Last year I went into the world of graphic design and this is the story of how it chewed me up and spat me out. From a young age of about thirteen or fourteen, I was primed to be a writer, writing was my passion and it looked like a life of running into a world of make believe every day for a living. Essentially putting on a mask, facing a computer and working from home for the rest of my life.
2016, it happened. I published my first book, aimed at children who were just learning to read. Reading as a young girl, was a favourite pastime and I had learnt to read from a very young age so I knew what made little ones want to read, rhythm, repetition and rhyme. I was drawing one afternoon and I drew a funny looking creature, half unicorn, half zebra and it strutted around the page in a way that it would be made out of thin steel. The Zebracorn was a hit, selling 200 copies but then I asked myself “what can I do now? What can I do to make people stop and look at me? What will shock people so much that they will stand and watch me ‘perform’.
I’ve watched many many performers during my time, and I know that one-trick-ponies don’t get as much attention as multi skilled artists. I decided to give graphic design a go. I’ve always fantasised entering the Sydney Royal Easter Show and wrote away to the committee for permission to use my iPad. I had six weeks to complete my showstopper masterpiece, the aim was to get people talking and get maximum exposure, fourteen days, thousands of people per day and then the possibility of media attention. It sounded like a recipe for getting what I wanted, but it turned out a pretty expensive adventure. Then I tried to sell my graphic designs on Etsy, let’s not go there.
I now know what I was born to do, but I learned the hard way. I was craving a glamorous career with graphic art on billboards, my artwork hanging in galleries and my face plastered over the newspapers of Australia. I wanted for me to speak and Australians to listen to everything I say. But I was cut out to be a writer, a storyteller and essentially, an artist of the written word. It’s not the glamorous life I put my life on hold to chase for a year, it’s a life that doesn’t matter what education I lack, I have basic literacy, a love of reading and imagination to burn.