Little (big) updates.


A lot has changed in my world over the last month, and it’s a good time for me to stop and reflect. So, I thought I would share with you a bit about my current, past and future steps to create Helen Cousins Botanics…

When I was at University, I always felt a little bit resentful that I didn't have the time to be creative, and in particular pursue my love for botanical illustration. Looking back at my 21 year old self, I want to shake her and say "...but you had so much time!" but, at the time, that's how I felt. 

In a bid to make the time to paint, I made the decision to take a year out of my 5 year degree at University. Somehow I managed to convince the Dean that this was a good enough reason to do so (shout out to the University of Southampton). I also made the decision to enrol in the distance learning diploma with the SBA which had been a dream of mine for a while. This was a big decision at the time. My friends and future colleagues would be moving on to their final year of study, and I would be moving back to Kent to "focus on my art” (cue eye roll emoji). My parents were wonderfully supportive (to me anyway… I'm not sure what conversations happened behind the scenes!) 

It turned out to be a good decision - I hope my parents would agree too. 

I used those 12 months to complete a big chunk of the 27 month diploma, I lived on my own, I got a job as a community carer to support myself, and pay for the course. I learnt a lot, and felt determined going back in to complete my final year of University. By the end of that year I also knew that I wanted to manifest a life for myself in which I could pursue both of my passions. 

So, now I find myself feeling a strong sense of déjà vu. I'm back in Kent. I've now completed my first two years as a junior doctor, and I’m taking another year out. I need a break to "focus on my art”…

All jokes aside - I really feel this the right decision again. I'm not stopping work as a doctor, but I am not joining a training program (i.e. I’m not committing to a minimum of 3 years further work to become a GP or other specialist). I will be working part time in local hospitals in Kent. And, I hope to be painting. A lot. I have lots of exciting projects underway (painting, writing, teaching and workshop related), which am so excited to be able to share with you in due course. 

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My new home studio. 

My new home studio.