It's an interesting concept to explain who you are. We're multi-faceted, constantly changing. And even from moment to moment, we can show up as completely different versions of self, complex beings with many layers. So what we choose to share about ourselves depends on what we deem relevant to share with the person we're speaking with, or the audience we're communicating with. We share what we believe is meaningful, that which has shaped and impacted us, given us a sense of self, and paints a picture for those listening, or in this case reading.
I believe we're all born with traits and characteristics that largely do not change. These shape who we are and who we become. For me as a young girl, at pre-school, there was only two places I could be found. Playing dress-ups, or in the painting corner. I was also cheeky, inquisitive, and fiercely independent, absolutely determined to do things my way. In fact my mother has many stories of battling my strong-willed nature. And although I know my parents love me deeply, I know being this way, certainly didn't make their life easy.
Creativity has always been a driving force in my life. In fact I would say my creativity is an innate way of being, of thinking, of looking at the world. I have an appreciation and love for the finest details, and often notice things others don't. It's common for me to stop mid sentence to exclaim about something of beauty that's caught my attention. I'll give compliments freely and acknowledge what I find beautiful, because I know it brings a smile and can quite literally make someones day. I'm also meticulous about getting the perfect colour match and things always being in their right place, whether that's in my home, or designing events. In fact most recently I painted my bedroom drawers three times, because the colour wasn't quite right, but now I love the smoky blue-grey that perfectly matches my bed-linen. I absolutely have a perfectionist streak and a touch of OCD, which in my business I've had to learn when to stop. To know and accept that as my sister once said about me, even if I only achieve 80% of what I had imagined or wanted to create, it'll still exceed what people expect. And that comment has stuck with me, because we don't always see who we truly are, so having our truth reflected back to us from another, can be powerful. So for me, that was and still is, one of the best compliments I've ever been given. And one I often remind myself, especially if I'm getting too pedantic about how something should be!
So throughout school I studied art, and all sorts of other creative courses, and when I'd had enough of school, at 17, my parents would only allow me to leave if I had a job. So determined to move into the next phase of my life and experience life, I walked the streets, rang creative companies and found a job in a printing company. I was a receptionist and graphic designer, learning on a tiny size Apple Mac, the traditional way in the days of typesetting, painstakingly cutting and pasting copy onto a draft board, which metal plates were then created in a dark room. It was slow, but gave me a solid foundation in design and an understanding of the printing process. I was self-taught by learning on the job. And being a creative and a visual learner, being shown and hands-on is how I best learn. In fact written instructions have me lost before I start, and often frustrated! So I'll always be asking, 'Show me, just show me'
Years later I began painting (that's one of my works shown behind me in the photo above). This took me on a journey of self exploration, both helping me find myself, and build my belief in sharing my expression with the world. Selling my art through galleries and exhibitions worldwide, my works now hang in all corners of the world - something I envisioned at a Tony Robbins event. I found a love for abstract expressionism. The vibrancy of the colours. The impact of these paintings stopping you in your tracks by their sheer energy. And I was drawn to creating massive works. I painted with my canvases flat on the ground, working around all four sides. Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald or the likes, playing in the background. Always barefooted. I would allow the paint it's own movement as I shaped and worked with it. For me painting was about being in the flow and my works symbolic of the freedom of movement and expression of life itself. I couldn't paint if I tried or forced myself. Only if I trusted the process, let go and allowed myself freedom of movement. And the ultimate experience for me as an artist was living in New York City, the very epicentre of the contemporary art world. Living in Chelsea with a studio in Hoboken, exhibiting and selling my work in galleries, in the city that never sleeps.
Sharing my art with the world also had a deeper purpose for me, as I gave all my works titles that reflected where I was emotionally, or messages that had inspired or moved me, at the time. And I inscribed my thoughts and messages within the works themselves. Scrawling in barely legible script so the message was subtle and embedded deep into the works, as well as written on the back of the frame. It never failed to astound me, the numerous times I would speak with a buyer at an exhibition, about the work they were drawn to, to find the underlying message was perfect for them, and where they were in life. It often left people emotional. I loved the depth of these connections, that I made a difference, and to this day, still hope my works are inspiring and encouraging people, wherever they are seen and experienced.
I've been blessed to have lived and worked throughout Australia, London and New York City and travelled and experienced many other countries. I've often called myself a modern day gypsy, following my heart and dreams and wherever the Universe leads me! The last 6 years is the longest I've stayed put, living in one place back in my birth city of Christchurch.
I'd always had a love for creating celebrations and treating people, so in New York I studied event design under Preston Bailey, a renowned event designer. I also worked for a number of event companies that inspired me and shaped what I now offer at The Event Boutique. My Mother instilled in me making people feel special, and celebrating birthdays for an entire week was what she always, and still does, believe should be done! I also loved being in the garden, picking flowers and having these throughout the house. Growing up I wanted to be a florist, but had such dreadful hay-fever, I never thought that could be a reality. Yet after working alongside event florists, creating florals is something that the love of making such beauty, outweighs my allergies - and yes I still get terrible hay-fever, but I don't care!
This is just a snippet into my background, and some of the experiences that have bought me to where I am now. I love having the freedom to design my own life and that I get to do what I absolutely love, every day. That I can share my knowledge, creative vision and ideas, to help others, gives me the greatest satisfaction.
And when you do meet me, you may meet my pup, Hugo, an adorable white/apricot spoodle (photographed with me above) who is the biggest lover around. When I do take a break, I'll be out walking with him, or catching up with friends over coffee or champagne, talking about life, love and business.
So this is just a little insight into who I am.