted, physically and emotionally, that the last thing I wanted to do was force myself to sit and draw. It's impossible to make art when you're unmotivated, and unfortunately, for a lot of the first couple of years in London I was very unmotivated. I was no longer at art school, I didn't go to a lot of shows, and none of the people in my immediate social circle were creative, so I felt as though I had completely lost the support network that I relied on at university.

After being in London for a while, a couple of friends from uni who were also living in London decided we should meet up and do some art together. We took turns to host, and as we often met in the mornings, gave our little meetings the name "Breakfast Club".

I loved Breakfast Club, it was the best thing for me at that time - it gave me the opportunity to discuss work with and get advice from people whose opinions I trusted and respected, as well as giving me motivation to make new work, and of course was a chance to see my good friends. There weren't enough Breakfast Club meetings as far as I was concerned, as we all had other commitments, plus I was now working full time so my mornings were not often free to sit about drinking tea and carving lino blocks. It was a real shame, but eventually Breakfast Club just kind of dissolved.

...that is, until last week!

JK was over from the US, where he moved after he married his Californian girlfriend, and was determined that a Breakfast Club reunion took place. It was great to see them again, and although we didn't actually get any art done, we had a great chance to catch up and chat and see how everyone else was doing. Nothing much had changed with me except I'd moved to a bigger flat, got a kitten and now had a proper studio space in which to work! Likewise, things were very similar with the other club members - still working and making art in their free time, though they were also getting commissions and having work in shows. Seeing them again made me realise just how much I love doing this arty stuff, and how much I miss it. Even if I don't get many commissions, and don't have my work in many shows, I am and always will be an artist, and I should never forget it.

Just in case you were wondering, here's some info about my fellow Club members' work...

James has a website and an Etsy shop where he sells cards, prints and postcards of his beautiful watercolour illustrations. He is awesome.

Lisa has a lovely website and creates the most deliciously sumptuous paintings. She is awesome too.

Cat Looking Up by Lisa Freeman

Now I've just gotta get some of my own work up here... soon, I promise!

4 hellos:

Claire said...


Also, please may we have a meeting of the scrabble-tea-and-cake club soon?


Vixie said...

Hahaha, yes, of course! We should try and catch up with Siobhan as well - maybe during half term? x

Claire said...

I'm away over half-term, but would love to see you early-ish June?


Vixie said...

Yeah, sounds good xx

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