I've taken many flights of stairs in my working life and wanted to share a part of that story.
I come from a hard-working family – doing a job well, doing it right, and with excellence was something modeled for me as a little girl, and as I grew into an adult. Something I am grateful for, but with that came a side order of perfectionism, which has been a lifelong copilot in my journey as a Creative (a story for another post).
In 2002 at the age of 21, I took a leap of faith into freelancing full-time as a Graphic Designer. Besides the opportunity to set up a studio in a local print shop, I had no other financial support or money behind me – I hit the ground running with a fire in my heart and a determination to bring my best, every day. This little business became my vocation, week after week, and year after year new opportunities came in and my business grew. It became successful and the work I did with other businesses supported their success too. The longer I grew the easier those steps up became, but there certainly was no elevator that went straight up.
By the time I got married in 2007 and started a family shortly after, I had a nice list of regular clients. I continued to work directly with clients and collaborate with design studios full-time. My husband received an offer to relocate our little family from Melbourne Australia to Northern California in 2014. With that move, I took a break from my business to support my very young kids at the time. With my husband working away most weeks and no family support – there was very little time to maintain the business.
In my downtime, I decided to build my illustration skills and took some courses in fashion illustration and other artistic experimentations. After around 18 months abroad, I was presented with an opportunity to work with an international tech company in Southern California. They were just starting out with building their US team and I saw an immense opportunity both in the product and my own professional growth. So, with a move from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the job was at the start of many new beginnings.
Fast forward 5 years from there – I became Creative Director with a team of designers, leading the creative vision of the CEO and building a list of achievements including presenting innovative ideas and production level creative to some of the world's most iconic brands including Gucci, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Tiffany, Sephora, Prada just to name a few.
Another highlight was having my creative work seen on prime time television (The Today Show and Fox 5), printed in the New York Times, and many online publications including Vogue Business.
I am grateful for all this taught me and how it stretched me both personally and professionally. I know that I had to push myself on every step toward 'Success'. I measured it on the smallest of things – it took a lot of consistent work inwardly to 'show up' ready for something awesome every day. Again, there was no elevator that took me up, sure the stairs up became easier - but it took consistent effort, work, and total commitment. Riding the ups and downs, but always bring my best effort.
Over the course of COVID, like many of us, I needed to reassess my personal priorities and how the changes in the world were affecting my family. I knew I had to slow down and felt a deep pull toward fine art to process my emotions. It became a form of therapy and self-care for me. As I gave more time to this, painting in the evenings and on weekends I began to experience creativity flowing from a whole new place. Through many months of soul searching, I decided I needed a break from digital design and corporate work to get in touch with my art and purpose at a deeper level.
In September 2020 I joined a 12-month intensive art program with the Milan Art Institute. This opportunity gave me all that I needed to increase my skills and take a step toward creating a consistent, professional body of artwork. My passion for fine art and decorative art hasn't changed my passion for business though.
I am now at the start of a different staircase, the artist's journey with a brush and blank canvas. My goals are to build a professional career around this art, while exploring a deeper meaning in the images I create, and hopefully bringing a message of positivity and encouragement through it.
I find it incredibly fulfilling to use my hands to create and explore my voice through tangible, visual mediums. I am more than ready to put in all that's necessary to make my way up this new staircase. Starting this week (beginning of April 2021) I begin producing my first fine art portfolio - 5 months and 30 paintings (minimum). I am so excited to see where this will be in 5 months' time. I am committed and ready! I need to pursue big goals, I love to work and grow.
Please stay in touch and connect with me via Facebook and Instagram. I am documenting this journey weekly and I'd love to share it with you.