I officially started my career as an Fine Artist nearly 10 years ago. It took a lot of outside validation and wandering about to get me fully prepped to take the leap. When I look back, it seems the years leading up to ‘The Leap’, were all in preparation, leading me to that one little moment in time when my quietest voice announced: ” I want to be an Artist. I’m ready.”. And once I heard that little whisper, that little chime of my own truth, my life changed. I changed.
I have been creative throughout my childhood, and my first job was as a fashion illustrator. This evolved into fashion and textile design and eventually fashion photography. I always felt like I was bluffing my way through the fashion world because I am not particularly stylish, but I enjoyed it because the people are fun and I think I coasted along on other peoples’ passion! As long as I got to draw, paint and photograph occasionally, I was very happy!
It wasn’t until I ordered some close-up lenses on a whim and took a photograph of my first ladybird that I was guzzled whole by the shutter-bug. And what started as a little hobby, photographing butterflies, grasshoppers, flowers and frogs, began to turn into an obsession. I began to use photography to express my ideas. To re-interpret the world around me. To shout without words just how dazzled I am by nature. How breathless a bee simply just doing its thing makes me.
My work week was in the human world and my own time was spent with my ‘bugjects’. I kept my growing library of personal work very close only a few best friends were privvy to my secret bugsession. And then I did a strange thing… I entered my work in a few awards and I applied for a scholarship. I won them all. I studied at the Sante Fe Workshops and I flew there after winning a ‘Guru’ award at PhotoShop World in Los Angeles. It was an exciting time!
On my course was a woman who labelled herself a ‘Photographic Artist’ . At the time, I had hardly met anyone that called themselves an Artist, let alone something so specific. I regarded her as a magical creature…rare and ethereal….and my eyes opened up to see that there was a whole world of Photographic Artists. Sante Fe is a town in New Mexico and it is FULL of art galleries. Every day I would finish class and dash into town to squeeze through the doors of whatever gallery was getting ready to close. And my heart flourished. I’m felt my brain wake, sit up and take notice.
By the time I stepped on board my flight home to Sydney, I felt like a giant had picked me up by the ankles and shaken me with every ounce of their might. All my cells had moved just a fraction, and I had a new perspective. On that long, long flight home I couldn’t sleep, and in the dark of the night, a thousand miles in the air, my quietest voice tapped me on the shoulder and spoke. I can still hear it. All my memories of that time are clear. I will always leave a window open to that exact moment.
And when I stepped of the plane I announced to myself that I was now an ‘Artist’. I quietly accepted the word. I started saying it out loud. And you know what? No-one ever rolled their eyes. No-one has ever tried to convince me my plans were mad. No-one has ever pulled me aside and tried to talk some sense in to me ( Or if they did they did I never heard nor listened!). I needed that outside validation. I needed the prizes and Awards. I needed the time to gradually find my true path. I was gradually creeping up to my dreams, mindful of moving too fast lest they run-away before I ever got to see them, decipher them properly…
And then suddenly I was ready. I moved quickly. Suddenly I had the courage to leap into the arms of my life…I feel as if it was waiting there for me all along.
I have learned to let my creative dreams swirl around me, and form a cloud that will always offer me a soft place to land. And I would bet anything that your dreams are doing the same thing to you.