As I sit here this morning at our home on Salt Spring Island I’m feeling grateful to be born in this part of the world. The eagle family fly by our windows which face the ocean overlooking the nearby islands. It’s very beautiful here and I feel fortunate to have nature all around me. They say starting each day with being grateful improves your well being. I know this has been a challenge for many this year and of course so many people have not been as fortunate as me... I get that.
What I am also most grateful for is my constant companion... my creative being. I was born with eyes that see things in my own unique way... an artists way perhaps, but here’s the thing: I think and believe that we all have an artistic eye and that for many creativity lives dormant in us till awakened!
Although I was always creative as a child and young person, for many years my days were not spend drawing, painting or playing with art. I worked as an Office Assistant, Executive Secretary and even a Dental Assistant before I branched out on the start of my creative working life. I did have a short stint at Art School in the Commercial Art Program. I was thinking ahead with ideas that if I was going to make a career of art, I had better think on how I was going to make money to support myself! Unfortunately, I didn’t use this education at the time as I married young and had to find work that helped support both myself and my husband who was finishing university. Eventually tho, I landed a position as a Visual Presentation Specialist at the “Bay” department store where we lived in Victoria, B.C. This was the start of my “thinking outside the box” and the beginning of my creative career!
I loved my job in Display, as it was referred to. Everyday was interesting and highly creative. I was assigned the front store window displays, cosmetic tower displays and ladies wear fashions. I had a work partner and the two of us worked well together. After a couple of years some new opportunities came my way. I was offered a part time job outside the store in a small local shop installing a window display each month. I soon realized it was much more lucrative working on your own although this did not come to fruition until several years later.
My 30’s were spend raising my daughter and I decided to start teaching art to children from my home art studio. I did this for 7 years and enjoyed this greatly! It gave me money to help our family and kept me busy creatively. I thought 5 days a week after school for 1.5 hours. It was perfect! Then more change. My husband and I divorced but I kept my art school for kids at my new home and also managed to pick up a window display job...
the seed previously planted now had room to grow! One window display job became 2 then 5 the I landed a large menswear/ladies wear shop with 3 stores and 16 windows in all plus multiple in store displays! Within a year I had 30 to 40 windows which all came my way by word or mouth. The business flourished as I built backdrops and props in the evenings. Life got so busy that is was soon more lucrative to give up my teaching and concentrate full time on my display business. My fabulous career in window display kept me busy for close to 30 years. I was so fortunate to have done so well and also to have loved my job. It really didn’t feel like work but mostly like play! In reality I realize that yes... it was a lot of work and it taught me many skills. I became highly organized. A strong asset! With so many shops I was able to reuse my props which meant less time making new pieces.
Life was good and very full but all things change and as I grew older, I felt the need to move on to the next phase in my life: retirement! Whatever that means! To me it has really just meant a shuffle from less physical work to work at a gentler pace....my own pace and not so many deadlines.
So here I sit, drinking my tea this morning and wondering what project I will begin today. I am taking an on line course at the moment. This is my second one this pandemic year. It has helped to keep me busy and sane I’m sure! Although my partner is not so sure about the sane part! This has been such a hard year for so many but I know we will get through it... we will define have new thoughts because of it but we must embrace change because it is forever constant.
Take good care!