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Brand You Magazine > All Posts  > Being Made Redundant While Eight Months Pregnant Saved Me

Being Made Redundant While Eight Months Pregnant Saved Me

Being made redundant while eight months pregnant was a shock.

Here’s how it changed Georgia’s life as she pursued to live her dream of becoming an artist.

3 Years, 2 Babies, 1 Solo Show

I’m sat in the boardroom, the yellow lights flicker and buzz above me. I’m waiting for it to begin. A little kick comes from inside my tummy, it always makes me smile when my baby kicks but not this time. This time it sparks fear as my redundancy meeting begins.

They awkwardly slurp tea and offer biscuits as we flick through powerpoint slides. I’m eight months pregnant, I don’t have the energy or the will to fight this and they know it, I just want it to be over.

A few months later I’m sat in bed with my brand new baby.  She’s adorable of course and I’m soaking in every eyelash and tiny fingernail. It’s early morning and my husband is frantically looking for an ironed shirt, my old ‘go to’ grey office dress peeks out of the wardrobe and I’m reminded that I’m going to need to job hunt in six months time.

“The thought fills me with dread.”

Squeezing back into that grey dress and doing all the chit chat for another shitty office job I don’t even want. I want to paint, but you can’t just paint pictures and sell them for a living. Can you?

Surely that’s for the elite and the retired, but then I started researching, and the more I googled the more examples I found of incredible women who had kids and were full time artists and I thought, well if they can do it, so can I. I knew I wanted to paint, I’d always had this pull for it from the pit of my stomach which I couldn’t explain. I studied Illustration at University but that didn’t ‘scratch the itch’ if that makes sense. All my inspiration boards were filled with painters not illustrators. I used to think to myself, ‘I cant wait to get old and retire so I can spend my days painting.’

Well, something about having a baby and being made redundant lit a fire in me, reminding me that there’s no time like the present so I best get started.

When Libby was three months old, I arranged some weekly childcare hours (thanks to my amazing family) where I would go and paint for five hours, twice a week. It felt audacious, it felt scary, it felt completely indulgent and selfish. Oooh the guilt I carried, making paintings which had no destination felt completely pointless at times but I also knew this was my final shot. If Libby got to school age and I still wasn’t making any money at painting then I’d have to find a ‘proper job’. It HAD to work.


There was just one problem… what on earth do I paint?!

So, I took painting courses and listened to podcasts, worked during baby nap times and in the evenings. I relentlessly read about artists, galleries, selling, making art and kept making and creating, trusting that the work would get better. Being braver each time. Following those nudges of what I love in a certain painting and why I didn’t like other things I’d made. Tweaking and pushing the work, having the courage to continually show up, even when I was creating an ugly mess!


Money was tight, I was choosing between baby clubs or my website being live each month (a website which wasn’t even selling anything).

My dad and I learnt how to make frames as I couldn’t afford to buy them. Then I paid for a coaching session (I could only afford one) and she propelled me forward with the confidence and reassurance she gave me, she helped me drop the guilt!

I had created my first series of painting’s, so I opened up my studio to the public for a weekend. I’d lived in Brighton for five years prior and was always part of Artist Open Houses, I decided to do the same only it wasn’t really a ‘thing’ in Buckinghamshire. My family and I posted flyers around the village (Libby in tow) and that weekend I made my first £1000. That felt incredible! Ten months from when I started, now I had a business.


That painting series got me into my first three galleries, now I felt like a ‘real’ artist.

The first of which got me a commission, the second, sold all four paintings I gave them. The third, I’ve now been working with for over three years. I kept showing up, taking the opportunities as they came and asking a little more of people. That ‘cheeky ask’ has always done well for me.

I got into bigger galleries and charged higher prices, upgraded my materials and found a local framer (my dad was happy). Somewhere in the middle there I had baby number two, Jack and over time my confidence grew and that came through in the paintings. Taking bigger risks, making bigger marks and creating much bigger pieces.

Cambridge Contemporary Art was one of the first galleries to show my work, three years after that first group exhibition with them, I had a solo show! It was a huge success gaining local press and the two biggest paintings in the show (165 x 165cm) sold, among many others. On average one painting sold per day during that four week exhibition! It felt incredible to see my paintings hung together in their stunning, light gallery space, and most importantly to show Libby (now four years old) what she unknowingly pushed me to do.


“The reality is, that being made redundant while eight months pregnant saved me!”

It would have been so much easier to go back to a totally unfulfilling, but steady job, after having a baby than to start something that seemed impossible to me at the time – my dream of becoming an artist.

My work has now been exhibited at the OXO Tower in London and can be found in highly respected galleries in London and Cambridge. I have had repeat buyers and visitors and have worked with multiple interior designers. My paintings have been collected across the globe as far as, Europe, America and Australia. I have a 6 month waiting list for commissions and I’m now making paintings which are bigger than me, which feels like the ultimate freedom.



That ‘pull’, that ‘itch’ I talked about has certainly been scratched. We need to trust the process, trust our intuition and in turn ourselves. When we decide to keep show up for ourselves again and again and again, incredible things are given space to grow.

See Georgia’s paintings online by visiting her website.


About The Author

Georgia Elliott / Sole Trader & Artist

Georgia Elliott is a professional artist and mother of two young children aged 2 & 4. Working from her garden studio in Buckinghamshire she creates expressive landscape paintings you can escape into. Her lively palette and use of rapid brush marks bring a room to life. She has a BA Degree in Illustration from The University for the Creative Arts in Kent but only focused on painting after the birth of her daughter. Her paintings have been exhibited in multiple UK galleries, including the Oxo Tower, London as part of the Chaiya Art Prize and Cambridge Contemporary Art, who recently hosted her first solo show (Feb 2023). Georgia’s work has been collected across the UK, America, Europe and Australia. Her prints have been spotted in Good Housekeeping & InStyle magazine’s & she was long-listed for the 2022 Jackson Painting Prize.

Website: georgiaelliottartist.com

Instagram: georgiaelliott_artist

LinkedIn: georgia-elliott-artist


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