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No one told me that being a freelance self-employed artist would be a profession akin to circus plate-spinner!

I have previously spoken of that in-limbo feeling… this is a little like that, but active rather than passive. I’m waiting for things to happen, but this time they are of my own making. I’m the one that has applied for things. I am the one that has thrown all these plates in the air. I am the one waiting to catch them on the sticks or watch them crash to the floor.

The Jerwood plate has crashed to the floor… ah well… never mind…

The BCU teaching plate is spinning safely, the Artist Teacher Scheme officially runs from July 26th.

(You can join us still if you want, there is time!)

The studio plate is enormous, and I only have a tiny little feeble stick to catch it on, it feels precarious this one, anything could happen in the next half hour!

There are a couple of residency applications in, an open call thingy…

Someone else’s project waiting for funding so I can be a part of it too…

We wait with baited breath… the administration of a professional art career can be exhausting.

I am the Queen of mood swings at the best of times, and this isn’t helping really, but at least I feel like I’m working hard – even if currently for nothing!

Collecting my Jerwood submission was looking like a wretched task. All the way down to bloody London again – Wimbledon FFS! that’s not even really London it’s so far out  – or so it seems to me, the foreigner abroad. Why the hell didn’t I choose Cheltenham? Next time….

But, I have been rescued, by my friend Jill who will meet me there and we will travel and gossip together, we might catch an exhibition, but it is just as likely we will find a good place to eat and drink and stay there for a few hours before setting back home in different directions. My wretchedness and miserable mood has been turned around. I love my friends… what would I do without them?

I have a couple of other plates I’m attending to slowly, flicking the stick, keeping them going until crisis point… they will be ok for a while… their turn will come.

But one of the best plates I have, is whirring gently, self propelled it seems. I don’t need to spend to much time watching it…

I’ve booked a day in a music room at mac Birmingham to polish the 12 (ish) songs written with the band, I’m itching to do this… then we might get a gig or two…

I have also been asked to spend a day songwriting with someone I admire greatly. I am thrilled beyond belief that he should ask. I am far too excited for a woman of my age. It is unseemly! I have this butterfly thing in the pit of my stomach. This still relatively new art I have immersed myself in, has come up trumps. It appears I have something to offer! No one is more surprised about this than me. My words are currency, my lack of attention to the rules that I don’t know, is apparently exciting to others, and useful, and inspiring! … I am starting to have a little self-belief in what I can do in this medium. I can’t tell you how indecently exciting that is. I’m getting on a bit. I have a practice that is growing, and gathering momentum. I could sit back and stitch and I would be fine, but this…. THIS feels exhilarating. Bungee jumping can’t be as good as this surely?

You know why? It’s fast… A textile piece can take months from conception to hang… but I can get the bare bones of a song down in half an hour. I can hone it, record it and listen to it. I can even perform it and get people to tell me what they think. It might not be perfect, but it can be a thing… a new life… in a very short time! I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with musicians that make this happen. But even on my own, I can get something crude together in a day. Something recognisable, that has a form that can be worked with… Bloody magic! This plate is the one at the moment giving me energy, not sapping it. A deep and wonderful creative joy.


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