This time last year I put up a post with an image I’d drawn of a character leaping out from a crowd into thin air. I found it when I was rummaging through some old work I’d made and it made me pause and smile. Whose leaping here I wondered before quickly deciding in my egocentric way that it was, in fact, me!
Where I was leaping to, I wasn’t quite sure. I hadn’t drawn the “landing” bit yet…just the leaping. However, I knew in my heart that I was absolutely ready to try something new and that the time was now.
Leap and the net will appear.
So the saying goes.
I’ve always been a bit suspicious about it and not quite willing to believe it. But I suppose there’s only one way to find out if it’s true.
Take a leap…
Cross your fingers…
and hope that something will catch you as plummet by!
For me, the net came in the form of the Makers House.
It wasn’t planned and it happened a little like this…
It was in July, last year…I took a stroll through the Creative Hub. I’ve been eying up their studios enviously for a few years, dreaming about one day maybe even having one. A studio all of my own. A place to make and a place to create.
As I passed by the Makers House, I decided to enquire about the studios. Asking was perhaps a tiny step in the right direction.
“We’re an exhibition and retail space,” I was told by a very warm and welcoming woman “We have the work of Wexford-based artists on sale here. We don’t organize the studio spaces…but are you an artist? You can send us a portfolio of your work and we’ll consider you for the Makers House.”
My work in the Makers House?
I’d never thought about that. I’d never even considered actually “selling” my work.
And am I an artist?
It didn’t seem like an identity I had any claim to. I’m a teacher. A primary school teacher.
But I did have a lot of work. Most of it under my bed. The remnants of pictures books half written, half drawn but some if was worthy of time out from under the bed. I was sure of that.
So I said “Yes. Yes, I am. I am an artist.”
And this time, I left the “but I’m really a teacher” bit out.
“So am I,” replied the woman.
And that was the beginning of my time in the Makers House.
The woman was the ever impressive Mary Wallace. Just one of fifteen fabulous artists I’ve had the pleasure to meet and get to know over the last year.
Now, I’m a fully fledged member of the Makers House. I have my very own wall on which to hang my illustrations, I work in the shop a few times a month and yesterday, I hosted my very first printing workshop.
I certainly don’t feel like I’ve landed. I think I’m still in mid-leap but perhaps the landing bit never truly happens when you do what you love. But maybe the direction of your fall simply changes.
So here’s to leaping I say.
Onwards and upwards we go!