I learned that whatever I do as a job doesn’t define my identity and that really helped widen my vision and encouraged me to keep experimenting
Art was my direction from the beginning but I was not sure exactly in what way I wanted to use it in my life. After studying fine arts, I moved to London and for some time I closed any connection with my creative side. I started to feel my way back after a course in children illustration and a painting commission for a charity. Then I created some of my own work and slowly explored the real purpose of the creative process.
With no apparent reason I have felt a strong connection with Edinburgh, and when I heard about the Festival I found the perfect excuse to move. During my first summer here I had the chance to support the set designing for a Theatre company putting on a play about domestic abuse. The use of the arts for social changes really opened my mind and widen my vision of the art world. After some time, I started to integrate these new learnings within my own work and developed paintings, illustrations, and exhibitions about social and cultural issues. When I got my first proper commission, I left my job and literally jumped into this new adventure!
I have always been interested in alternative therapy but I didn’t think it had anything to do with my art. After a while, I realised that the act of creating is deeply connected to our internal source of energy. Everything I was doing and exploring was all part of the same thing so I decided to combine the two. I believe that creativity allows people to connect with themselves and access a transformative and healing energy. After the simple act of creating we can all experience a real connection with ourselves and the world as we are tapping into the essence of our being. There is something very powerful about seeing a person who never used to draw or create realising that creativity is available for them.
"Even though I was now self-employed, I was, and still am looking for consistency"
What does your dream project look like?
I really like the variety, each project carries a very special and unique gift. Every person I work with is different and that also helps me feel motivated and creative.
I would love to eventually have my own studio. The ones I rent are great but having a space as my base and being able to customise it more would certainly support my next steps. My dream project would involve such a space and the resources to reach more people.
What is something that makes you feel stressed in your job?
Creating a stable and steady business can be a bit stressful at times. There are many things to be aware of and some of them may feel completely out of your comfort zone. In the past few years, I learned that whatever I do as a job doesn’t define my identity and that really helped me to widen my vision and keep experimenting. Sometimes however I have to remind myself.
Social media was also a learning experience. I wanted to connect with people but didn’t know much about the tools available. I used to find that side of my work a bit boring but recently started to appreciate it more. I also realised that I needed a clear structure to follow, and creating a business plan was a very wise idea. Even though I was now self-employed, I was and still am looking for consistency.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Nature is the first place where I go if I need some inspiration. I feel recharged with plenty of space for myself and that probably unlocks some creative energy too. If I have time, I love walking through galleries as well. Some inspiration also comes from the people who attend my classes, who often open my mind to new possibilities and different perspectives.
"I love what I do and want to keep feeling this way, and that perhaps is the most important part of my business plan"
What challenges do you think the creative field will face in the next 10 years?
I think that creativity will become more integrated with our lives. We are slowly moving from a structure where people fit neatly into a certain profession towards a freer way of living, where we can create our own job descriptions. For many reasons getting outside the box still feel a bit challenging but I believe that things will get easier. More people will consider moving into a job that can fit their lives. Perhaps we might even see a universal basic income in the future. This would allow everyone to expand new ideas and will take away the fear of experimentation.
What is your best tip for growing your business?
Having a structure and knowing where you want to go is helping. I like to split my goals up into smaller milestones to stay motivated and keep track of every little achievement. Also, there are a lot of great and supportive resources to turn to, and using them can be very inspiring. I love what I do and want to keep feeling this way, and that perhaps is the most important part of my business plan. I am still learning a lot, every day, but it’s good to see little signs of growth.
What is something you want to learn more about?
I would like to get better at valuing my work. To estimate the exact costs and time can vary a lot so I sometimes find this aspect a bit tricky. The balance between different parts of the business can also feel challenging. I would like to solidify the structure of my business much further and to improve my ability to develop a steady flow of work.
Do you have any tips for staying productive and motivated?
A written plan can be of great support especially during the days where things feel a little bit challenging. Also, make sure you don’t forget about yourself and try to find a rhythm that allows you to enjoy what you do. Recharge your batteries with your life outside of work.
What advice would you like to give someone who is just starting out?
Don’t strive for quick results. Any part of your business worth having will take time so don’t worry if it takes a while. Support yourself within this process, without applying too much pressure on what you do. Patience, support, and trust are some of the elements that helped me a lot on my journey until now.