Starting a Creative Business- The journey part one

I thought it was about time I shared the story of how I started my creative business. From moving through anxiety to where I am today. Starting a business is no easy feat and I believe in sharing our stories as small business owners and creatives. It gives you a window into our world, which lets face it, we all love a peep into.

It started with a panic attack, though I didn’t know what was happening to me at the time other than I thought I was dying.

The first thing I felt was a sudden drop in energy and a tingling sensation all down my body. In a split second it felt like I was going to collapse. I was sweating, dizzy and suddenly scared for my life.

Then the panic started.

I had never experienced panic attacks or anxiety so I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was a confident bubbly woman with a pretty straight forward, comfortable life. Why would this be happening to me?

That day I left work after breaking down with my team leader because I genuinely thought I was having a heart attack. As soon as I left the building the panic stopped. My dad was waiting in the car and drove me to the doctors. I got there just to be told that it was “probably a panic attack”. I was given no real information on how that could have happened and why It came on so suddenly. 

The Trigger

The trigger for the panic was a culmination of things. From working in environment that didn’t nourish my soul to having a bit of a traumatic experience at the dentist. The previous week I’d had a failed root canal. The dentist tried his hardest to finish the job, he even brought another dentist in but it wasn’t happening. They put a temporary filling in and sent me on my way till the following week to see how to proceed. 

The pain from the failed root canal had me in such a weary state all weekend. By the time It came to the next appointment I just wanted the tooth out, to be done with the pain. We all know how bad tooth ache can be, well failed root canals when they have been wrestling around in your mouth are intense.

After the tooth was out the effect of having that much intense pain stayed with me in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. It was almost as if I had left my young care free self and adulthood had kicked in. Being quite a sensitive soul and a big thinker panic and anxiety are not a good combination. I got a few more panic attacks and to this day I still occasionally feel that tingling sensation like I’m about to collapse. I made sure to equip myself with self care practices and tools to be able to manage the anxiety and panic when it flared up. It includes of a whole load of lovely self talk and telling myself everything is okay.

The thing I did notice though was that the anxiety seemed to flare up every time I went into work. The tingling sensations would come back and I would feel like I was going to faint. I would have to take myself to the bathroom to calm down.

It’s time to leave

After being off work a couple of times for illness I ended up being laid off for “lack of attendance”. Although I was gutted at the time, my “stats” were great and I was hitting my targets. I knew there was something about that work environment that was killing my soul. 

I had stopped wearing colourful patterned clothes to conform with the people at work. I was in the rat race of 9-5 working and although the pay was the best I’d had it clearly was not working for my nervous system. The stats and targets, the amount of people in one office and the never ending phone calls (of course, it was a call centre) we’re all indications that this was NOT the job for me.

Break down to break through

I was a creative bubbly woman in a call centre office amongst a sea of grey. It was vanilla, repetitive, stats and target driven and had no soul.

I felt extremely out of place.

At university I had studied Creative Arts & Events Management and had been around visual artists, photographers, musicians and decor crews. Those were the spaces that inspired me and sparked a love of interactive experiences. Id spent the last four years galivanting around and working at festivals as decor crew, stage management and other jobs. Being submersed in the events industry meeting a whole array of colourful people with incredible skills and creative talent. Of course call centre work was a shock to my system.

After university I had been on a soul searching mission trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Though working the festivals was great, my partying needed to settle down and I wanted to look after my health and wellbeing. What I needed to figure out was what work did I really want to do and what would I have a lot of energy for. I had never really had a plan of sorts, I just cruised around from festival to music events, partying, exploring and submerging myself in creative settings. 

I knew that I wanted to live life on my own terms, to create something for myself that nurtured my creativity and thirst for learning. (see how far I’ve nurtured my creativity here). It had to be something where I could connect with others, learn all things business but also allow me to express myself.

It had to be something flexible that would allow me to have bursts of productivity but also allow me time to rest and play. I live life connected to honouring my cyclical nature as a woman and that means working cyclically in my business too. Making meaning, having deep connections and owning our humanness in life is are my biggest values. It was important for me create that for myself and the people I worked with.

I knew it was possible, I was seeing people all over the internet traveling around the world so I knew I could do something similar. What I needed to find was my niche.

How could I create that for myself?

It started with a cleaning job something I could do whilst listening to all the podcasts about mindset work and business. It was something I could do straight away with the connections I already had. Start off small and go from there.

I split my time, half cleaning, half working online and eating up everything I could about social media management and how to run a business. Learning about other creatives and virtual assistants with what products and services they were offering and also, how they were marketing themselves. This involved a whole heap of learning strategies as well as planning and organisation tools to start to cultivate a healthy work balance. To be able to build goals for myself and see my progress.

I suddenly had drive and commitment to cultivating a work life balance that was on my terms. After my adventures at arts based events I knew that my business in the end needed to be a creative one, there was no way that creativity wasn’t going to be a part of it. I needed to learn all the small biz tips and creative practices I could to create a business that brought me joy and play.

Little did I know that what I was creating for myself would fit flexibly around becoming a mother (more on that to come).

Thank you for reading about the start of my journey into running a creative business you wonderful human. In part two I will share my business journey post motherhood as it all ramped up from there. Think of this as the first year of learning before diving right into running a creative business online as an artist and virtual assistant.

Keep your eyes peeled for part two!

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Artist Updates // August

creative biz updates

Hello beauties,

How are you all doing? How are we all holding up during the madness that is happening out there in the world?

I thought I would start a little inside my mind series, a series to share with you a snippet into my world as a mother, artist and business owner.

How have I been? I thought I was doing pretty well for the last few months but have definitely experienced waves of down in the dumps periods. Missing baby/toddler groups and connecting with other mums and babies, missing the freedom of being able to explore and adventure on the weekends with my little family.

Overall I think I have been handling it pretty well. The last week or so I have felt in a bit of a blur, unmotivated and every time i sit down to tackle something on my never ending to do list I get all in a funk and become unsure of what to do. It’s safe to say I’m in a bit of a fog at the moment. Which is okay, I know that I will come out of it soon enough I just need some down days.

Being a stay-at-home-work-from-home-mum means that I am ALWAYS on the go. Which is funny because I’m actually really lazy, love a long lie in or just lounging around by myself. Something which has COMPLETELY changed since becoming a mother. I’m realising that its really important for me to have structure in place to know what I’m doing, where I am at etc and also for me to know when to UNPLUG!

Lets be realistic, we have all probably increased our time on social media/technology through out this pandemic as a way of connecting to people and keeping up to date with whats going on. What I have found though is that I am pretty addicted to it, which doesn’t help when my job is literally social media management, VA and graphic design work as my work is all online. It’s something I always dreamed of and I am so grateful that I have the freedom and ability to work in this way. It is also a massive reminder that it is so important to unplug and let go of it all. So much so we are planning a camping trip so that we can get in a field, sleep closer to the earth and unplug. My soul is calling out for it.

I realised when I had my shoes off the other day and was running around the fields with Jasper how grounding it is to go barefoot in nature. If you haven’t heard of earthing go check it out. Its really interesting and does wonders for your physical and emotional well-being.

Tech upgrades and exploring new styles

Recently I have had the opportunity to upgrade all my technology, which has been incredible and I am just landing in the appreciation of how much easier working is now that my tech is up to scratch and running quicker. One of my upgrades has been a graphics tablet both static and portable to allow me to easily digitise my illustrations ready for making into a range of printed products for you lovely lot.

Creatively I am in a bit of an exploration and expansion of trying out new things phase. I’m exploring new styles of art from abstracts and portraits to typography style work. I am in the process of creating a range of greetings cards & uplifting message cards which is exciting. It’s giving me the opportunity to play and explore. I’ve had moments of questioning myself that I’m not sticking to one particular style. But really, that’s not who I am. I need a bit of adventure and play to keep me stimulated and motivated. And also to me creativity is about exploring and playing.

Creating intentional space for your work

An important part of my process in working from home has been to set up a working space for myself. With my old tech I was stuck in one room of the house. I have moved my office and creative space upstairs and I have organised the space. Now everything is easily accessible which feels so effing good!

Sacred Coding- Feminine Mysteries Series by Kamala Creations

One piece of advice I have for anyone who is feeling stuck or unmotivated is to change up your space. Whether that is clearing up, reorganising and de-cluttering shifting up your space is an incredibly cleansing process to help refreshing your energy and the energy of your space. Your literally cleaning out the space by getting rid of the old and bringing in a new freshness to it. It will do wonders for your mental health and managing the daily tasks of life..!

Something that I am excited to share with you about July was that I finally launched my online art class Mandala Magic and my Inner Expansion Mandala Series which you can find here, you can also purchase them as prints or printables via my Etsy shop! It feels so good to have gathered up all that I have learnt in my process of creating mandalas and create my first online class. I feel a diverse range of classes are going to emerge through me as I am so passionate about inspiring people to pick up a pen or a paint brush and reconnect with their creative selves. It does wonders for your well-being and is an incredible way of expressing without words. Areas I am exploring at the moment as I said above with abstracts, portraits and typography as well as art journaling will all be turned into classes for your lovely selves to explore.

Updates on Motherhood

Motherhood is definitely kicking me up the arse. Its incredible the internal learning that comes from becoming a mother. Figuring out just how much I can juggle and hold down with out wobbling and buckling under the pressure. Something I am sure I will continue to try and figure out. My little Jazzybean is 14 months and oh my god what a character he is. His personality is big, cheeky, full of curiosity and is on the go from the moment his eyes open. A learning is this is that I need to create a space each day where he can learn to settle, to sit and rest. I can see that If I don’t help nurture within him the ability to stop and rest it could cause a lot of frustration within him. Which is pretty perfect, because I need to learn that too. Oh how being a mum shows you so much of yourself!

Well I feel like I am all rambled out. So that Is it for this inside my mind entry. If you are curious about my Mandala Magic Online Class or would like to get a beautiful new piece of art for your home go check out my Etsy Shop where I have a range of art prints, printables and even colouring in books! If your on part of my Heartful Art & Wellness Tribe you will receive a free printable colouring page each week!

Sending big love to you all

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Art Process: Mixed Media Whimsical Portraits

One of the types of art I have always loved is mixed media and portraits. But honestly, I have avoided portraits for a very long time due to fear of not being good enough. Well when I found Tamara Laporte I enrolled on her free art class that you can find on her website. Which taught you how to paint portraits of these whimsical characters!! They’re colourful, bold, floaty, dreamy with big eyes and cute little details.

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