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Taking the plunge

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Well, I've finally done it. I've made some decisions about some original artworks that I am willing to sell and have had some very professional giclee prints done by Terry at Printscape in Hinckley that I have added to my shop.

I have chosen the image of me holding a plaster cast mask of my face for my first blog post because I feel I've really had to stare myself hard in the face (and soul) in order to get started with this process. There are so many reasons to doubt myself but the most powerful one is the judgment I can hear in my head from contemporary artist peers who might point out that my work is hardly 'cutting edge'. My degree was in contemporary art and I saw that there is so much more to art than beauty. I worked with photos, made films, animations, installations and was more inclined to use text than aesthetically pleasing images. I embraced the contemporary art world in all its weird glory.

But I also felt the love and support of the people who have enjoyed the results when I let myself paint 'pretty pictures' and who have been encouraging me to start selling them. This process is forcing me to accept who I am. I am a woman still at the beginning of her journey in a new career despite being in my 40s. I am a mother, who has the distraction of a family that will always come first and I am an artist still exploring different media and finding my way. I will make mistakes along the way and I certainly won't please all of the people all of the time but I think I've finally realised that pleasing myself is the only way forward.

There is so much I want to do as an artist. I want to keep using paint to express myself and I would love to set up courses to help others do the same. I have ideas for projects I could do in schools or with the local community, ideas of somehow using my art to save our local rivers or help young people achieve mental health in today's challenging circumstances. I hope that anyone who has bothered to read this will join me on my journey and be my cheerleaders. I would love to hear from others who have taken a similar plunge and be a cheer leader for you too.

This is still the beginning. I am excited to see what's next.

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So excited for you Hayley! Your personal intro sets the scene for some exciting explorations to unfold.. I am looking forward to following where it takes you :)


well done. This is brilliant.., who cares what anyone else thinks. If they judge you, they too need to stare at themselves! You have so much to offer combining your past career talents and your art, not only that but your experiences as mum, step-mum friend and so much more. I’m so very proud of you x

Hayley Stokes
Hayley Stokes
Jul 24, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much Jo xxx

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