I procrastinated about changing my career for at least the last ten years I was in fashion in Sydney. I could not decide why I was so incapable of making a seemingly simple decision…what niche did I want to specialise in? Did I want to keep designing for bridal clients…a thought that gave me heart palpitations, and continue freelancing as a patterncutter at the same time? Or, did I want to open a bespoke studio and have a very select clientele…albeit very precious, a close cousin to the bridal clientele. Another heart palpitation!
Disenchantment had begun to reign supreme with senior patterncutters within the industry in Sydney and a lot of my friends had already left, or rather escaped, the term most of us used. I was certainly one of the highest paid freelancers in Sydney, a fact that the occasional Designer/Director liked to remind me of on a regular basis, and then still not pay me for weeks. I was forced to sue two separate companies to get my money back…less lawyers fees that is. This was not an uncommon practise and a few of us got known as litigious patterncutters.
Fashion gave me a good life for a very long time, but life doesn’t stay still, you have to listen to those stirrings inside you and move…no matter how scary it seems.
In fact I wrote a book, Georgiana Garland~Fashioning A Dream, for Young Adults last year about 16 year old Georgiana starting out in fashion. The story is set in Auckland and is the first of a trilogy. It gives a lovely insight into this vibrant world for anyone wanting to enter fashion as a career.
I honestly believe the Universe works in reverse to give us a serious kick in the backside, to move us out of the crippling patterns we create for ourselves. I started to lose clients because I refused to drop my rate and my mouth was beginning to run away from me as I constantly lost my cool. I realised I had to make a serious decision fast and that decision, move back to England to try to develop an art career somehow.
October 2020 and I arrived back in England, a country I used to live in during the 1980s, but now we were in the middle of a crazy world virus catastrophe. I might add I had the very best flight I have ever had from Sydney via San Francisco into London. The United Airlines flight was about a third full so I had a whole row of seats on which to lay from Sydney to San Francisco. Then, after a fantastic shower for $US25.00 San Francisco Airport Guide (SFO) and a meal at the airport, I was on my way to London with another row of seats for my bed. The Americans do service exceedingly well indeed, plus San Francisco is one of my favourite cities.
Why am I chronicling this latter part of my life to you?
I am decades away from the age of consent now, I moved back here to England in the middle of troubled times with no work on the horizon.
Yes, I have savings but it is not going to last forever if I don’t do something productive with it. I miss my family and friends In Sydney and New Zealand but I am also very fortunate to have a very supportive family and friends here.
I really think if you are going to do something drastic like change your career, your partner or move to another country, you need to have the support of someone around you. You always think you can do it on your own but ultimately there are times…and lots of them, when you fall flat emotionally. Having that someone on the other end of the phone to ask how you are going is worth squillions of dollars…or pounds, whatever your currency is.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
~ Walt Disney
This fabulous saying is under my website Home Page title and I truly believe it, Walt Disney was such an amazing visionary. I am still only at the beginning of my new path but I have discovered that you have to ultimately believe 100% in yourself and what your purpose is, to work through the numerous bad times and keep going every single day until you are at a point where you are comfortable with your finances, and start to relax. And most importantly, it does not matter how old you are!
Art has been my passion and dream since I left school. I never realised how much I loved it until very recently, after I arrived back in this beautiful country and started connecting with like minded people and communities.
I’ve always been able to draw ever since I was a young child, sketching and painting everything…except animals. It was one subject I avoided because I couldn’t draw them in perspective, the animal’s face was screwed up or I drew a horse which had a huge distorted backside with wonky legs…so I didn’t attempt animals again until I was forced to.
My utterly fanatical love of cats goes as far back as I can remember, probably when Mum and Dad bought me ‘Born free’ and ‘Living Free’ as a very young girl. I absolutely sobbed when I read at the beginning of ‘Living Free’ that Elsa had died.
I visited Paradise Valley Springs Lion Park in New Zealand in my early 20s and got to hold a lion cub for the very first time, he was so heavy and ever so gorgeous. I was in love and totally besotted and have been ever since.
I was on a mission to go to Africa after this fabulous encounter, finally getting to work with them as a birthday treat to myself in March a few years ago. I was in heaven playing with the baby lion cubs, the beautiful wolves and especially the cheetahs.
One of the very first things you learn about the big cats is to never turn your back on them! One day I found myself talking to the dirt as a two year old white lion jumped me from behind. I ended up flat on the ground with a heavy warm tummy on my back as he chewed my hair. It was hilarious and I wasn’t scared at all but I learnt a lesson!
I was only able to spend a week working with cheetahs and baby lions, but it instilled in me a deep love of cheetahs and the importance of cheetah conservation. Their numbers have been decimated over the past few years due to the appalling cheetah cub trafficking trade so this has become my purpose for my passion.
I intend to build this new art business of mine to not only make gorgeous products for people to enjoy wearing or use, but also help educate people about the importance of this and give a percentage of every cheetah product to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
So now you see, I had to get confident illustrating and painting animals if I wanted to make a career in this cheetah niche of mine. Save myself and save the cheetahs!
If you would like to see some of my work head on over to my Shop or scroll through my Instagram. My Pinterest also has a fab selection of Boards with wonderful architecture and lots of vibrant colour.
I love hearing stories of how people have changed their lives for a purpose or just to stay sane…which is a pretty good purpose to me.
Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to chatting next week,