Do What You Love..and Love What You Do!

Do what you Love and Love what you Do..that’s my new plan!

After working in an SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities) School as Teaching Assistant, coupled with my own experiences and having a huge shift in my mindset over the last week and a half from a workshop ‘the Creatrix’ by Ali Mapletoft (incredible woman and incredible team!).
I’ve found myself discovering a clarity of my ultimate vision. I’ve come to a very strong realisation, which my friends and family have been telling me for years! That my body has been screaming at me for years and years to change, what I’m doing, how I’m living and essentially who I am. By this I don’t mean I need to change who I am, I mean I need to allow myself to be my true and honest version of me, not the version of me I think I need to be, or I think society wants me to be, or I think my family wants me to be. Because when you try to be something that isn’t truly you, you leave that real self locked up in a cage desperate, alone, questioning why, why am I not good enough to be let out? Why am I not strong enough to break out? So many questions and longings and all of those thoughts are in your mind but you don’t know don’t even realise your caged up Inside..
So I’ve learnt a lot over the past few years and this week has given me that little push I needed to just clarify and identify real goals and visions. What my heart and soul is asking me for. For the first time In my life..I’ve listened.
I know exactly what I want to achieve and how I’m going to do it.
I NEED to be creative, it keeps be balanced, healthy, happy, energised, calm, it’s my voice and Its my way of expressing all that I need to, as well as being my escape when I need one.
This workshop with Ali helped me to realise that it’s ok to be’s realistic to gain an income from your creativity and it’s invaluable to share your thoughts and knowledge with others and to encourage and support each other. Ali made us ask ourselves questions like..what makes you most happy?…what is your proudest moment? And what do you enjoy doing the most?..these are the questions I now know my answers to..these are the things I will do with my life. These are the ways I will form income streams, and it’s ok to have multiple streams.
I’m an Artist, I will create because when I’m immersed in creating I’m in my happy place, my calm, my alternate reality of bliss.
I will share my experiences and proudest moment is the absolutely incredible success of an Art Intervention Case Study I developed for a child In a school I worked at. We didn’t anticipate the level of success and progress the child actually made, It was an incredible transformation and the development was seen across, social and educational milestones in an array of areas within the school curriculum. The transference from the Art Intervention Activities into things like, fine motor skills, mark-making, participating in group activities, self esteem and confidence, better decision making, Improve behaviour, positive new behaviour eg. Tiding away art materials at the end of the activity without instruction, pride..the development was so broad and just incredible for the child’s future progress and successes. This was my absolute proudest moment of my life, that I had made a difference to that one child’s life, future and happiness.
I Intend to Introduce others to the Idea of art as a form of therapeutic expression and escape, as I have found It Invaluable during my darkest days. Particularly as a person who Is not at all comfortable with expressing my feelings and emotions verbally. I plan to hold workshops with exhibitions of works at the end for children and young adults who attend youth clubs and holiday clubs, and possibly schools too, so that they have exposure to this form of therapeutic expression and If they resonate with It they will have the knowledge to utilise this form of therapeutic tool for the rest of their lives, hopefully helping them through their dark days too.
This is the work I need to do to fed my soul. This is the path that will help heal me. Create and share that’s what I absolutely need to do.
The other question was what do I enjoy, I absolutely love animals and nature and they really inspire my creativity, which is probably why they are the subject of most of my work! So in terms of self care, which I now know I need to pay a lot more attention to! I will rest when I need to rest, but I will also do the things that inspire me and that I love. Like having a walk through nature listening to the birds, going to zoos and farms and even just sitting in the garden and watching and listening to the birds come and go there, visiting Galleries and Museums.
Do what you love and love what you do..that’s my new plan!

‘Hummingbird - 1 - Poem’ - Fantasy Land Series

‘Hummingbird 1’
A3 Watercolour Painting


My wings are spread,
But the wind knocks me down,
I’m struggling to fly,
Fear pulls me down,

Philosophy and poetry,
Examine me,
So emotionally,
Who was it,
I used to be?
Who was it,
You used to see?

Who is it,
That you say is me?
Why can't I see,
That version of me?
The one everyone else can see?

I try to change the things in me,
Which I feel are wrong or damaged in me,
But what if all those parts of me…

Make me…
All of me,
The honest,
Real version of me?

If I kept it all?
All those parts of me?
The broken parts of me?
The – not working so good – parts of me?
The true, honest, raw, bruised version of me?
And I learned to accept all of me?
To appreciate all of me?
To love all of me…

Would I soar through the colourful skies again?
Would I fly high in the notion,
Of colourful love and creative devotion?

Eleni NeoBenyon

VAO 2021 Submissions

VAO Uk & International Emerging Artist Award 2021

Competition submissions:

‘Magnificent Elephants-No.2-with 24 ct Gold Leaf’
30 x 24 inches
Oil on Canvas with 24 ct Gold Leaf

My intention with this piece was to create not only something visually beautiful and appealing to the audience, but something which would also grab their attention and draw them into the painting for a closer look. I wanted to express the strength, majestic beauty and vulnerability of this critically endangered species. I developed a unique wet on wet style using oil paint to create streaks of hazy, merging, vibrant colours and added details of 24 ct gold leaf.

‘David Bowie-Drip Portrait’
30 x 24 inches
Oil on Canvas

This piece was created using oil paint and refined linseed oil to create the ‘drip’ finish. It’s the first human portrait painting I’ve ever done, using the album cover ‘Aladdin Sane’ as my reference. I wanted to create a contemporary feel to the image as well as keeping to my own unique style. I’m fascinated with colour and texture, and creating expressive, fantastical backgrounds with depth and details to draw the audience in for a closer inspection of the surface textures and qualities created. I hope to achieve a contemporary expressionist style of portrait, yet still for the subject, in this case David Bowie, to be easily recognisable and the first impact to achieve an emotive reaction from the viewer

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