An Eccles art studio is reopening its doors following the easing of Covid restrictions.
Hannah Brown is looking forward to welcoming people back to her art classes after having been teaching online for the majority of the last year.
She is hoping that this time around the studios will be staying open for good and will not be impacted by the ever-changing restrictions.
Hannah said: “It was difficult, I won’t lie, when we re-opened in July last year and things we’re fairly slow because I think people were quite cautious.
“The numbers weren’t as good but they were fine and it was building up again and then obviously we went into tier three and so the yo-yoing was even more stressful really, I would have preferred during lockdown if it was just one thing or the other just so you could know.
“Now it feels a bit different – with the vaccine, it feels more substantial now.”
Brown has been able to remain positive and feel optimistic throughout the pandemic despite the struggles she has faced.
She managed to keep her spirits high by quickly adapting to virtual classes to continue to fulfil her life-long passion for art.
Hannah added: “I just thought it’s make or break isn’t it, I’d worked hard to get it to the point it was and I can’t let it crumble now, I’ve worked too hard for it.
“If I don’t have something to do each day anyway I’m gonna like not be in a good place so I’m going to spend my time ploughing into the online stuff and if it doesn’t work out I’ve had something to do.
“We lost some people because online just doesn’t work for them and they only want the in person stuff but then I gained a lot of different people as well so it’s a nice mix of old and new and so we’ve been able to reach new people.
“I’ve had people from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, Liverpool, all these different places around the country which I never would have been able to normally reach.”
Hannah feels as though one reason why she was able to transition to online was as a result of the classes being able to give people a bit of structure or routine.
Despite being fortunate enough to establish an online presence, Brown is thankful she can get back to her studio which she has worked hard to build up whilst admitting she is ready to get back to having a gossip and a chat.
Brown has missed the social aspect of her classes.
She said: “It’s dead simple, it’s a really welcoming group and having everyone in the same space will be great.”
With the studio being back up and running, Brown can celebrate the third anniversary of her ‘Art for Enjoyment’ classes, one of her most popular sessions.
Each week, a new theme is set for the session and participants can create art at their own piece over a period of around five to seven weeks, allowing for either several smaller pieces or one longer piece of artwork.
She provides a number of different materials allowing the members to use whichever media they like.
She has ensured her much-loved studio is Covid secure by creating socially distanced workspaces and quarantining shared materials in-between classes.
The re-opening has allowed Brown’s dream to continue.
She said: “At the end of my A-Levels we all had this yearbook and it asked a question saying where do you see yourself in ten years and I said to have an art or design studio.
“I knew I wanted to make stuff so it’s nice to look back to 18-year-old me and see that I have actually got to that point.”
Hannah is initially planning to run online and face-to-face sessions in tandem to cater for all her students but she is interested to see how things go over the next year.
With the world continuing to unlock, Brown is looking ahead to the future positively planning a variety of summer sessions which will be able to take place in local areas such as Worsley Woods.
You can find the Eccles Art Classes Facebook page here to keep up to date with all the classes and latest information: https://www.facebook.com/Humbugart/
You can book onto sessions via her website here: https://www.humbugart.com/