Sazi Harrop tells us about her journey as an artist.
I had played around with art for many years, and decided to study it in my early 20s as a sideline, but nothing too serious. Then I found myself back in England after a long visit to see my boyfriend in New York and had to go to the job centre to find work. After a month of coming up with nothing (as employers do not like someone who travels back and forth to New York all the time), my advisor was very interested in my art work and put me on the road to apply for a government scheme that helps people start up their own business. My application was accepted and I was on the way to becoming a professional artist—a dream I had had for many years.
It has been a rollercoaster journey with some challenges along the way. It’s not easy and probably will never be, but the rewards I get are more than success and money; it’s experiencing the lit up faces of the people I paint for, creating something just for them. Making them smile is such a great feeling to know I brightened their day with something that was in me, my creation.
So, three years on I am still working to make a name for myself. I started small; a free website (until I make enough to get a professional one made),an etsy site, Facebook pages and Linkedin. I started with my own stall for art and craft events and I host most of my exhibitions. I also exhibit in shops, cafes, and galleries. I specialise in architectural paintings and house portraits, but also am stretching my abilities to illustration and abstract. I have even produced an online art course.
These days I’m getting more work than ever and my skills are sharpening. No matter how experienced you are or how many years you do this, you are always learning. I have just finished an advertising poster for a theatre company production that will be performing in April next year, and I certainly learned a lot from that.
I work with musicians, business owners, property and home owners, pet lovers, car lovers, authors, theatre companies, and your general ‘oh I love your work’ buyers.’ I meet a lot of interesting people doing the job I love I feel very blessed to be in the position I am in.