'Art saved my life' - Passion helped Suffolk woman through toughest times

Susie Hammond, the artist

Susie Hammond, the artist - Credit: Susie Hammond

A Suffolk woman who found herself able to overcome challenges in her life through her creative passion has shared her story.

Susie Hammond's journey to an exhibiting artist began as something to do when her son was born, but found it provided further support during other stressful times in her life.

She said: “I found myself pregnant at 39 and had a little boy and became a single parent, and so I've solidly brought him up and I needed something to do. He wasn't very well initially when he was born and had a few problems. 

Susie Hammond on her launch night for The Quay Street Collective Salon Exhibition Woodbridge 

Susie Hammond on her launch night for The Quay Street Collective Salon Exhibition Woodbridge - Credit: Clynt Garnham

“I was stuck at home with him, so I did up my own garden and I used to make some little greeting cards, and a friend of mine who was a mother at his school said I've got a little shop so I put some cards in.

“I became very unwell and I was in so much pain. I was misdiagnosed, had some tumours and lots of horrible things.  

“They were taken away eventually, but at night time I couldn't sleep, so I just sat and I drew. I can honestly say that art saved my life because I just used to absorb myself into drawing.” 

Art is not Ms Hammond's only creative outlay with her hobbies including gardening, landscape designing, painting, dancing, theatre designing as well as singing. 

Most Read

As she said: “I like being creative and involving myself in music, art and gardening. It’s important in life to do things you love.” 

Ms Hammond, from Woodbridge, is especially known for intricate and detailed illustrations of hares, sheep, trees, mermaids, badgers and birds.  

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond

As she said, Suffolk's countryside and gardens she has designed are her inspirations.    

The first piece of art that Ms Hammond sold several years ago was greeting cards illustrated by her.  

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond

Not so long later Ms Hammond opened her first exhibition and in two weeks sold out all of her artwork.  

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond

Now Ms Hammond exhibits her artwork in many places across Suffolk. 

Her drawings can be spotted in galleries and also among others, in a tea room and at a hairdresser.  

She said: “I had two exhibitions going for four years before lockdown and sold terribly well all over the world. I had people from America, Canada and Sweden buying my art. I couldn’t believe it myself.” 

Ms Hammonds drawings were also on jewellery because, as the artist said, she is “forever exploring ways of doing things”. 

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond

Ms Hammond has been giving motivational talks in art clubs and through art therapy helps people embrace art.  

She said: “I just encourage people to follow their passion and if they start doing something and if they are not particularly good at it, just try something else because it's a very good way of expressing yourself.” 

Susie's son, George

Susie's son, George - Credit: Clynt Garnham

Ms Hammond’s son, George, 16, also shares a passion for art. He writes and composes music which has been presented at many festivals, alongside his mum’s drawings.    

Ms Hammond’s next project is finishing drawing her own children's book.  

Susie's art

Susie's art - Credit: Susie Hammond