What do learning and creating have in common?
They are transformative acts!
A passionate and dedicated art teacher, who truly valued the arts and encouraged exploration, changed the course of my life. Instead of studying law I decided to study commercial art. I worked in the industry as a designer and illustrator, and finally became a teacher myself.
While teaching, I continued to do freelance illustration but observed my art becoming more-and-more tight and constrained, and noticed how I often worked with a feeling of anxiety. I was regressing and losing the initial joy I felt while creating that had steered me toward studying and pursuing art as a career. Why? What was happening? I realise that by chasing deadlines and meeting client’s expectations I had become fixated on the outcome! The pleasure of the exploratory process was being lost. When we focus solely on the outcome something (magical) is lost.
I have been an educator now for over 15 years (in South Africa and Asia) and noticed the exact same phenomenon I witnessed while working as an illustrator. It is all outcome based! It’s all about good grades and avoiding risk. Yet I’ve come to know that learning should fundamentally change you! It is a transformative process. If you play it safe, fear being stretched and produce what is expected, you are not evolving. You are not growing. You are not truly learning. Real learning sometimes involves crashing off the path and being entangled in weeds. Learning involves being brave and entering the desert where the only way out is through. Learning involves entering a new realm with a sense of curiosity and being open to what is revealed.
Trust and surrender
So the joy comes when you cast off the expectations and what you think you know, and surrender to the creative process. Surrender requires trust. Trust your intuition. Trust that you are inherently creative, that your essence is creative. And trust that you are spiritually connected to a powerful source that offers a never ending flow of inspiration.
Who am I and where do I fit in?
I struggled to assume an artist’s identity. Academic and creative, I could go either way. Growing up I had no direct exposure to real artists. Consequently, outside influences prescribed to me what an artist was. By their definition I seemed too normal! I thought artists were supposed to be weird, bohemian and tormented, living a life of devoted struggle. They were also insanely talented. How did I compare? Too normal. Too conservative. Too interested in health. Too average. Too… How would I make it as an artist?
So I bumped along in the world and within myself. At times exploring my other interests, at other times doing things I hated. Always wanting – needing – to be true to myself, but also needing to fit into the society that was familiar to me. Who was I really? What should I be doing? And where did I belong?
When through a serendipitous event I finally began teaching at an art college, it was like coming home. I had found my tribe!
We tend to compartmentalise our lives and the various aspects of ourselves.
It’s taken years of delving into the depths of my being, using various forms of body work and therapy, to begin to appreciate the different aspects of myself as being complementary.
I love metaphor because it allows us to paint pictures with words. And so I could perhaps best describe my life in terms of threads.
Five main threads are woven through my life – art, education, holistic health, spirituality and nature. Art gives my life meaning, education a sense of purpose, nature a feeling of belonging, spirituality enables connection, and holistic health allows me to achieve balance. These threads represent the structure of who I am. And each one is enabling me to experience the wholeness of myself.
A place of true belonging.
Nature plays a huge role in my life and I am always close to it. It is where I find solace, energy, inspiration and unconditional acceptance. I feel a freedom of being when I am anywhere in nature, be it the forest, mountains or ocean.
Tap into the knowledge of the body.
Over the years I qualified in and practiced numerous body therapies, and I now focus on reflexology and yoga. Yoga and spiritually based practices are what keep me rooted, balanced and connected to higher consciousness (the Divine / God). They are how I find my way back…and forward.
I take what I’ve experienced and learned through my personal transformation, and apply it to the courses I teach and the services I offer you.
- Master’s Degree in philosophy, specialising in Adult Education (MPhil AE.).
- National Diploma in Graphic Design.
- Registered Radiant Body Yoga (RBY) instructor.
- Certificates and training in several Body Therapies.
- 120 Hour TESOL Certificate (CTTTI).