Sunday, 13 May 2012

Watercolours, waitressing and other work.

Hello! Lots of progression has been made in the past couple of months. I've started two new jobs, which now makes me the proud owner/juggler of THREE occupations.

First and foremost, I am still an illustrator. I assume this is pretty obvious, seeing as this makes up 99% of my blogging material. Since moving back to Bristol in January, I've had a surprisingly steady stream of work which has been very encouraging.

Every time I am assigned a new commission it's the most wonderful feeling. I feel so useful! It's taken a good two years to realise how much of a struggle it is to find work in the creative industry, and so when I am paid for painting, and when I know that painting will then go on to have a purpose, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. 

This feeling is what makes me certain I will never stop painting.

Secondly, I've started working for Made In Bristol, a wonderful company supporting local artists and makers, and organisers of exciting home grown pop up shops and exhibitions around Bristol.

Paper Scissors Stone, a Made In Bristol pop up shop.

Illustrated cards at Paper Scissors Stone.

I've been using my experience working in social media, to do some online marketing work for Made In Bristol, as well as writing lots of arty content for the blog. If you like discovering new artists and makers, are interested in the city of Bristol or love supporting independent ventures, you really must follow the blog.

Lastly, I've started waitressing again! I've never really written about my day jobs before, as I've always been kind of ashamed that I have to have them to support myself (plus, some of them have been downright awful!) . But these two newly acquired jobs feel different. They make sense, they fit with the type of lifestyle I want to have.

Waitress - funnily enough one of my favourite films!

I've started a part time position at a lovely restaurant called Flinty Red which I love for the following reasons:

1. It's literally TWO MINUTES from my house.
2. It has truly lovely customers, who have been very understanding throughout my wobbly/ nervous/ clueless first few weeks!
3. The staff are equally lovely.
4. The menu is exciting and although decidedly meaty (I'm a pescetarian myself) they source only the best and locally sourced ingredients, and promote eating every part of the animal, so nothing goes to waste.
5.  The salted caramel mousse. Seriously.

I work 4 shifts a week there which is great for me. Personally, I think bar/restaurant work compliments illustration work quite well - as it gets you out of the house, forces us shy illustrator types to be social, and gets the blood pumping after long hours sitting in the studio.

Do you have any positive 'day job' experiences that have complimented your creative work? I'd be really interested to know.


  1. AnonymousMay 13, 2012

    Congratulations on your new job, I'm glad that it's a happy one too! Nothing worse than having to wake up to a rubbish job.

    I work in a busy store where I have to speak on the microphone. I'm shy so juggling serving customers and looking after the other tillers by using the mic to call management felt horrible. I remember being so nervous I was shaking the once. Two years later I'm much better, even though it's stressful it's helped me with my nerves incredibly.. I'm still pretty timid though! I've applied for a couple of jobs in clothing stores, I want something fresh however I hear of group interviews and activities which is making me nervous.

    I've noticed that creative people are either painfully shy or extreamly out going! There are people in my class who are brilliant communicators whereas there are others (like myself) who are quiet when it comes to that sort of situation.

  2. such a lovely post! Wishing you all the best (wow and what a beautiful girl you are) and well done for being honest. I love being creative but I am not sure I could make living out of it. I studied business admin and luckily was able to get more marketing experience (and several marketing jobs) which I am happy about. As a mother of 3-year-old, I find it rather difficult to find the right balance of workload/motherhood/my own time.

    My general advice would be - just be daring and believe in yourself. If you can't then nobody will (I have to remind myself daily).

  3. Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

  4. I'm a student illustrator/graphic designer and I'm a waitress as well. Sometimes it's nice to get out of the house, forget about all my deadlines and just focus on the customers. Sometimes it's horrible because I want to be at home working on my coursework and instead I'm wasting my time serving food and drink to a bunch of strangers. It has it's pros and cons depending on my mood, I'm sure anyone in a similar position can understand!

    I've recently started using watercolours which is a big step for me, since I'm primarily a digital artist. Your beautiful illustrations convinced me to give it a try, and I'm starting to see why you enjoy watercolour so much. So thankyou! And keep doing what you're doing! :)