Date: 30/11/17

Time: 14.42pm

Location: Temple St. Studios, Wolverhampton

Mood: Optimistic about the future, but quite low at being completely skint with Christmas on the way..

Listening to: Nothing but the heater …!

First Post!

Hi I’m Bec, I’m an artist based in the West Midlands who graduated from Fine Art, at the University of Wolverhampton in 2013. This is just a blog of thoughts to keep me on track with my work and development of some current new pieces. Feel free to say hello, and comments and suggestions are welcome!

Since leaving university I have meandered a lot – however the one thing that has remained a passion is to work for myself and to run my own business.

At university I had a lot of fun with abstract painting, sculpture and installation work. However since leaving, I left that behind and started my own business creating pencil portraits and illustrations inspired by portraiture and fashion, which was something I had always done since a teenager and still loved. My business is based around exhibiting my prints and cards in local hand made shops and doing craft fairs and local exhibitions.

However this currently does not earn me a great deal of money; possibly for many reasons – lack of confidence, doing things cheaply, lack of skills in certain areas and generally just not hitting the nail on the head for current trends and things that people are interested in buying. But also not really knowing where I fit in or where my audience is.

Late last year I acquired the help of a coach and painter Dean Melbourne who (after an attempt of me trying to create a body of work in my current realistic/lack of knowledge/pure willpower style..and failing!) suggested I try a different approach. He was looking at my sketchbook and saw a page of sketchy thumbnails I had done with the intention of painting realistically later on.  He suggested I paint them exactly as I’d drawn them, with the sketchiness and imperfect aspects remaining. So the past few months this is what I have been doing; projecting the sketches, (above) sketching them out in pencil onto square canvases and therefore starting a new – completely different – body of work. I have since completed around 5 of these paintings with more planned.

Dean came to visit me at my studio a few weeks ago and we discussed where this work could go. One of the first steps I think would definitely be to exhibit at modern contemporary art galleries in the UK, and also art fairs. We also discussed how the work could potentially take part in relevant events; the idea of funny faces and comedians for example. At the time there was a comedy festival happening in Wolverhampton, unfortunately fully booked! But also events to do with topics like mental health; I feel my work touches upon mental health issues – such as things as women, selfies, how women are looked upon/portrayed in social media, but also everyday mental health and the way people feel they look. In these new paintings the faces are not at all perfect, however there is still a lot of character about them.

There was also a discussion about funding and how to fund this new body of work, materials, gallery, art fair and studio visits etc. Also people to get in touch with like Creative Black Country.  It was suggested I apply for an Arts Council Grant, and this is something I am currently looking into.

In the next post I will be posting the pieces I have currently completed.

Thankyou for taking the time to read my first post!



The list for stage 5 agreed with my mentor; the first stage of getting things started in becoming a full time artist.

Date: Sun 2.9.18

Time: 12.04 pm

Mood: On safer and steadier ground..

So my new temporary home studio has been finished over the past few weeks and is ready to paint in. I have been converting part of the garage into a studio space, having recently moved out of my studios in the city centre as the building is being sold. I have also recently started a new part time job in the past two weeks involving doing decorative crafts for another artist. Happy to say I’m really enjoying this and it will definitely help my income. It’s the first job I’ve found for a good few years that is on a self employed basis – so my earnings will go towards what I make annually as an artist.

‘Busy Work’ and Blocks of Focused Time..

The the past 3 or 4 weeks have been hectic, really starting from moving out of my old studio, starting the new job and lots of family issues, as well as still working days at my local handmade shop – so not really having time to start any new work – although I have been making lots of notes. In my last post I talked about ‘busy work’ – and I still feel strongly that ‘busy’ work has been taking up a lot of my time in the past – and in starting this new chapter one of my aims is to have a time and a place for ‘busy work’ whilst blocking amounts of time during the week for ‘serious’, professional work.

What I mean by ‘busy work’ is the work that makes you feel like you’re busy but that in fact, doesn’t have any bearing on your progress or goals. I also call this ‘easy work’. For instance my busy work in the past has been cutting things out, making badges, making packaging, cards, and business cards, sorting, tidying and organising, printing things etc, or doing bits of this each day.  This has included spending days making things or framing things for the handmade shop that haven’t sold. This might seem like I’m being a bit harsh on myself as often I’ve had to make my own products because of the costs of other companies doing it for you – and I will probably still have to make some of my own things. However I think I need to set a time and a place for it; for instance evenings after work when I have less energy. Then leaving my full days towards the end of the week for ‘serious work’.

Overall I feel it needs to be a mixture of blocking the right time for things and thinking first and being savvy from the past on what will or won’t work and take up too much time. Also not trying to do 10 things in one day, but maybe one day just doing one thing and something else in the evening. I have recently learned this from the company I’ve started work at over the past few weeks; The key to PROGRESS is periods of FOCUSED WORK. I think there also needs to be a LIMIT on the time I spend on commercial things for shops at the moment. Trying to sell art or even prints and cards in Wolverhampton at the moment is very difficult because of the poor economy in the city. I know from my mentors, successful artists I’ve spoken to and even the sculptress I work for – they all agree that the key to selling art is OUTSIDE of Wolverhampton and surrounding areas – you have to be brave enough to take the leap to do this – otherwise you won’t get anywhere.  So this should be my eventual goal and I know this. But unfortunately I seem to keep getting caught up in the sellers at the shop and my sales there. The handmade shops I’m in – will sell things but they’re never going to make me a huge living however hard you try – so just a PORTION of my focus needs to be on that – the rest of my focus needs to be on the scary stuff.

The Scary Stuff..

Most of the ‘scary stuff’ lies in doing the things my mentor and I agreed on to do in order to give me head start as a full time artist, which is the list above. Also a few tasks my friend Sarah (another fine artist) set me to do a few months ago, such as submitting work to galleries and asking for feedback; of which I have started to put together a list. I have done some of the above tasks now, including talking to the first artist, getting a creative job. Additionally this week I have also applied to the university’s AA2A scheme (Access 2 Art Colleges) in order to aid me to fulfil a few of the other tasks on ‘Step 5’ such as starting a decent body of work and doing a ‘Pecha Kucha’ style talk. I won’t know whether I’ve got onto this scheme until the 12th September, however it involves 100 hours access to the university’s facilities including printmaking department, photography, library and woodworking facilities and more – which would help no end in gaining higher quality artist materials and resources to work with. There is also a small amount of student interaction required, and I have suggested I do a talk on being a self employed artist/my journey so far or Q&A sessions.

So this has been a very long catch up on my activities and thoughts from the past few weeks! Join me next time where I will hopefully have started some new work, and have more news and rambles!

Thankyou for reading, and as always, comments and feedback are welcome.


Ponder (2018) Acrylic on canvas

Date: 14.8.18

Time: 4pm

Mood: My Mind Is Full..

So it’s been a long time since the last post (considering I was going to do a post a WEEK after the last one!) But there has been a lot happening, including family things which have meant it’s been difficult to get tasks done, everything has been very slow. However much has been positive about the past month or so and I’ve also been thinking about a lot of aspects of how I work and how to be more productive with my time.

A great positive event over the past month is being accepted into the Wolverhampton Society of Artists. It was suggested by the first artist I spoke to, to do this and then to perhaps attend their events where they often have speakers from galleries etc, or people you can make connections with. They also have sketch days, and I am looking at attending some of these. Through being accepted into the Society of Artists, my goal of actually being on the map of Artists Studios this year was achieved! I have managed to book our local Newhampton Arts Centre as it was an option to display work and prints alongside many others who are exhibiting on the weekend of the 13th and 14th of October this year. The Society of Artists organise this event every year and now as a member, it was easier and much discounted in price too.

The reason for booking our local arts centre as a place for Open Studios is because I have recently left our studio building in the city centre as it is up for sale. I stayed for as long as I could; many people and businesses have been interested in the building and it will go shortly, and isn’t being sold as studios. It was a beautiful old factory building and I loved it, however no longer felt settled once the owner announced it was up for sale – with many viewings also happening whilst I was working there. So I decided to move out a few weeks ago, with mostly everyone else having moved out too or planning to. Since then I have been redesigning our garage at home as a new studio space for now, as it isn’t used for anything. I feel this will work for me very well until another studio comes up! This is actually what I have been doing this week, painting walls, floors and putting shelving up ready to get back to work! I don’t feel upset about losing my studio, I’m not sure whether this is because so many things have been happening recently, and my emotions just haven’t caught up with it yet! I also realise at the moment I will be saving a lot of money each month too.

Another positive aspect of the past week or so is that I have finally got a creative job of sorts! I literally only applied for it around a week and a half ago – and after two trials on Sunday I was offered the position. It is temporary/seasonal work until the first week in November and involves working at the studio of a sculptress just past Bridgnorth, Shropshire. It takes around 40 mins to drive there however, having said this – it’s a straight run, economical and wastes little fuel! It involves hand decorating bottles for the other half of her business, selling bespoke bottle lights. For half of the year they trade at art fairs and flower shows with her sculptures and in the run up to Christmas they sell bottle lights in festive markets as far as Edinburgh. I start there on the 20th of this month and hope it works out, as the process is tricky and they’re quite demanding I feel as a first impression – but it means a decent amount of money per month which will help.

In terms of my own work, I haven’t been making much over the past month but have been thinking a lot about the work I need to focus on and keeping ‘busy’ work for another time in the week. ‘Busy work’ had been taking up a lot of my time as of late.  I have also been thinking a lot about productivity and managing my time better with all the tasks set my my mentor has set me, and I’m very determined to achieve our Step 1 we discussed, some tasks of which I’ve already completed. There needs to be ‘Studio Days’ where artwork is done, however not every day can be a studio day; I feel there are days you need to block time for your own marketing/social media and generally just connecting with people, whether online or offline, as well as looking for opportunities and things you can be part of. All of this I feel needs to be put into some kind of written weekly plan so I can feel I’m making progress everyday, without feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Right now I feel my mind is like an old Rolodex; constantly flipping from one thought to another or one task to another..! And order needs to be made of things before I start back to work properly!

I’m hoping to keep producing these posts every week or every fortnight – as they really do help me make sense of things and create order in my mind. If they can help and inspire other creatives that would also make me very happy. Tune in to the next post where my new work space should hopefully be up and running and things will be back to normal! Hoping to post in around a week or two weeks time. Thankyou for reading and as always comments and feedback are welcome.


‘Sinead’ (2018) Acrylic on canvas

Time: 00:17 am

Date: 1.07.18  (at the time of starting to write post)

Mood: Feeling Small..

Listening To: Just the tick of the clock!

Making A Start:

So this is very late (0r early!) post, but as I want to write whilst I have time and keep at this blog – AND whilst things are fresh in my it is.

So a few days ago I finally made contact with the first artist on my list of people I needed to contact in terms of looking for the next steps with my new artwork. She is a watercolour painter from Wolverhampton who paints animals and is represented by Whitewall Galleries/De Montford Fine Art. It took me a while to compose a message but she got back to me straight away and it turned out she was attending the current arts festival (Junction Festival) we have on in our city this weekend, and said she would be a the local pub with two other artists I know. So I got the chance to talk to her tonight and it was extremely useful but also it was a ‘no nonsense’ chat. I had actually prepared the images of my new work and also had wrote questions in my notebook – most of which she had answered over the conversations without me having to ask. Most of what she said was similar to what my mentor advised really, but with some added points.

She said I could either go the ‘gallery’ route or the ‘publishing’ route; in terms of ‘publishing’ she means like an art publishing company that licences your artwork to certain retailers and where you get a percentage of the sales when particular items sell with your artwork on it. However she did say you have to sell a lot of items for this to work. She has actually gone down the publishing route however the the second route was probably the best to go down and this is galleries.

She has advised me to research galleries and narrow it down to the galleries representing artists and artwork like mine and get in touch with around 20. Next to phone them first, find the person in charge of art submissions and ask if it would be OK to send my artist CV and some images of my new work for feedback (this followed what my mentor said) and go from there. It is wise to get in touch with so many because you will get many unanswered or otherwise rejections from galleries.

The other thing she advised me to do was to apply to join the artist society of my city. This is very beneficial as you will most likely be able to get a piece of your work into the city’s art gallery and access to talks and meetings of the artist society – for instance, very often they have speakers from UK galleries. She also advised me to look for local publications to get featured in or to do i.e. a print giveaway for a local charity connected to my work (for instance a mental health charity) and try to get into the local newspaper for exposure about your work.  She suggested to even try contacting the city’s art gallery for advice and also because our art gallery often promotes art of a ‘pop art’ nature – of which my new work reflects.

All in all I was given some great ideas and another list of things I can do to start some exposure on work. In addition to this definitely visit more art fairs and most of all SPEAK to gallery representatives about how it works in representing artists!

I had a great talk with my first artist, and found her to be very straight to the point and sometimes quite harsh my work and the steps I need to take to get to where I want to be. I now have another small list of things I need to do to start things in motion. It involves now trying to ‘move in different circles’ (as she put it) but better ones to improve and really start my career. I came away feeling half inspired and capable…and half shot down. It was a shame it was such a busy pub and there was more I could have talked to her about. I was eager to listen to what she had to say and am going to try and find a time to talk to her again in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read, comments and feedback are always welcome! And join me again in around a week’s time for the latest updates and progress!


Try Not To Freak Out (2018) Acrylic on canvas, Bec Broomhall

Date: 14.6.18

Time: 13.39pm

Mood: Lethargic, just after lunch with a stack of things still left to the gym later..

Listening To: Audiobook:  ‘Alone’ by Lisa Gardner


So it’s been over a month and not a sniff from me on this blog…I’ve kept thinking about it, but just not either had time or put other things first. It’s been a very busy month and a half, with a group show at our studios, still working (volunteering) at my local handmade shop, mentoring and helping a student, getting prints and cards ready for some new stockists and also I’ve had a few days away in Wales – and came back about a week ago. So I’ve literally had to schedule a time to blog! Which is not bad thing – as I want to keep this blog going and want it to be a part of my practice, my working week and schedule.  I also really love writing and can feel a sense of clarity, breathing space and refreshment when I write. And also if this blog can help others then that would be the greatest thing.


So way back in my last post I talked about having a meeting with my own mentor Dean, and how we were going to be doing some exercises to plan out the steps of my journey in achieving my goal of a successful business. I did meet up with him toward the end of April and the exercise we did was called ‘Stepping Out’ and planned all the stages and steps I needed to take to achieve my goals. This was an amazing session, I came back buzzing.  It was one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever done in terms of self development and seeing a clear path of where I need to go. Without going into too much depth, some of the first things we decided I needed to do was to contact an artist that is further ahead in their business than I am, figure out any other people who I can ask for help, research doing a mural somewhere (as this is one of the things I’d like to do), do a talk/pecha kucha somewhere, get a creative job..and a few other things to complete Stage One of my progress.

However during that time and around a week later was our group show at our studios, which during the run up to I was working madly on getting paintings finished – because me being me – was taking this exposure and exhibition very seriously! And then since then it’s just been a lot of different things that have been happening. For instance, I have managed to get my work into a stand at the University of Wolverhampton where they represent students and Alumni called Made In Wolves, and so have been getting prints and some work finished for this, and have also been mentoring a student once a week – which has resulted in a lot of extra hours typing notes up and doing other things to help. Among many other things that have been happening to eat up my time. Overall, since the meeting with Dean, everything has been very busy and I have not had the time to put the hours of research in. However I do feel things have been progressing slowly all the same.


I feel my work is progressing – I feel really happy in the work I’m now producing and and I feel my future is hopefully starting to take shape. I am now thinking it will involve working as a full time artist making art..but also doing mentoring as well as talks to help other creatives – at the moment I’m thinking I’d really love to teach what I have learned so far in art and business through doing  talks, but also teach fundamental skills such as editing images/software etc, portfolios, art student mentoring and academic writing skills – there are quite a few things I know that I can do that would be beneficial to others I think. Not to mention talking about my journey so far – which I think would also help others. I am going to try and find a creative job like this and will email the university to see if they have any mentoring spaces for students in September.

Procrastination, Planning & Psychology:

However I do feel annoyed at myself for not getting the research done; I do feel I have been playing the Master Procrastinator again, just doing other ‘busy work’ to fill up time when I should be putting the hours in researching the things I need to know. I feel things ARE moving – however extremely slowly and things could be moving at a much faster pace if I just applied myself. However there is Literally so much I have to research – I’m finding it difficult to map it all out in terms of when and where I will do it – this will be in depth research, looking up and getting in contact with people – not just reading other “art experts’ ” blogs.

However I think it’s also very psychological; I’ve been stuck at home for years with my parents, trying to make a go of it as an artist, and consequently a big part of me is putting up Massive Resistance to change. Part of me wants to stay at home in this limbo of neither moving forwards or backwards, having small victories of commissions and little shows, and work at a handmade shop that doesn’t earn much – a comfort zone of nothing to stressful or no way of making a fool of myself. And I understand that our minds – the beings that we are – strive to protect us from being hurt or suffering, or changing, and that’s where this Resistance to progress and improvement comes from. But this Fear and resistance will only ever keep you in the same place forever.  I also don’t want to change as a person through progress, I want to remain humble and an inspirational and helpful to others. So I think we have to talk to this part of ourselves, and convince our subconscious that it is ok to move forward. This is unfortunately very hard however!

I aim aiming over the next few weeks to get stuck into the research and talk to the artists I need to, as well as start some new work and build up my portfolio of new paintings. I am aiming to now to post on here each week talking about my progress and any other issues, as it will help me as well as hopefully help others.

Thankyou for reading my ramblings – comments and feedback are welcome as always. You can also now view my new website and new work at – much work yet to do, however the new work is now out there!



Sinead (2018), acrylics on canvas

Time: 11.17 am

Location: Temple St. Studios, Wolverhampton

Mood: Trudging On..

Listening To: Just the sound of my heater! As it’s a bit cold in here this morning..

So it’s been a good few weeks since my last blog..I have just been very busy with one thing or another..but on the whole I think things are looking a lot better. So this short post will just be an update really on everything that has been happening over the past few weeks!

I have also had much inspiration from others around me lately; my one friend from university has recently had her own solo show at a local gallery and my own mentor has had his first group show at his studios in Stourbridge and is having much success with his coaching and helping other artists.  Additionally we had our first group crit night here at Temple Street Studios and for the first time I was able to explain my artwork properly to people and I felt that the work had roots and meaning. We have our first group show of the year coming up with opening night next Friday 4th May 6-9pm; the show then runs from 5th-20th of May. There is also plans to put on two art fairs here later this year. I finally feel part of the start of something great, and this week I have just been working on pieces for the show next week.

In terms of everything else…I’m still on the hunt for a part time and hopefully creative job and also still remain at my local handmade shop too. I have had interviews for general part time jobs – one at an arts and crafts retailer last week – but didn’t get it. This was quite frustrating as I know I probably should be aiming for something higher than retail, and possibly gallery or mentoring related. I’m not being big headed in any way..but I was possibly over qualified – I was good at the job I felt – and very helpful on the shop floor as I know a large amount about both art and craft. But I am guessing it was more than likely given to a younger person after their first job – either that or my face simply didn’t fit…and neither did my pink hair..

So I will keep looking, as I’m still really struggling financially at the moment. However mentoring remains a strong possibility as I’m continuing to assist a university student who I’ve been helping for a while now. She is disabled and suffers from a pain disorder; continuing hospital appointments and strong medication leaves her often behind in her university written and practical work tasks. I am currently helping her with work for the current and final semester of her third year, and am also being paid. However regardless of money – It’s something that I actually really enjoy doing.

In terms of practical work things are steadily progressing in that I have produced some more pieces in the new style, including Sinead (above). I am now starting to work out what pieces to produce and add to my first collection. On Thursday I also have a meeting with my mentor Dean about discussing next steps. Additionally I have also been working on a new website that will professionally showcase the new work only. It’s very simple and there is pretty much only a landing page and ‘about’ page at the moment which you can currently view at .

I have also been making decisions about my current Etsy shop; and have decided to keep this and rebrand it according to the new style, and have been working on other pieces – more commercial faces which I can sell as prints or greetings cards. Although not many, I do receive some sales on there and this has been increasing this year. However I’m still undecided about leaving the hand made shop I am currently in. From a business sense perspective, because I just only make my rent or less each should be that I leave. However I’m still procrastinating about it or whether to rebrand my display according to the new work and try yet again. However I’ve been here before – many times, and things have still not improved because after all, it’s a gift shop and people prefer buying jewellery etc than art or prints..and in the mean time…the year is flying by. So some decisions and leaps still need to be made.

So ..with all updates complete, thank you for reading. Comments, feedback and suggestions are always welcome. Join me next time – hopefully over the next week or so – where I will be talking about my meeting with Dean and where things go from here with my work!