How I became an artist

May 14, 2018

How I became an artist

I didn’t realise I was an artist until I was 37

I spent most of my life unintentionally ignoring or not seeing my talent. I just counted myself as being creative - but not creating much. Then 12 years ago, I had three miscarriages and I cracked. I needed a hobby and I began making cards... I have an obsession with paper. A friend said she’d buy one if I put it on Etsy, and so Coffee Bean Cards began. Coffee Bean was the in utero name of the first baby I lost, and at this point I discovered the healing power of making. I live with clinical depression, and have managed it (sometimes better than others) my whole life. My card shop - which did very well - was a massive leap forward in my mental health care.

Eventually I found bravery in making other things

One day a few years ago I felt embarrassed but bold, and put a tiny watercolour up on Facebook. I hadn’t painted since I was a teenager, and even then it was private and embarrassing. To my surprise and delight, people loved what I was making. I began looking at my creativity with new eyes. When I met Andy, who made guitars, we made a huge leap together in this regard. We discovered, together, that we were artists. Him with his guitars, me with painting on the wooden offcuts. We opened a shop together. Blackbird Inkwork became a thing.

When he died, I had another huge shift. Everything did. And for the first time I decided not to work behind a shop name, but as a human. As my actual name. And so I became what I’d always been and just hadn’t realised, and I became a Sara Kathleen.

I am an artist

I know this post was just supposed to be about how I got started, but it didn’t feel right to tell the beginning of the story and not the end. 

I have no training. No university education. I’ve never even taken an art class. But here I am, at 40, writing “artist” down on paperwork when it asks for my occupation... and meaning it.

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Find me at Bury St Edmunds market
Find me at Bury St Edmunds market

November 01, 2018

Come see me on Wednesdays and Saturdays opposite the wonderful Auntie Pam's Sweet Shop... yum!

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