So its been a couple of days since I took part in the totally over whelming and amazing experience of Art Battle Manchester. The event made such an impact on me that I just had to write all about it.
When I first applied to be part of this event I was fresh from an evening as an Art Battle spectator. I watched those brave artists on stage baring their souls to a live audience, and having the time of their lives (or at least it looked that way). I knew that I just had to do it, so I applied that evening before the horrendous doubt set in. Over 12 months later I got an email to say that it was my turn, and I wont lie to you my stomach churned and I thought to myself 'Can I really do this'. However I am a woman of my word, and if I agree to do something then I will always try to ensure I keep my promise. It was the best decision I've made!
The event started at 4pm for me and the other competing artists. The organisers where amazing and made me feel totally at ease, and the other artist where just fantastic. It was so lovely to speak to other creatives, and know that they two where going on this amazing roller coaster adventure with me. I have to admit I honestly thought I would be terrified, but the event rolled along so quickly I didn't really have chance to think about it. A big thanks has to go out to one of the fellow artists Russel Moutford aka Remouse who's fun and vibrant energy was totally infectious, and gave me that much needed boost of excitement as we took to the stage.
The count down started and that was it, we artists where engrossed in our creations as we scribbled and painted doing what we love to do. The music was playing, the crowd where cheering and the atmosphere was electric. I would like to say that the 30 minutes passed in a flash but for me time seemed to stand still, maybe it was because secretly I didn't want the moment to end. Here I was, in front of a live audience doing what I had always wanted to do, be an Artist.
I was told at school that I would never make any money from just drawing with graphite pencil, and discouraged from signing on to an A Level course after leaving school, because I was told I wasn't good enough. I lost all belief in the quality of my creativity, and so gave it up for about 10 years eventually plucking up the courage to sign on to an evening art A Level course. Piece by piece I slowly started to create again, and I am now regaining my creative confidence. It is an on going battle as I still suffer massive bouts of self doubt, and have nearly given up my creative journey on a number of occasions. What keeps me going is the people I meet, whether this is other artists on the same journey, or people who love my work and choose to join me on my own creative journey. I love what I do, my creative process is my medication. It is the thing that keeps me smiling and sane, in what is sometimes a very cruel and insane world. It helps me see the beauty in everything that my life touches, and inspires me to appreciate everything around me.
I didn't win the Battle, I didn't even get through to the final but that doesn't matter. I had the most amazing evening, meet so many utterly truly lovely people, and enjoyed proving to myself that I can be brave. My advice to any aspiring artist or creative would be, never give up on a dream. It will be scary and you will meet monsters along the way, but your creative journey is yours to control. If you are happy creating at home, and want to keep your beauty to yourself then there is nothing wrong with that. If you want to show the world how amazing you are, then you will need to be brave and strong, but trust me we other artists will always have your back and will be cheering you on all the way!!
Special thanks go out to all the organisers of Art Battle Manchester, to my fellow artists on the evening Dr Ranj, Helena Worthington, Skeg, Sarah Wilde, Wayne Hill, Laura Liu Lin, Nicola Fernanders, Julian Holt and Russell Mountford. Thank you to my fantastic Sister Catherine and partner Gav, who where invaluable on the night, speaking to people, manning the stall and cheering me on from the side lines.
Congratulations to the lovely Laura Liu Lin, who was the winner of the Battle with her amazing piece.
If you would like more details about Art Battle Manchester click on the picture below, or you can follow me on my socials (twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram) to keep up to date on upcoming events, as well as updates on what I am currently working on.