ChChChaaanges...

Wow, never a truer song was written. Thanks for the reminder Mr Bowie. Life is full of change and no matter how much we resist, it is inevitable. A lesson I am learning very rapidly.

Barely are we into the year and my life has changed… and changed again. After a few months foray back into the regular working world, I find myself here again contemplating what is ahead for me. The universe is ever-so-slightly reminding me to be true to self, 6 score years revolving on the planet, you would think that I would realise that by now.

It has been a hectic few months with many highs and lows and I find myself in a mental limbo at present. A little hesitant to push myself, more content to sit and listen to my creative inner child who will eventually create some form of rebellion if I ignore her for too long.

My picture book publishing project has been taking a back seat for the past few months due to everyday work stresses and a lack of energy. But as fate has stepped in and redirected my thoughts, once again I am back at the drawing board, dreaming, working hard and receiving wonderful encouragement and support from my author and publisher.
A much needed daily boost now comes in the form of like-minded artists and entrepreneurs in an online initiative called Project Portfolio. It is the brainchild of picture book tutor, Nina Rycroft and brings together a wide variety of creative professionals and artists who share their experiences in a creative community. My arty mojo is feeling nurtured and inspired once more.

I need to learn to listen to my instincts and trust that things will work out. No matter whether good things or bad come my way, I know to wait for a moment as things always change.

Proud to be a part of this fantastic networking event for creatives across the globe.

Proud to be a part of this fantastic networking event for creatives across the globe.

The Year of the Boar... or should I say Phoenix!

This time last year, I had no inkling of just how quickly my life would transform. I was working my way out of a lengthy and painful physical recovery period, trying to find my way back into a world I had walked away from a couple of years prior. Family loss, retrenchment, life threatening illness and sheer burnout had taken its toll on my creative spirit.

But as my body was healing physically, my inner self was preparing itself to re-enter the working world, this time with a different attitude. No sweating the small stuff or buying into the politics of working life. I was rediscovering my spirit through working on my children’s picture book, slowly building confidence and finding that I was needing more. Working and living in isolation can sometimes drive you crazy, not to mention barking dogs and noisy neighbourhoods. My search began for a job that would help me pay the bills but still allow me to pursue my illustrative dream of publishing my picture book.

As most who are in the job search market know, it is incredibly tough out there. I have a long list of skills and accomplishments from my design career, but just getting a response from many of the companies was as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth. Undaunted, a tiny bit frustrated, I continued the search and in the latter part of the year, applied, interviewed and landed a new job within a week. Now I found myself back in the old ‘Mach 10 with my hair on fire’ way of living.

Not long after I started working I was offered an illustrator’s dream. I had done all the groundwork, created my illustrative website, introduced myself to a few niche publishers, joined the ASA Style file and continued with private commissions. I received contact from a niche Australian Children’s book publisher who liked my work and was interested in matching me with one of their authors. Within the space of 2 weeks I had read the manuscript, combed through the contract and signed on the dotted line to work on my first published children’s picture book.

What a Christmas present! I was somewhere between excited and terrified, but I am in for the ride.

I miss the time I used to have to formulate my illustrative attack plan and the luxury of doing what I choose when I choose, but it is nice to be out in the world again, earning a living and supporting my creative passions.
My return to full time work as a Graphic designer was not an easy decision, but the benefits are a little more security for the time when I finally give up working for the man. That time will be totally given up to my two passions, travel and illustration.

In the meantime, I am back doing what I do best and juggling numerous creative and personal projects in the air.
The planning and preparation for the new book is well underway and I am sure there are fun times ahead.

It is the Year of the Boar, my astral birth sign, a year of a very big birthday and a year that my spirit rises from the ashes and soars towards an exciting future.

Am I an extraverted introvert?


Those who know me, see an often whacky, outward personality. However, not too far beneath the surface lurks the shy little girl who could often be found quietly entertaining herself. Raised to be humble, I am just beginning to realise introversion has always been in my DNA.

I am currently reading a book titled Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and I can’t help thinking to myself, Yes! Yes! Yes!

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For years I thought I was just being sensitive to the cacophony of sound in the workplace, the arrogance, constant self promotion and the me, me, me! Don’t get me wrong, if that is what floats your boat, all power to you. It goes against my grain, and that is ok too.

Much of my professional work life has been in marketing, an industry that thrives on being larger than life, loud and brash, an irony which is not lost on me.
I have managed to carve myself a small creative niche, but as the world becomes more global and even louder, I finally realise why I have always felt so unsettled.

Loud, grating voices, intrusive mobiles, noise and big personalities, things that often drive me crazy, when all I really want is a quiet space to think. My brain isn’t wired to filter this mishmash of noise and as I read this book I am beginning to understand why.

Society would like us to believe that to be successful we all need to be team-oriented, loud and competitive, some of this I can do, but most of it leaves me cold. I loathe open plan offices and the constant ‘we must work as a team philosophy’. Some of us are simply more productive when left to our own devices in a quiet space. After years working in busy environments I can hold my own, but it is definitely not my natural working state and often leaves my soul drained.

I can lose a day in my drawing and painting, and manage to disconnect from much external interference. It is in these moments of immersion my best work emerges. It may have taken me half a lifetime to realise, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to work in the background, there are more than enough extraverts in the world to pick up the slack.

The further I read into this insightful book, the more I am learning to be content in my own skin.
I no longer beat myself up about not wanting to be up in the mix. The time and space I have to myself is helping me to become a stronger, more prolific artist.