I have been thinking a lot lately about how we as a society view the world of work and how when we are growing up and are at school or university, it all seems to be geared towards getting a good job. The whole Monday to Friday 9-5 thing.
If you want to earn a living doing something you love, you are led to believe that you should expect to be poor. You are often discouraged from following your passion as a career and instead encouraged to take a regular job and follow your passion as a hobby or just let go of your dream.
I always wanted to work in the arts and crafts industry, although when I was a child I didn’t know what it was called. I just knew, that when I was creating and painting, I was happy. Digging around in the bottom of the classroom junk modelling box was heaven to me. I remember it was an old tea chest and several times I think I had to be rescued as I fell head first in, determined to get some interesting find at the very bottom! I can tell you this wasn’t a great experience, as it had a horrid smell, probably from the old yogurt and gone off milk cartons!
At secondary school Art was my favourite lesson. On a Saturday, I would spend my pocket money on artist quality coloured pencils, one or two at a time and I still have some of them today! Recently fulfilled a long time wish to visit The Derwent Colour Pencil Museum in the Lake District.
The point I am trying to make is that I just knew that when I was painting or creating that I was on purpose, that I was doing what I was born to do. It makes me happy and I believe that you are supposed to enjoy your life, not just bits of it.
So how did I end up being a nurse working nights on the National Spinal Injuries Unit? If I am honest it was because It was easier to become a student nurse, than to risk ridicule of saying that I wanted to go to Art College. I wasn’t especially talented. I didn’t spend my every waking minute painting and drawing, as I had a lot of other interests, including boys and swimming! That is how I remember it anyway. And for a while I did love the excitement of working in a hospital and the satisfaction of helping people, but eventually I struggled more and more to work within a huge impersonal organisation. I felt owned, which I suppose I was. I struggled with having to change out of my “me clothes” and into a uniform. I found some of the hospital politics and policies difficult to work within. I felt suffocated, but thought that was just what life was like – that you went to work in order to make money so you could afford your house and raise a family. And that in between work and feeling tired you could do the things you wanted to do – if you could afford to or weren’t too knackered!
Anyway, during the long nights when all the patients were asleep, I planned my escape from the world of employment to being self employed!
Over the years this has taken various forms within the art world all giving me wonderful opportunities. I have travelled to Germany, when I did some freelance design work for Marbu UK and experienced a trip to their amazing paint factory and attended the Frankfurt trade fair. I took some students to California, for the annual Decorative Painting Conference, which was an amazing experience! I have demonstrated at the NEC several times for Crafts Beautiful Magazine and DecoArt Paint. I have written the craft book Hand Painted Rustic Cards and had an interesting and fun day at the Search Press studio working with the editor and photographers. I was a freelance designer for Crafts Beautiful and other craft magazines for several years and was nominated for Best Designer award. Actually looking back I have done some amazing things and most of them have been opportunities that I have created out of nothing. I could go on, but it may start to sound like a boast list, but it isn’t meant to be. Rather it is to prove the point that there are opportunities out there, that you can make a living out of what you love to do and you don’t need to be poor. Sometimes you may need to be adaptable.
More recently, I was commissioned to paint the cover for a book by Ellen Watts called Cosmic Ordering made Easier. Working for yourself you need to be flexible and sometimes really bendy, but without just accepting work that takes you away from your core business.
At one time, when the recession hit, I took a part time job working as a private nurse to elderly lady, until I could restructure my business to function within this new economic climate. At the time I had been running day workshops teaching painting but with redundancies threatening my students and their partners, the workshops were a ” luxury” item that they reluctantly had to let go. I diversified and got an agent who now sells my designs for greetings cards both here and in the USA. Now I have my own printed and sell them via the online shop. There was absolutely no way I was going back into employment! I am discovering a whole new load of opportunities and wonderful people. Life is fun and that is how I think it should be. At the moment I am really excited and just a little bit proud of creating my first Online Intuitive Art Course. You can do it in your own time, at your own pace wherever you live and you don’t need to be a painter to do it!
Maybe you don’t agree that life is supposed be fun or you may have not really thought about it, but I ask you the question “Are you living the life and following the path that makes you feel truly happy?” You will know when you are, as you will feel so incredible and eager to get up each day. I hope that you are and if not, are the any small steps that you could take that will bring it nearer?
November 20th, 2012
- September 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- November 2013
- October 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- How to move forward when you are a bit stuck.
- A step along the way on life’s Creative Path
- A Peek behind the Painting
- Is Fear holding you back?
- Finding out what really matters.
- How to keep your paints from drying out and save money too!
- So how are you doing in 2104 so far?
- How to introduce a little more fun in to your life!
- Breathe Deeply and let go
- Looking at things from a new perspective.
- Thoughts on the social media jungle and how I connect with my kind of people!
- The winds of change