Thanks for dropping by! If you didn’t catch last week’s post “Matters of Inspiration and Fear – Part 1” you can visit here. It has been so great to share the personal thoughts & stories of such amazing and creative ladies with you. It has also been really lovely for me – personally, to remind myself that fear is all soooo very normal, would you too agree?? Sharing stories is a great way to learn from each other’s journeys in a non-jelly and gorgeously positive way! Fear is such a huge part of creativity – of being an entrepreneur and a simple journey shared can remind us all of that!
The above artwork was commissioned specifically for this post by Lauren from See Interiors. It is especially for those of us who need our “notes to self” a little more on the frank side – love it Frank! Thankyou Lauren for spoiling us so – don’t forget you can download your own FREE PRINTABLE of this A4 print for your own home and please do share with us on Instagram as we would love to see it!
*Naturally, this print cannot be used for commercial use or gain and please also credit Lauren as the original artist if you would like to share it around. Thankyou x
Interior Designer. Maker. Lover of vintage/ mid century, fashion and photography. Intrigued by far off places, inspired by local design. You can follow Petrina on Instagram here.
- My favourite image… So a favourite image from my feed… that’s a tough one… my IG feed is really a bit of a visual diary for me so it’s hard for me to pick just one… but I think if I had to it would be the very first image I shared publicly (I had been on IG for quite some time privately… a bit scared at the beginning to share too much)… of a cushion I have that was made by My Bearded Pigeon that says “Let. Them. Stay. – Asylum Seekers Welcome Here”. I look back now and see it as a little clumsy… a little bit of me experimenting with filters and frames… but mostly a lot of heart. I have a soft spot for the issue of asylum seekers in Australia, and the terrible politics surrounding it… and even then my heart was firmly on my sleeve. That photo sat there with not a single like for almost two years… and I was OK with that because for me, like with all of my images they tell of the thoughts and hopes in my own mind and heart… and a subject I have shared my thoughts about many time since… one that I feel very strongly about… and have found so many others that feel the same way.
- Who am I most inspired by… I have to say I am inspired every day by so many wonderful, talented, kind, thoughtful people on IG. As a work-from-home interior designer/maker life can sometimes feel somewhat isolated… and what I found here was at any time of the day or night there was someone around to share with (I think I’m starting to answer the next one…). Many of these gorgeous people I now am grateful to call friends. One in particular that stands out is my lovely friend and creative genius Karina Sharpe! We met in this strange, alternate world of Instagram… at first I think it was her honesty that attracted me… I know that sounds strange as Instagram is a visual medium, but with Karina it rings true with everything she does… and then you start to discover the sheer genius of her beautiful mind through the amazing imagery she creates. As a creative with a practical Capricorn brain, I am attracted Karina’s somewhat technical approach to her art… I’m not sure if that makes any sense but I find Karina’s whimsical visual tales make so much sense to me… and then you layer that with her generosity of heart… not only as a friend but most recently a great teacher of her skills… and then you layer that with the fact that she is pursuing her creative dreams… super inspiring!
- How do I deal with my fear and how do I not let it affect my work/ consume my creativity?… How do I deal with my fear… I am a designer/ maker who has chosen to practice under my own name and there are many times when that can feel a little overwhelming… everyday I am putting myself out there… with nothing to hide behind… I don’t think there is a creative out there who doesn’t have those fears. And in some ways that is what keeps me going, the support of fabulous people around me. I have been in the industry for over 20 years (oh gosh did I say that out loud?) and have learnt over that time to trust my inner voice… and the voice of those around me. So when clients, peers, friends and family tell me they value something I’ve done… I trust them. My business is built on referrals… who am I to argue with that! I’m also not afraid to make mistakes… some of the best ideas come from them. And always, always be open to new ideas! Another thing I find that helps is to put life into perspective… we all have tough days, when things seem to overwhelm. For the past five years I have been volunteering with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne. When you hear first hand what these courageous people have been through, you start to let go of the small stuff in your own life.
- My favourite image… This is a six and half month pregnant me in front of the Power House Museum early this month (August)… I was getting my last hit of travel inspiration before I have to slow down a bit for bub. This is my fifth baby and so I am very realistic about my ability to get out and about as much as I want to once the wee cherub has arrived…- I was very inspired in Brisbane, by the sun, the food, the theatre, the galleries at Edwina Corlette and Black and Spiro, and just being away from my usual surroundings and routine!
- Who am I most inspired by?… I find this very hard to answer so here are my top five;
georgia_goring (for her gorgeous view of the world),
thekitchenmaid (always something yum to make on her feed/blog),
julie_gibbs (because I envy her broad travel and she is just lovely),
mirandaskoczek (a fellow artist with a beautiful Instagram feed)
kararosenlund (one of the reasons I became addicted to Instagram in the first place)
- How do I deal with my fear and how do I not let it affect my work/ consume my creativity?… I have experienced both success and failure in my years of painting. My biggest fear I guess would be the fear of failing, of not being able to sustain my painting as a long term thing, most of the time I am fine, but it does get me in a slump some days. The fear that I will have “wasted” my time and energy.
There are a couple of things I have learnt however, which really help me continue doing what I do. One is to be very clear in my own mind about what my definitions of success are, and to be careful not to measure myself or my work against that of other peoples. To remember that everyone has a unique journey to travel. Success for me therefore, has to include a well – balanced life for my family and myself, and so often my creative stuff has to play second fiddle to other priorities. The benefit to me though is that when I am feeling anxious or frustrated with my work, spending time with my children is a great way to restore balance and bring perspective back into my life.
Other things that help me manage negative thoughts are knowing that I work hard and to a high standard, and the rationale that one day that will pay off. Also I am careful not to compromise or change my work for others.
You have to love what you do more than you fear failure. I know this to be true because even after times of disappointment and rejection, I keep painting. It’s an addiction for me, and a passion. I will do it regardless of outcomes, even though I must admit I have had times when I consider getting a “real” job.
I often remind myself of how fortunate I am to have a life I love living. I am blessed with endless ideas, (if anything that can be a frustration in itself). I have a great studio in my house and a supportive husband and family. I have also had some wonderful artistic opportunities, like exhibiting in New York in 2013. With every success the bar raises and so do my expectations for myself and my art. It’s a long life though, and I am far from done. I am definitely the tortoise from the “Tortoise and Hare” fable. I have big future plans, and these help me keep grounded in the day to day ups and downs of being creative for a living. I blog about some of this stuff on my website, as I know I am certainly better at the balancing thing than I was when I first started painting 17 years ago. Here is a link to some posts related to this topic and I am always happy to get new subscribers! I did a podcast interview recently for the New Normal, where I talk about some of the things that work for me. I am adding to my family with this my lucky last, (fifth) baby, who arrives in early November.
- My favourite image… The one where I am holding a dotty Shibori scarf which I made at Joanna Fowles’ class at The School @theschoolinstagram, over a year ago. My husband took this picture while we were holidaying in Brazil and it holds such good memories. And I really do take that scarf everywhere! It is like an ‘amulet’ for me and it marks the time where after having my second baby, I decided to make a career transition from fashion design to pursue my dream of having a textile and wallpaper studio, which I called House of Six. www.houseofsix.myshopify.com . It has been a year since I created House of Six and I am really enjoying the creative process. My wallpapers are now represented by Emily Ziz Studio in Paddington, which is really amazing, and my textile collection is due soon.
- Who am I most inspired by… On Insta-land I think that Megan Morton is really awe-inspiring! She has an incredible understanding about image making and storytelling that is very heart-warming and captivating. She shares her creative world and wonderful stories (which can be very funny at times!) as a stylist on Instagram @megan_morton. Check out her feed and you will just fall in love, I also admire that she is such a big supporter of local artists, crafters and Australian designers. I really take my hat off to her. Ah, and she also created The School @theschoolinstagram which is an inspiring creative hub with crazy cool classes like Shibori, floral photography, waving and macrame. It is such a great initiative where old skills are made new again giving a kick start to many creative business, like mine.
- How do I deal with my fear and how do I not let it affect my work/ consume my creativity?… I think that fear can be a great obstacle in the creative process but at the same time we can use it for our own good if we welcome trial and error. Fear itself can stop our motivation and stop us from making progress, so the trick is to not let it ‘freeze’ you… to continue being experimental and to continue moving forward.
I find that it helps me when I keep my work and personal life balanced, it seems easier to make a clear decision and one side is there to support the other. Back at University I was so eager to focus on my studies that I really turned into a study-holic and creative fear always seemed to knock on my door in sink with what I call ‘brain-exhaustion’. So I have learned to balance life a bit more now, thank God! I think that failing to do anything is probably the worst decision of all and I also try to see failure as a stepping stone, part of the creative process. In order to make a decision sometimes I might make mistakes, and that is fine, as it might also lead me to discover new approaches and ideas.
I like the idea of imperfection; it feels a bit more ‘organic’. Working with hand painted designs I constantly run into unexpected results, which I have now learned to appreciate as unique and interesting. Expressing my creativity, either as a textile and wallpaper designer or as a mum, is an opportunity for me to experiment, learn and exchange and if I fear that, I can not enjoy the journey. I think that our creativity is like an in-built magic wand with which we express ourselves, so I find that when I stop making self-judgement, I also forget about fear and allow myself to embark in new experiences.
A huge thank you Leah, Deborah, Lauren, Petrina, Jasmine and Karina for being so open with your thoughts and inspirations – your answers were a beautiful read and we loved getting to know you all more!