pyrography jes hooper

The storm has finally past. The exhibitions are over, my studio is back to normality, and my stock is updated. Now I can take a little time to reflect on recent developments. In the past two months I have completed my largest pyrography artwork to date, exhibited with For The Man I Love on the Dyke Road Trial of the Artists Open Houses, created a new miniature art series, attended craft fairs, ran art demo’s, and managed to go do some exploring in the Irish Mountains in-between! No wonder I have neglected my blogging for a bit, but I am back now! 

I have to say, I have found the last couple of months the hardest since I began my creative business. I have been very busy but I have not had the return I was hoping for. It is still early days, but I have found that my slow progress has lead me to ask difficult questions as to why I am doing this, and how feasible it is to continue. I probably shouldn’t be writing this here because it doesn’t exactly give off an air of professionalism- but this is real life guys and girls, this is what being a creative feels and looks like. It’s not all good news, inspiring quotes, and pretty photography. It’s tough, it’s nitty gritty, and it’s bloody tiring at times too. Yet that being said, I’m picking myself back up and I’m carrying on. I’ve opened myself up to lots of new possibilities and I’m really enjoying exploring different avenues of my artistic journey. 

For example, I have started drawing to relax again. I’ve started finishing off some old abandoned artworks and playing around with abstract ideas more. I’m no longer seeing it as “work”, and so I have been a bit more free with the types of illustrations I am creating. In doing so, I have started taking on commissions for tattoo designs, which is so unbelievably exciting! People actually want me to design them artwork that will be permanently with them forever. It’s the most humbling commission requests I have had yet, and it’s lovely to know that these opportunities have arisen from my drawings-drawings that were helping me to relax and reflect and reconnect with my creative side again.

pointillism sketch

An old dotwork sketch that I have gone back to

koi carp tattoo design

A koi carp tattoo design that I drew for fun

mandala tattoo

My first attempt of geometry

camera and rose illustration

A camera and rose illustration for a friend

tattoo design

pointillism drawing

dotwork badger drawing- a work in progress

I have also started exploring my love for upcycling, environmentally friendly living, and vintage crafts. I recently found a collection of old wooden bowls at auction that I put a bid in for and won (yay). They were all piled in together and I thought that even if there was one or two nice pieces in there it would be worthwhile. When I got the bowls home I gave them a good clean up and found that there were three wood turned and handcrafted bowls from Thailand (absolutely stunning), and an original signed Richard Raffan wood turned Ash bowl made in 1981. Richard Raffan is world famous for popularising woodturning since the 1970’s, and was part of the “art turning” movement-the introduction of turned objects in art galleries where they were presented as works of art in addition to functioning items. For now I am keeping the Richard Raffan salad bowl because it gives me daily inspiration (it’s older than I am!), but I have started a vintage art collection where I am upcycling high quality vintage wooden items with pyrography. It’s also a great excuse to visit more flea markets and auctions. Here are some of the bowls I have finished so far:

Wooden trinket dish

A vintage wood turned trinket dish


Vintage woodturned pyrography bowl

A large vintage wood turned salad bowl

The final thing that I has been inspiring my creativity is the progress of the large barn opposite my art studio. It’s a 400 year old barn that looks like something a Viking king would live in! It’s truly breathtaking, and it’s recently had a floor, stage, and bar fitted, as it’s now being hired for events. As you can probably imagine, this has inspired me to create even more pyrography and rustic inspired wedding decorations as part of my “Love Oak” wedding range. I don’t want to give too much away, but think resin…and you may get an idea of where we’re going with this 🙂

So there is a lot of creative inspiration floating about in my mind amidst the sheer panic that I’m doing everything wrong. I guess the moral of the story is to take a step back, reconnect with your creative side, find small nuggets of inspiration, and watch them grow into something bigger. 

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