Between No Longer & Not Yet

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All of a sudden it’s mid-November, in a year which has been completely unexpected and entirely not envisaged. After the perfect summer of 2018 where endless days of blissful sunshine doubled as a metaphor for my life, i’m finding the autumnal transition into winter (more than) a little tricky.

This morning’s post contained a hand written note (my tribe are retro) from one of my loveliest Manhattan friends. It was crammed full of (much needed) life advice and golden nuggets of wisdom ending with the following sentence …

‘Remember darling, to enjoy the space between no longer and not yet’.

Eureka!

This sums up EXACTLY how i’m feeling right now. One phase has (seemingly) finished and the next hasn’t begun. I’m uncertain about what the coming days and months will bring but open minded, optimistic, enthusiastic and motivated.

I’m someone who whole heartedly believes in fate: events in life happen for a reason. When these happenings occur they are often seemingly so insignificant and subtle that their impact goes unnoticed. It’s not until sometime later that it all becomes clear and I begin to notice it’s all been for a reason. Time allows processing, it (mostly) all makes sense and more importantly it’s taught me things which  equip me for whatever is next. I subscribe to the mantra ‘what is mean for you will find you’.

A completely random chance encounter and real sliding doors moment in my life happened in spring. As always I didn’t give it a second thought and it wasn’t until a few weeks later that it led to an event which changed my world. This occasion spiralled into a series of wonderful experiences which I can see now have ultimately changed me for the better and enhanced my creative identity.

I was catapulted from my style bubble into the corporate city world. Think studio meets spreadsheets. I began socialising with people who had ‘proper jobs’ and were well outside the fashion sphere I happily orbit. During many conversations I became increasingly aware of how unusual and alternative my life is. I don’t have the traditional daily grind of a commute, of fixed hours, an expectant boss and the pressure to climb the dog-eat-dog career ladder. I don’t require a work-life balance because I have a work-life blend. I’ve unrestricted control of my time, I choose the illustration commissions I accept and determine my own studio schedule. Don’t get the wrong impression, i’m not wafting through life doing whatever I darn well like amidst fashion gloss and glamour (artists have bills too!) but I do have a genuine sense of independence, freedom and love for how I spend my days. It’s definitely a case of my life, my rules.

I suppose i’ve never noticed this before as i’ve not spent much time with people from the ‘other side’. Most of my social comrades work in design sharing a similar lifestyle. Meeting ’the others’ has made me re-appreciate my career choice and analyse why I do what I do.

Why am I a fashion illustrator?

Because i’m totally fascinated by people and obsessed with the idea of personal identity, journey and an individual’s story. This coupled with a passion for drawing and a constant desire to be surrounded by beautiful things results in fashion illustrations. I work to elevate everyday life so it’s got a sophisticated, stylish, elegant and aspirational twist

I’m lucky enough to meet and draw many interesting and inspiring models and people and i’m always striving to represent a little of ’them’ in the illustration. A moment, mood and memory of that day in their life. Each illustration is a lasting snapshot.

For a few months during the idyllic summer of 2018 my life looked pretty certain to be heading in a direction I could never have anticipated before the spring. And just as suddenly as life changed then, it changed again. C’est la vie!

Life once again proved my theory that the happiest of times come when you go with the flow so now just i’m holding on to the idea that the best beginnings start with an ending.

I’m taking the all experiences i’ve enjoyed and the lessons i’ve now learnt to re-focus my career ambitions and illustration goals. I’ve a heightened sense of appreciation for my life and there is a renewed energy to the studio, a fresh perspective and even more jore de vivre.

‘When we think of ‘meant to be’ we atomically assume forever. But maybe it isn’t supposed to last forever. Maybe it’s just someone who is in your life to teach you something. Maybe the forever is not the person, but what we gain from them.’

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