I would not quarrel the opinion that the years post graduation have been a trialing time. Trying to find my way in a world that is so ever-changing both politically and socially, has been incredibly difficult, and at times it has left me in a place where I was questioning my own existence. Since becoming a fully fledged alumni, I have floated between small, minimum wage jobs, in an attempt to simply bridge a gap, with the hopes of a true career opportunity raising its head. In this time, I made countless applications for positions within the art world, in local galleries, and print pressing workshops. Nothing ever seemed to come my way though. A few interviews here or there, but in each one losing out to someone older, and more experienced. I had no anger at these rejections, it was something I had expected for the most part, however the lack of a serious relationship with art, caused my determination to wane. I soon found myself ignoring art entirely. I no longer had any hunger to paint, or draw. Instead I wasted my free time in pubs, hoping to cover over the cracks with a bit of liquid confidence. It wasn't long before I realised that I was drifting. In a rut of sorts. Not wholly myself.
Ask any artist or writer. They'll tell you that for a creative person, not creating is emotional suicide. And for me it really was. Everything about me changed in this time. I stopped wearing the clothes I liked, and started wearing clothes I felt 'fit in'. My buzz, and excitement for life had nearly completely vanished, and my friendly demeanour replaced with a cold, shut off barrier. I truly was at the end of my wits, but little did I know a small saving grace would soon rear its head. I had recently began working in a new cinema in Cardiff. The change of scenery definitely helped my mood, I found myself surrounded by quite artsy type people, and in a very small sense, I began to clamour to create again, though I'm not sure I completely realised it at this point. However, a torrid storm hit during one of my shifts. I was stuck in Cardiff bay, trying to devise a way of getting home to Caerphilly. In a small moment, I glanced across the bay, and if by sheer luck 'Piano sonata 14' by Beethoven began to play through my headphones. Enamoured by the sounds, I began to envision scenes of Turners storm paintings. It was in that moment that I realised that the life I was setting for myself was a lie. Existing as a successful painting in the art world is an incredibly difficult task, but existing in the world without sharing your artistic voice is even harder. From this moment, I set it as my goal to create myself a career within art. I allowed myself as much time as I needed to learn the skills to propel my art in to new audiences. My first task was to create a new website. Though I had originally created my own website in University, even then I had enough knowledge to realise that the website I'd created wasn't viable for an artist. So I sat for hours, and then days, just looking over how I could set up my website. How I could make it function as a tool, and still be attractive enough to make people want to view it. Soon I'd settled on an over all scheme, and the pages were beginning to come together. However, as things fell in to place, I didn't look to rush it. Instead I allowed myself apt time to sit and review each page. From start to finish, the site has take just over a month to complete. As someone with very little knowledge on website creation, I've no idea if that's good or bad. That isn't something that I'll worry about though. The important thing to me, is that I've finally began on my journey in to becoming a professional artist. I will be using this blog as a ways of keeping those who are interested, updated with projects and commissions. I hope to speak to you all in the near future -Ash