Since I was a little girl I used to draw a lot. I attended the local art school and… hated it so very bad! I think the worst thing about it was that we were told how to make art and weren’t allowed to express our own creative ideas and to make mistakes. I have to say that I disliked painting most of all. If drawing was something I was good at, painting was something I really loathed. Well, guess what, now I paint for a living! Who could have thought that, right?

But back to my early creative life. I gave up the art school for a dance school, falling 5 months short of the graduation. But, as my wise grandfather says, it’s not what is on the paper that counts, it’s what is in your head. So I had everything I had learned in the art school neatly stored away for the future which would come one day, all the classical drawing and painting lessons drilled into my brain even though I didn’t even want anything to do with art at that point. But my craving for creative expression came back shortly after my wonderful little girl was born. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and buttercups, far from it.

Right after Ellie was born in April 2016 I felt wrong health-wise. It started out as these sudden attack of paint and then the into a constant feeling of pressure in my ribs and back. And it got worse with every day, at a certain point I was in pain all the time. At first, I thought that maybe it was the pregnancy still taking its toll on me but very soon I realised that I shouldn’t have felt this way at all. Well,  for the next year and a half I was in agony and literally went through hell. I was in pain non-stop, even worse were the smirks I got from the doctors, both from GPs and from A&E personnel who told me that I am imagining things (trust me, I wasn’t).  It would get so bad I was fainting from pain but all I got in response was – you are making it up.

To make this dreadful story short, it turned out I have a disease called Fibromyalgia. I will not go into detail about it as you can google it and find out all the nasty things it brings into people’s lives but I will say one thing, I do not wish this on anyone else.

You must be thinking by now, what does it have to do with art. Well, this horrible affliction has brought me back to drawing and then, subsequently, to painting. I was in pain and unable to sleep (I would eventually pass out for a couple of hours every now and then from exhaustion) and when Ellie was asleep I had to keep my mind occupied (yes, I had some very nasty thought going through my head; if you are someone living the same nightmare and would like to talk, do contact me and I will gladly give you my support as I know how trying life with a disease that does not relent at anything can be, most importantly, do not give up!)

So to take my mind off the pain I started drawing. My first drawings were, how to put it, B-A-D. Yup, I’d forgotten a lot of it and slowly it started to come back to me. It’s like riding a bike but luckily this time I had no one to tell me I was doing it ‘wrong’. 

After almost two years and thousands spent in doctors and medication that didn’t help, misdiagnosed so many times I lost count (I was even told I had Crohn’s at one point),  I finally got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and found the medication that took the edge off of the constant paint. There still are bad days, and horrible days, but I am very lucky to have such a wonderful family that supports me and a job that I love, which is being an artist full time.

So back to the art side of it all. Soon, I started to paint. It was something I was scared of but at the same time I was charmed by all the colours and finally tried watercolours. I started out with painting my friend’s dogs and from there it snowballed to where I am now. In 2018 I discovered soft pastels and my love affair with this medium began. After all this time and trying out different techniques, mediums and subjects, I found the one I truly love and which makes my heart sing when I work – animals in pastels.

 Well, I feel like I have to add a closing thought to this description about me. If only you could know how much art means to me now, it has dragged me out of the emotional and physical ditch and helped me overcome some very nasty times. And now not only it is a huge source of inspiration and a pleasant pastime it has become my job which I love with all my heart.