When the going gets tough, think outside the paint box

PA Nicola Blakemore has had to turn her hand to many creative opportunities since she moved to the south of France five years ago.

"My timing was dreadful as the recession was just kicking in and I had to start earning a living from scratch"

But necessity is the mother of invention so she quickly set to networking and started an art class. She also managed to pick some clients who wanted murals painted and then a chance meeting with a gîte owner led to setting up painting holidays. All was not sunshine and rosé wine however.

'I made a big leap of faith when I moved here, following a dream, but without sufficient resources to see me through a recession. I had to find more ways of earning a living, my cat certainly wasn't going bring home any sort of bacon'.

Then she received a phone call from a lady who was running a bed and breakfast and wanted to attend one of Nicola's art classes, but just didn't know how she could find the time to attend on a regular basis. It was then that Nicola thought about creating some online courses where people could work when it suited them and to go at their own pace.

"There must be loads of people who, for whatever reason can't get to a class.  Maybe they are caring for someone at home, it's too far to go or even they are too anxious to take the first step in public?
These are all valid reasons. "

However, presenting online would be just like working from a book wouldn't it? So Nicola sought out a platform that had interactive processes built in which meant she could build up an online art community in time.

Like all new enterprises, it's taking time to build, but the intention is honourable to help people to get as much pleasure from painting as she does. It's still always better to have the personal tuition, but any learning tools are better than none, and as much as there is out there in the virtual world, Nicola believes there is room for everyone.

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