There are more than a few artists who have used the increased attention on Hull in 2017 as a platform to launch their own artistic careers. They have taken the initiative and taken, what is in many cases, a huge leap of faith and decided to put their art out into the world for all to see. Anyone taking this step deserves credit for simply trying. If they then go on to forge a career as an artist and make a living doing something they love, they are to be applauded.
I have been able to meet dozens of artists this year, through various projects I’ve been involved with, who have taken this step. Some of these have been shocked to discover that the journey is far from easy. Those who have gone in with their eyes wide open however, have been able to carve out their own places in the City of Culture, and further afield.
As Mr Zebedee Scaping, headmaster of Hull Trinity House Marine School between 1854 and 1909, walked the hallowed corridors of one of Hull's oldest and most historically important schools, he could barely have imagined that the grounds on which the school once stood would one day be named in his honour. He would no doubt be equally astonished that those grounds, where pupils marched in starched blue and white Naval uniforms, would one day play host to Hull's newest open air festival.
Last week I put in my second stint of the last few weeks, painting live at the brilliant Furley & Co on Princes Dock Street as part of the ever popular Speak Easy. The recently opened bar and restaurant is fast becoming a favourite haunt for creatives and those looking for a combination of great beer, music and art under one roof. It is also the new weekly home to one of Hull's best and most celebrated live music events, The Speak Easy, which brings together the cream of Hull's acoustic singer-songwriters and bands, new talent and popular performers from further afield.