It's something about the spirit of the creatives I know from the city. It's possibly a Yorkshire trait, that even people who aren't from there pick up and adopt.
I ended up falling in love with Sheffield from travelling back and forth from Manchester, where I lived after moving over from Ireland. I met a guy who was doing an architecture course, and it was the nightlife that brought me over at first - I remember having the most wonderful time when I first went out at The Palais.
I always felt I would be an artist, and whilst in Manchester, I got into music but never really managed to meet the people who made record sleeves or posters, or ran labels. In Sheffield, though, music people just seemed to be everywhere. And there were so many free courses and resources - a friend of mine, Dawn Shadforth, got so much help after her time at art college, and I think that helped people get things off the ground. It's such a good place to nurture creativity, and there's just a DIY attitude about everything. That made it inevitable that I got into it too.
I find the architecture in Sheffield very muscular - Mark Brydon used to live in Nether Edge, and I remember the Victorian and almost Scottish style houses built out of solid stone. And because of my link to the architecture course (which I pretty much gatecrashed), I used to spend a lot of time around the Arts Tower, trying not to break legs getting in and out of the Paternoster lift!
But I also remember a lot of my friends were there not just because of the university, but because of the outdoors too. It felt a very healthy place to be - lots of walking, climbing, and exploring and discovering yourself. The 7 hills mean there is always a different perspective to see and lots of dimensions.
There's something special about Sheffield; the friendliness shown to a stranger. The city gave me a place to live in Parkhill flats through the housing association. It was perfect - a fifteen-minute walk to my studio, and I could pop into the gym in Ponds Forge on the way. I'm so grateful to the city for that, I believe it helped me come into my own.