I’m all about paying it forward. As a child I was fortunate to meet people who were passionate about the arts. I was encouraged and urged to go in the direction my heart was pulling me in.
I remember when I was in Year 1 (I know, I have a memory of an elephant) I met an art teacher. She was the scariest, most confident, artistic woman I ever met and I loved her. She had shoulder pads and the coolest hairdo. One day we started a new project and I just laid in to it. She comes up from behind me and says,
This girl’s got it! Don’t stand in her way. She’s got it.
I was so happy. Admittedly, I didn’t know what I had. Who does at the age of six? But I figured out I had created something that connected with this wonderful woman. To put it simple, that saved me.
I am fortune to have met many amazing people from the creative industry since then. They gave me encouragement, a nudge, a push, a good ol’ kick to the bottom. I took it all on board because they didn’t want me to miss those chances. I gave myself that chance too. Go a few decades forward I’ve done theatre backdrops, editorials for various magazines, and illustrating my 8th children’s book.
Just because you have a whole herd of people telling you not to do something, and believe me I had tidal waves, your gut instinct is usually telling you where you should be going. Even if it means going against that herd.
I’m paying the generosity forward, to be that nudge and that support for someone one day.