How I found my Creativity

Being an overthinker, I questioned my role in life from a young age. I always enjoyed art and It was the only thing I was ever really good at. I remember chatting to my art teacher, Mrs Osbourne, who was one of those adults you meet (we all have one) that had a hugely positive effect on my confidence and I felt she really had my back. She said to me to always go where I was called and not to fight it or overthink it too much. I knew I wanted to go to art college but was worried about job security, but she said, do something you love and you will never do a days work your life. I now know this is a quote quite widely used, but at that point it sat with me at the forefront of my mind. I had a choice, follow my heart or follow my head. I have kept this outlook with me, and it has served me pretty well in fact! Learning to trust our gut, know our worth and have hope for the future is immensely important at these transitional points in our lives.

I am a self confessed messy perfectionist, I have a high expectation of myself in most situations. It wasn’t until motherhood that I learnt to embrace my failures as opportunities to learn and ultimately grow. I learnt quickly that we aren’t fixed beings, we are fluid and ever evolving, we can never reach our ideals of perfection and as this concept has bedded down in my 30’s, it’s something I wish I had understood more in my twenties. Being ambitious is no bad thing, but if as a result you become unwell, this is where there is work to be done and boundaries to be drawn. Because if you don’t make time for your wellness you be forced to make time for your illness. Burn-out is real, so being kind is imperative in this fast pace world we live in.

This realisation, came as I became a parent myself, understanding that the reality of life was not as I had pictured and just living authentically to myself would become my greatest freedom. I can’t pretend that it doesn’t frustrate me when I don’t match up to my optimistic ideologies but it’s something I am a lot more comfortable with now. I would love to thank my Art teacher one day, as my career has been such a winding road, designing costumes, sets, books and now working with others to create their own visions. She was right, if you love what you do, it’s not about clocking in and out, it’s about understanding your work is part of you and your identity and loving what you do makes it so much more rewarding.

When Finn and I crowdfunded for the original Positive Planner, I didn’t take one moment to think about what others thought of the project. I knew the world needed our journals for mental health and that kept our vision crystal clear. Looking back this was a very transitional time for me, I had never done anything like this before, I was way out of my comfort zone, but I knew I had to try. It's all about listening in and really understanding what is making you tick. Finding the ‘driver’ is always a great place to start, that seems to be the point when (with some forward planning and a lot of hard work) things seem to fall into place.

I think the best piece of advice I could impart would be is to enrich your life as much as possible. Have creative outlets, be curious, be playful and keep learning because all of these things help us understand ourselves better. When we do these things we can problem solve and practice taking risks, we build confidence and most of all when we are in that flow state we can find a sense of wellbeing. Go in search of progress not perfection.

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