As a writer/illustrator of children’s picture books, I can say this residency made a world of difference to me. My objective was to prepare a story for submission (i.e. do more character development in my illustrations, tweak the story line etc).

What I had not expected though was the development of my creativity and drawing skills – I discovered an access to things I didn’t even know I knew how to do! Why? – I suspect it was the first time in a very very long time I had allowed myself to create without interruption and actually view it as important. So yes, I got a story ready for submission and actually sent it to a publisher (and I am so excited about that !) …. but the residency gave me a far greater gift, to remember to keep that image of myself as a creator and create that same space for myself at home on a regular basis.

It was so lovely having colleagues around me for the first time in a long time since the pandemic! I learnt so much from them and will continue to do so as time goes on, I am sure! It was such a great group to be around and I think the lighthouse facilitates an openness and willingness to share.

I suspect once you have been to the light house to do a residency, the sea breezes from the headland find their way to you in the form of ideas, regular creative practises and courage in your craft no matter where you live. So it is a gift that keeps on giving!

Thank you to NSW Port Authority, Newcastle City Council and Lighthouse Arts Newcastle for this marvellous opportunity.