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Unashamedly Beautiful

Saturday morning is the time to have a relaxed coffee before everyone gets up and this morning I have been able to go out for a run / stumble! Now I am sat contemplating this post and I have been trying to find the right words for it for a few weeks now. Today my writing comes from the heart and the person who is the inspiration for this post is sat next to me doing her puzzle book in her Saturday morning attire...dressing gown. I have checked with her that it is okay to write her story, which is the starting point my latest lino print 'Unashamedly Beautiful'.

All of my prints have a story behind them and 'Unashamedly Beautiful' is no different. It could be a slogan that translates to our rebellion against social media and the beauty norms that are dictated to us but for me and my inspiration it is about a little girl who was born with cleft lip and palate.

The story starts the Friday before Christmas when I was called into school to talk ...I knew what was coming. The resilience that she shows is phenomenal and the amount of surgery she has had has led to a high threshold of pain, so much that she puts up with a lot before saying anything even when ill. She has spirit and this shines in everything that she does but when it is dented it shows...quickly replaced by tantrums filled with anger and frustration.I had seen the signs that her spirit was braking and the conversation with school had confirmed it. She had sent Christmas cards to herself. She had felt that her self worth was reflected in the amount of cards that she had been given by her peer group and so she went out to make it better. I left the meeting in tears and sad that I couldn't make it better and I couldn't have prevented it. I couldn't make people send cards to her, I couldn't stop comments about her being weird and looking like a creature and I couldn't wave a magic wand to make her feel better about herself.

By the time I had driven the short journey home the concept for the lino print of 'Unashamedly Beautiful' was born. I was determined I was going to turn this into a positive for her and for others who have struggle with their own sense of self and worth. I wanted to turn this incident into a confidence boost that she desperately needed. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to raise money for CLAPA, Cleft Lip and Palate Association, so I pledge to give 10% of every sale 'Unashamedly Beautiful' original lino print and bag. I want to print it onto a jumper to be worn with pride but also to affirm that she is challenging the definitions of beauty and is proud to be her.

'Unashamedly Beautiful' original lino print is 30 cm by 30 cm printed in vibrant pink. It can be framed or put into a poster hanger.

'Unashamedly Beautiful' lino print

I have also hand printed tote bags using the block...

'Unashamedly Beautiful' hand printed tote bag

If you want to make a clear statement about yourself or support CLAPA then hop over to my shop and pick up a print or bag.