When people were confined to their houses during the various lockdowns, finding a way to generate income became integral. The need to adapt was essential and people were put to the test. Some started cooking, others provided services online as a way to manage. The need to adjust was essential.
Yvadney Davis, 40, from Norwood, South London was put into an interesting position. A kids’ fashion stylist by trade, Yvadney had always worked from home already. She has worked with brands such as Stella McCartney, Primark, Boden and much more delivering a host of different content. When the pandemic hit, brands had stopped so Yvadney had to pivot.
While in lockdown and homeschooling her kids, Yvadney decided to do a doodle of her son one day. This doodle then unlocked a feeling in Yvadney she hadn’t had in a long time. This was the first time she had drawn since her A-levels. After doing this drawing, she started offering her friends to do their portraits as well.
Yvadney told MyLondon: “After doing them of my friends and posting on social media, people were constantly asking me if I sold them. Sadly, during that time my friend passed away and her passing gave me the push to kind of do it in a way. I then started making prints of the portraits I did. I started selling in October and the first week was crazy.”
READ MORE: Meet the Londoners ditching their old careers to create their dream jobs in lockdown
Her art is in honour of the Windrush generation. Yvadney is a British-Caribbean and feels it is important to showcase and pay respect to a generation that sacrificed so much in coming to the country. On her website, she describes her art as “a use of vibrant vintage wallpaper from the 1960s and ’70s keeps the essence of that era alive….The busy patterns and thick textures of those matriarchs are evocative of their energy and a reminder for us, their Grand and Great Grandchildren of the shoulders we stand on.”
She said: “My grandmother had dementia and spending time with her talking about her younger years – people won’t understand the sacrifice of the elders that came here. Think it’s really important to showcase your pride in where you come from.”
One of the questions Yvadney got a lot while doing her painting was, “When are you going to give up styling?” Yvadney doesn’t see having two jobs as a problem and instead wants to show people that it is possible if it’s something you love. To her, she sees doing “something creative in two different ways” as something to enjoy.
She continued: “You do have to be really disciplined with your time. At first, I struggled. Over the last few months, I prioritised sleep and getting enough sleep and playing with my kids, seeing my friends. All about getting the balance right. I split my day into two if I can, in the morning do a photoshoot or send emails. In the afternoon, I’ll paint.
“Of course, there are times where I’m tired so in that case, I won’t paint. I don’t want to resent what I’m doing – it should be a happy feeling. When I style, it’s like an adrenaline rush. Doing art is about my passion, it’s calming, sort of like meditating. Two sides of my personality which are balanced.”
Since October 2020, Yvadney has made around £10,000 through her painting and understands the importance of having passive income. That isn’t her motivation though, instead, it’s to show that if you are able to balance things you love, you can. She sets boundaries, she sets a time to spend with her kids and husband and makes sure to be present.
Setting manageable goals is another main thing for Yvadney. Through every step, she makes sure to appreciate any little wins she gets on the journey to the main goal. Yvadney said: “Whenever my children tell me they want to be a doctor, engineer, unicorn or whatever, I just tell them that they don’t need to just do one thing.
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“I’ll be supporting them whatever they do. I encourage them to have many options rather than think they have to have the traditional one profession only. They are really proud of my art and always tell their friends their mum is an artist. When people see my paintings, they tell me it resonates with them. They see their stories in my art.”