I am an artist with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with a big plan on overcoming my disability by developing  my business of making art with pressed flowers, with integrity to my artistic vision.   I am currently doing commissioned work and have exhibited work in the past. 

I am hoping incorporate  beauty into practical uses such as keepsakes of the flowers from special occasions like weddings or a sombre funeral, into designs of my own composition. I aim to establish universal appeal  in my art with the use of pressed flowers, like the ideas behind the work of William Morris.  This contextual similarity is also seen through the political component to my work where the choice of materials and the methodology to my art are aimed at being ecologically sustainable. This is apparent in my work as I am constantly involved in researching pre-acrylic and non-toxic materials.

I wish to teach pressing flowers and making pictures as an art form to attendants of my local community centre, 'The Hub.' 

 I hope to employ accountant, Kate Thompson, to Mentor me in the financial side of running  a business. 

I would like to employ my sister Sheila McClure, to learn screen printing and calligraphy, and in turn,  I would like to be Mentored by her in the  innovative ideas she has in making an income for my business, as she has been known to do  for every business she has worked  for through out her life.  Thus proving her a valuable asset to my business.

I wish to develop my own work as an artist.

I am also a poet and a creative writer and often incorporate poetry into my works.  After going through the psychological trauma and despair of my diagnosis of MS in 2006 and after many years of serious signs and symptoms,  careful attention to diet and physiotherapy have now allowed me to improve from a physical and psychological standpoint to become a more positive person, no longer concerned if my glass is half full or half empty, instead ready to drink it all up   and survive with quality to my life.

I am currently doing the NEIS scheme with MTC, Maroubra and am about to undertake the certificate III in Micro. business. I am applying for this grant to allow me the opportunity to mentor  and be mentored. 

Accountant and tax agent, Kate can mentor me to help me gain more understanding of terminology in book keeping,  and so on. This will allow me to understand how to be organised in the plus, minus and equal parts of preparing my finances as well as the necessary components relating to taxation.

 Through this grant with Sheila McClure, learning calligraphy and screen printing for personalised wedding invitations with my pressed flower art, I hope to in the future, offer her a partnership in the business, as prior to her becoming my Carer, she was successful in management and implementing innovative ideas which increased sales and profits for the businesses she was working for.

I enjoy teaching and many I have met, have shown interest in learning how to make art out of pressed flowers.   When showing my art on the neighbourhood site,' Nexdoor,' I have been approached by a beginner in art, with a disability  whom has been inspired by my example of having a serious disability, yet still able to make art.     She has asked me to teach her.    I have given her some tips online, but hope to invite to the classes I wish to conduct  in 2022, were I will use some of the grant for a budget for sustainable materials, and for an exhibition of the works from the class.

 My business name is  ‘Florally Impressed,’ and here I have been utilising non toxic and ecologically sustainable materials, using glues and varnishes such as egg white and also integrating the use of 24c gold leaf to create my art. Ultimately, employing locals, such as the unemployed and disabled, will allow me to mentor them in colour, designs, methodology and materials related to creating art. Through this grant, as well as further researching and experimenting with sustainable materials,  I hope to establish a profitable business where  I could employ others on a casual and permanent basis as my business grows.    I also think that it would be an excellent idea to offer my sister Sheila, a partnership in the business after she has mastered calligraphy and screen printing. 

In terms of our target market, I would like to attract environmentally conscious customers who like personalised invitations for their wedding, made.     Or  couples planning their marriage, as well as customers whom wish to have the actual type of flowers from their distant wedding made in to an artwork that reminds them of their wedding.    It would make an excellent anniversary gift.  

At this inaugural stage of the business.  I have made a work for a couple whom wished to have their actual wedding flowers pressed and made  into an artwork.   It was then framed with their names and the date of their wedding engraved onto a plaque adhered to the frame to create an everlasting art work. 

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