My Art Journey – Artist Biography and Statement

As a child I loved art and all things creative, I’d spend hours drawing and painting with whatever I could get my hands on in my hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

My family was not very supportive of my passion and I was made to feel that I was doing something wrong.

I felt too scared to ask for paint, drawing paper, or anything close to creative, even as a birthday gift, so I made do with old cereal boxes or envelopes and I especially looked forward to the new year so I could get my biggest “canvas” - last year’s calendar!

Skye Harrison

I attended the Dominican Convent School in Bulawayo from Grade 1 through to 6th Form where my art journey started.

My best memory was when I took one of my calendar paintings of Michelangelo, the Ninja Turtle, to school and showed my new Grade 6 teacher. She asked a few times if I had traced it, and was amazed that I hadn’t. It’s the first time someone told me I had a talent for drawing and she stuck it up on the wall.

At the time I wasn’t doing art in school, I had been placed in the needlework class instead. This teacher, Mrs Gray, arranged for me to switch to art which was a much smaller class, I was really happy and felt in my element.

In high school I did O’ and A’ Level Art as a subject. I struggled a bit in A-Level because my dad had been upset I was doing Arts and not Sciences prior to starting University. It made me scared to ask for the materials I needed to do some of the portfolio projects, and my teachers perceived it as a lack of interest in the subject. I felt helpless, my attitude became negative and my exam results were not that great.

I then attended the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. There I started off doing a BA Degree with Fine Art in the first semester. Another argument with my dad made me postpone my art journey further and change my degree to a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree, majoring in Media, Cultural Studies and Marketing.

That is when I fell in love with writing and content creation, and was inspired to start blogging.

This meant putting my artistic dreams aside and instead pursuing a Digital Marketing career which still allowed me to be creative in a different way.

Throughout the years, I taught myself how to build websites, do SEO and all the things that someone needs when starting a business online.

In 2015 I moved to Australia to do a Masters in Professional Communication Degree.

I later met my husband, who had a similar childhood experience, but with music. On my 31st birthday, he bought me my first easel, some acrylic paints, brushes, everything the younger me would have wished for.

It had been nearly 10 years since I last picked up a paint brush. As I did my first painting, the Dumbo Magic Feather, my hands were shaking so much. I had all sorts of negative memories flooding in, but also this sense of a new found freedom! I didn’t want it to go away, I wanted to explore these feelings and my childhood passion further.

I started with a variety of acrylic paintings, furniture artwork, painting my husband’s DIY musical instruments, and we sold a few of these items while I was still doing Digital Marketing work.

During the 2020 pandemic, staying at home has meant I am creating more artwork and exploring new ways of monetizing my passion. The journey is still ongoing and I want to share my art, my passion with the world.

Skye Harrison

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