At some point in the last three months my wildest dreams have become a reality.
When I started this site I chose the name “Everyday Residency” because that was my aim: to turn my life into an artists residency. I wanted to paint, play and explore every day, but as is the case with most dreams, life tended to get in the way. Art supplies aren’t cheap, and neither is a roof over your head, so my artistic exploration was repeatedly put on hold as I took seasonal jobs that left me too exhausted to draw at the end of the day (if you’ve been following my story to date you’ll know that I had already escaped the 9 to 5, but things still weren’t quite perfect yet).
Cut to three months ago. Once again I’m stuffing a tiny amount of clothes and a tremendous weight in art supplies into my backpack on route to start my second Camino de Santiago. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be doing with the resulting art, maybe turn it into a book, but I knew the routine would do wonders for my drawing, I’d be inspired by the sights and as a bonus I might get to meet a few good people. Little did I know…
Around day three or four I was sat at a table scribbling away on some postcard size drawings when a chap comes over, proclaims himself my manager and starts running around the albergue offering the other pilgrims my postcards. And he actually sold one. My mind was blown. The Artista Peregrina was born.
*Kevin, I’m pretty sure I’ve thanked you a million times over for this and for all the love and support you showed me throughout the walk, but I’ll say it again. Thank you!*
Nudged on by my minor success, I started making progressively bolder signs to let people know I was actually selling things and can you believe it, people bought them! Not only that, but they kept on telling me what a wonderful souvenir of their walk it was, an authentic artwork from a fellow pilgrim!
And then something truly strange happened. I realised I was making actual money. Well, enough to cover my albergues, food and the odd treat here and there. And this kept on going right through until my last days in Santiago. The sheer amount of support and encouragement I received from other pilgrims (and hospitaleros) was mind-blowing. heartwarming. Incredible. Thank you so much to every single person who bought one of my little scribbles. You’ve fed me, put a roof over my head and made my dreams come true.
But the camino had to end. Panic ensued as I realised I had to return to the real world again, so much so in fact that I ended up walking the camino a third time right after finishing it! But I managed to calm myself and took the time to think… and then took a holiday. A strangely successful holiday. Next time I’ll tell you how the dream just keeps on growing right here in Barcelona. Much love everyone and buen camino!