I’ve not posted in a while as I’ve been in a strange place lately. Struggling with anxiety and work life balance. I’ve realised that I’ve not been happy in a long time as I have only been focusing on my business for the past 5 years.
Things started to change, 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid and was told I’d be on pills for the rest of my life. It’s not one of the severest illnesses but it definitely had a major knock to my mental health, my energy levels, my confidence, my focus and concentration. I had been healthy all my life and I suddenly realised I’d been taking this for granted.
It made me rethink how I was living my life. My main focus was my business, I was addicted to working and felt guilty if I wasn’t working, but my body was finally telling me things had to STOP.
I started meditation, changed my diet and tried to see friends more often. It helped for a while but as my health improved I started plunging back into my business again, I had bills to pay.
It wasn’t until this year 2016, when I got engaged in April and turned 35 a few weeks later, that something clicked in my head. I had to live life, not live for my business. I realised that I was focusing too much on making money and selling rather than being an artist. I first started making jewellery as I had a passion for designing and experimenting with materials, as well as producing innovative work and bespoke pieces for individual clients. But the retail world had converted me into making commercial pieces and I was stuck in the rut of making what I knew would sell. I didn’t allow time to play anymore or experiment like an artist as I was stuck in my business.
There’s been many amazing things happening in Dundee since being voted as UNESCO city of design, including the regeneration of the waterfront and the start of the V&A construction. Dundee’s creative and cultural scene is booming and I want to be part of it. I decided to sign up to a CARVE your own wax ring class during the Dundee International Design Festival. It was so much fun and made me realise that it was time to be an artist again. I’m definitely going to produce a new series of rings. Here is what I made in the class, (excuse the white tack!) I will soon be setting stones into this piece and it’s the first ring I’ve made just for me. It’s also given me some new ideas on how to progress my 3d printed collection.
It’s came to my attention that I want to be around more people and not work on my own all the time. I enjoy taking on interns and have started renting benches(hot desking) in my studio. I’d like to collaborate with other creatives, especially from different disciplines. I have built up a lot of knowledge over the nearly 10 years of running my creative practice and I am eager to pass on the knowledge and help others by offering mentoring. When I graduated from art school in 2006 I had always wanted to go into teaching but I started my business and I didn’t go back into education. My kickstarter campaign pushed me to finally start my own jewellery classes and I absolutely love teaching and spreading skills.
I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel as I start to allow myself to become an artist again. I will surround myself with positive people, make time to play, participate in other creative classes which will encourage experimentation and expand my own knowledge. There’s still a lot to come from Genna Design as I reach my 10 year anniversary in October I will reflect on what I have achieved so far.
Watch this space for exciting things to come…