• Helen Morris

(A bit more) About me

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

My life-long obsession with creating art probably began with pasta shapes or drawing suns with large smiling faces in the corner of my workbooks at school. But I don't really remember that. Art has simply always been a part of my life. My mum's old drawings were on the walls of our house. I was encouraged to mix up all the paint colours and accidentally create brown. I would visit galleries when I was younger with my parents and stare at the art pieces, feeling overwhelmed at how someone could create something so delicate, or beautiful, or bizarre. I still do that.

When I began seriously thinking about art at about 17, after years of explorative drawing for its own sake, I realised it was a mechanism for both meditation and communication. Art was a ritual I could engage in to take my mind elsewhere for a while and let go of the worries I was holding in. My A-Levels were a particularly stressful period for me and, for the first time, I channelled my concerns into an art piece that described that sensation of twisted anxiety and learned the cathartic nature art could hold too.

I studied art at GCSE and then again at A-level, against the advice of my college's careers mentor, and got into a Psychology degree at Lancaster University. This was a subject I was fairly interested in and, I reasoned, would provide me with adequate opportunities after I graduated. During my degree, I began to understand more and more both the therapeutic applications creating art had in the clinical field, but also how brilliant a conduit art is for expressing the hard to explain feelings. I snuck in art when I could, eventually researching the psychology of art in healthcare settings for my dissertation. I could see the scientific road I was heading towards, and my heart wasn't in it. So as application season reared its head I applied for an art masters.

I felt reckless. This was a huge change in trajectory. I liked art, but I didn't really know much about it. Miraculously, I was accepted and continued to have quite the whirlwind of an academic year, studying Art History at Edinburgh University.

I was so engaged in what I was learning, so excited by the discussion, so inspired by my peers. I had a direction I was both delighted and nervous to follow (the arts are notoriously difficult to break into for frustrating reasons, but I won't get into that here). I began lino printing that year, 2019, quietly experimenting in my teeny student bedroom. I started an Instagram for my artwork, discovering a whole new community of artists and innovators that continue to inspire me. Later, I completed my dissertation on the demonisation of women as witches in Pre-Raphaelite artwork and graduated on a rainy day in November.

I felt a little lost without the structure of academia and threw myself into finding work experience in galleries and museums, but that didn't last too long as the pandemic arrived. Again, I fell back onto art as a way of expressing the things I couldn't otherwise explain, and thanks to the support and encouragement I received from friends and the online printing community, I opened an Etsy shop. It was horrifying and thrilling, the fear of being Seen. Then I had my first sale, which led to my second, and then continued to international sales and commissions, I was ecstatic.

Which has all led to this website. I want to be able to share my art and my experiences outside of the formal and confined setting of a CV or LinkedIn (although if you are interested in my official resume, check it out, please employ me :) )

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