This year I decided to finally move away from the teaching profession after 7 worthwhile years to seek my own creative passions. Having spent the early part of my adult life training to be an artist and a designer, I have always taken any opportunity to send handmade birthday cards, make bunting, write poetry and short stories and give personalised frames to friends and family.
However, life circumstances led me to primary school teaching where I was able to tap into my desire to be creative for the benefit of others. In the classroom I loved making the role play area into imaginary boats and rainforest scenes. My displays, especially the Topic board, involved interweaving children’s artwork with a combination of recycled materials and endless shimmering fabric to create three dimensional underwater worlds and enchanted kingdoms with turrets, toadstools and magical trees.
But the decision is now made. Instead of keeping on living as a shadow artist and funnelling my creative urges away from myself, I finally listened to my heart and decided to do something I have always wanted to do, but previously was too afraid to admit. I am setting myself up as a freelance artist and illustrator.
But here comes the twist…
Whilst completing a multimedia textile degree in my early twenties, another passion emerged. I found myself being enraptured by conservation and wildlife. I was determined that if I was going to produce anything, whether it be for interior design or the fashion industry, I wanted it to be made from biodegradable materials whose use would limit any damage to the environment.
The last thing I wanted to do was to be a part of a design world which generates more materialism and more stuff to be used, sometimes only for a short period and then thrown away.
I remember one day explaining to my tutor how I was fascinated with green, ethical design and I really wanted to experiment further with being an eco-designer and her exact words back to me were, ‘It will never catch on.’ Being young and impressionable, I believed her.
That was 13 years ago and since then, climate change and the impact of what we are doing to the environment, animal welfare, organic, ethical standards are now extremely important issues and are hot talking points on the news, social media and in our everyday conversations.
So here I am, ready to create. Years on, after volunteering on marine conservation projects in Madagascar and orangutan protection projects in Borneo, working and living on a sustainable, eco-tourism island in Fiji and most recently, dedicating the last 7 years as a primary school teacher and eco coordinator.
My vision is to become an environmentally conscious artist and illustrator.
If I am to do this, I want to make each step along the way as mindful as possible, whilst also spreading environmental awareness.
And so this is my mission. To create and make inspiring artwork whilst educating myself and others along the way. Not to mention, trying to have as little physical impact on the planet as I can.
I would love you to join me on my creative journey and share ideas, advice and any words of wisdom you may have as I venture forward into the creative unknown.
Namaste for now,