Do it (even if it gives you the heebeegeebees)

It has been a few weeks since I came back from holiday but I’m still feeling inspired by St Ives.

Something about it has got under my skin and I am itching to create things!

So far I’ve tried to satisfy this itch by rearranging the kitchen (admission: I find rearranging things very exciting) and by looking hungrily at illustration and photography websites…but sooner or later I am going to have to take the plunge and actually create something myself.

Interestingly, the universe has conspired to nudge me in the right direction – last week my mum found my old art folder from school in the attic and wanted to know if I wanted it.

I did.

Here it is:

I remember decorating it when I was around 12-14 years old. I painted a loved-up cartoon character on the front (I’m pretty sure I nicked this from somewhere). And I lovingly inscribed my initials (KLB) in flouncy black lettering next to some Just Seventeen stickers (Just Seventeen was a popular magazine for girls at the time).

Fast-forward several years and I am no longer worried about buying the latest issue of Just Seventeen.

I am worried about which A’ Levels to take.

My art teacher wants me to choose Art but I’m supposed to be ‘academic’ and an Art A’ Level won’t count towards my university entry grades. So I choose English Literature, Geography and Biology in preparation for an English degree (I dream of being a writer).

But the English degree never happened.

My A’ Level grades went all topsy turvy on me and I got a C for English and Geography and a double A for Biology (it was definitely supposed to be the other way round).

The result: I ended up studying Experimental Psychology instead.

Within the first few weeks of my degree I knew I had made a mistake. I tried to switch to a media course but it was too late. I was stuck with studying rats in mazes for 3 years.

So here I am now, 24 years later, having cunningly managed to avoid any serious creativity for the past two decades. (The more I avoid it, the more terrifying it becomes.)

Though there have been some isolated creative spurts:

In 2007 I did Julia Cameron’s  The Artists’ Way course in Brighton and a whole new world opened up before me. One full of possibilities.

I started to write poetry again…I took electric guitar lessons…I composed songs…I had ideas for children’s picture books…and I had a great time playing with some paint:

I did some designs on the computer using the only design software I had at the time (Paint); a programme so ancient it was only possible to produce sketchy results. (But that was part of its charm):

I did some screenprints:

I started to think a creative life might at last be possible.


But then life…(and doubt)…and work…and the need to earn money took over and before I knew it that spark had gone and I was back to the old humdrum me again.

Until, that is, I went to St Ives a few weeks ago…

Mysterious and magical things went on in my head as I walked by the sea, mooched around art galleries, and chatted to local painters and potters.

All of a sudden, there was that exciting new world again. And this time it didn’t look quite so terrifying (note the word quite – it’s still blooming scary).

Now I’m itching to CREATE. Whether that’s rearranging the kitchen (a girl’s got to start somewhere) or signing up for a photography, illustration or screenprinting course.

All of a sudden I can taste spine-tingling possibilities. And I know what this means – I need to do this, whatever it takes.

Even if it gives me the raging heebeegeebees.

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