After studying Fine Art at Bath Spa University, I returned to my home town Folkestone in 2011, a bit burnt out and demotivated to pursue art any further. I spent several years doing bar and office work, all the time feeling directionless and unfulfilled, before realising that I needed to revisit drawing and begin creating things I could be proud of. So when the opportunity arose in mid 2017, I made the decision to downsize my life and leave full time work in order to seek out something better.
By early 2018, I had created a small portfolio of illustrations based on reference photos I had taken in Folkestone and Canada. The opportunity to display and sell some of my work in Lime, a local bar, came up and I jumped at the chance. As well as the morale boost of a positive reception, displaying my work there was also how I met Angus Cameron, the artist that had his work on show before me. After chatting we realised that not only had we both only just begun attempting to make a career of our art, we also happened to live on the same street. From there, we begun regularly meeting to share tips, compare notes and also quite quickly began creating temporary art on Sunny Sands, our local beach. We were amazed by the reception it received on social media and early on allowed us to make a “name” for ourselves, albeit on a small scale, in the local community.
From these early days, we slowly began to meet more and more creative people locally all looking to be part of a social and collaborative community, leading us to create East Cliff Creatives in late 2018.
Since then we have amassed over 50 members, and have collaborated on everything from shared market stalls at events to numerous art projects (our largest to date being Lasting Memories, a National Lottery Heritage Funded art project centred on local life in the final months of World War 1) and even opened our own shop in Folkestones Creative Quarter in early 2020.
The last couple of years have been a whirlwind but it also feels like this is just the beginning. While I continue to work on my illustrations and ECC, I am also a Director (alongside Angus and Hythe based artist Hayley Restall) of Pebble & See, a newly created commercial company keen to create large scale art projects through funding and partnerships.