Map It Out

Two months ago I moved back from Vancouver, not for career reasons but for family and love (what better reason than that, right?!). However, I didn’t have much of a plan for my career when I decided to move home.
This was a struggle for me as I’m definitely a career oriented person in a creative persons body:
an on going internal conflict. What I’ve come to terms with is that I’m not content to sit in one place for too long, literally. I like each day to have its own flavor, no set routine, and a flow that is all its own. Additionally, out of necessity  1/3 of my life will be dedicated to work. I will not let someone else dictate this time and I will be the boss of my own life.

So when I sat down with a blank sheet of paper set in front of me 4 months ago, a mind map like no other emerged. Those of you who haven’t done this on a rainy afternoon, I strongly suggest it; it’s amazing what comes out of the inner depths of your mind and heart when you truly ask yourself “what do I want?” and “who do I want to be?”.

There was an arm called “Design” (of course) which led to textiles, interiors and home decor items. Then there was an arm that led to “Education” (yes – Education has been one of my passions but had I ever actually thought about taking on a teaching/coaching role myself? No!). Then an arm that led to “Retail” (having worked at some incredible retail stores in the UK and Vancouver I had a new found passion/respect for the industry) and one arm dedicated to the broad topic of “Art” (I had my first show exhibiting some of my Acrylic-on-Canvas pieces back in 2010 and it was so rewarding; I couldn’t wait to get my brushes out of storage).
These all led to smaller branches saying “Volunteer Art Club?”, “Hand printed textiles?”, “Fabric store?”, “Custom commissioned art pieces?”, “Selling travel photography?”, and many more.
4 months later I am beyond thrilled to say that my plate is VERY FULL I am working at a private school in Victoria as their resident Art Intern, have started a commissioned piece for a gentleman who bought one of my pieces back in 2010, have ordered a new dying product out of the States that I can’t wait to get my hands on for textiles, I’m working at a small retail home decor store downtown, I’m doing drafting projects for a local woodworking company and working on Building Elk/Elk Design every other spare moment of my day. My life is full – yes – and my days can last upwards of 10-12 hours but when
I lay my head down on my pillow at the end of the day, I wear a massive, creatively fulfilled grin. When I leave the house in the morning with paint on my tights and clay in the crevices of my shoes, I can’t help but think “My life is amazing!”
Make your mind-map! And if you won’t take my word for it, take it from Vincent:
“Happiness…it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Vincent Van Gogh
(Yes – Okay –  he did eventually go crazy, but he did some pretty wonderful things during his sanity.)

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