What would you say if I told you that your parents aren’t always right? You know it, but do they?
Mine didn’t. I wasn’t permitted to argue about anything with my parents. That gets really confusing when you get to a stage in your life when you disagree with them about things. They encouraged my interest in art, but when it came to choosing a career, the idea that I would go to art school was just not entertained.
“Oh love, you have to be really talented to make it as an artist,” mum said softly as she turned off the garden hose.
I can still picture the late afternoon sun and the wet leaves of the plants. I know now that she said this to keep me safe. In her mind, artists ended up in the gutters with needles sticking out of their arms. I’d already put aside a plan to pursue acting and singing. I didn’t have the ‘look’ you need for acting, mum told my sister when she thought I couldn’t hear her. I sang at church and people responded positively, but when I left the church I wasn’t sure where to find singing opportunities.
So I decided to study Interior Architecture at university which I sucked at, and then I decided to become a teacher. I could have been a great teacher if life had played along.
I made my living from my art for more than 10 years. I’ll admit that talent plays a huge part in success in anything, but self-belief and tenacity are far more important than talent any day of the week! As the saying goes, hard work beats talent when talent won’t work.
I’m a big believer in the grand-plan. I refuse to believe that all this (she waves her arms around to indicate, well, everything) is random. So as I embark on this crazy plan to write and market the stories that are bubbling around in my head I still battle the voices that tell me I can’t do it.
I have to believe I can do it. There’s no room for self-doubt when we’re making our art.
It is possible my mum was wrong.