I was born in 1981 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Throughout school I’ve was known as the class artist – the one who drew pictures in other peoples’ exercise books, made posters for school plays, designed t-shirts etc. Even growing up my pictures always fell into one of two categories: humorous or still life. This is still the case today; I paint vibrant, humorous pictures of animals, particularly chickens and cats and still life pictures of food and objects that make me happy (crumbling biscuits, oozing jam and cups of tea feature heavily in my work).
I didn’t study art; instead, with a strong interest in language and culture I gained a first-class degree in Hispanic studies at Queen Mary, University of London in 2004. I spent a year living in Granada, Spain and on returning to London went on to become a journalist, working for publications and organisations such as the British Council, Youthnet, handbag.com, Sky and more. This gave me the opportunity to work with incredible people and travel around the world. I still enjoy writing and continue to do so on a freelance basis.
Painting and drawing was something I did in my spare time. I never considered selling my work until it became noticed by friends, as well as acquaintances of my dad, John, who has been a successful artist for about 40 years. So, in 2009 – mid-recession – I took what must’ve seemed like a rather financially unwise decision to leave full-time employment in order to concentrate on painting. Fortunately it was a worthwhile risk as the hard work paid off and my pictures eventually appeared in galleries and as published prints around the UK.
I had never entered an art competition since I was about 13, but in 2009 I submitted a painting of Jammie Dodger biscuits called ‘Broken Hearted’ to the 51st Essex Open Art event and to my complete disbelief, it won the Best Still Life category and was the featured image on all publicity material. That summer, my biscuits were all over Essex.
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