BE YOURSELF, EVERYONE ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN
- Oscar Wild
I'm a proud plus size artist and creative coach. As my mum used to say I'm way too passionate for this world. Especially when it comes to art, my students, equal rights, fairness in the creative industry, self-love, veganism and minimalism.
Ok first of all. The about me section is always the hardest. This is probably my 101st attempt. If you see a different one next week don't judge me.
So that above there is my favorite quote in the universe. I love and nowadays I live it as much as I possibly can. But let's be brutally honest it did not really come naturally to me. Be yourself? What the hell does that actually mean?
And I mean I tried everything. I was the hippie child with dreadlocks. I was already rebel queen at heart and definitely in clothing (That scary moment you look at your 16-year-old self in the photo album is so real!). I was also what you would call a big girl. I was bullied in school and at home and had a hard time fitting in. So I went to standing out even more. I pursued art and music and hung out with a group of creatives. I was loud and passionate and simply unavoidable.
School went by and then something strange happened. - The big choice!
What will I be until the end of my living being career! What will I work in in the next 40 years?
I thoughts it was crystal - Art - oh but maybe not. Let's study Graphic Design just to be safe. I mean moneywise. I mean I don't want to end up on the street. Art is so hard. There is no way you can be an artist and make a living. Also as a graphic designer, you will never be rich but at least you manage. Wow, soooooo many limiting beliefs I had there.
So I rolled with this Graphic Design. I did my Diploma (old school I know) my Master in London (with distinction, yes I am still proud of that) and ended up in a bit of a more traditional branding agency where I got fired after two years. (Best thing that ever happened to me!)
Then I was like FREEDDDDDDDOOOOOM! Let's go self-employment. I did that on and off before so I gave it a go. (of course, constantly having a parttime job next to it) And it went OK for a while and somehow it started to get hard. I was tired of counting the money at the end of the month and I was tired of being treated badly. I was tired of constantly discussing my offers and dropping my prices. I was tired of being asked to work for free or little pay or my portfolio (that's still the best one). I was getting tired of free challenges and pitches and submissions. I was tired of all the work, tight schedules, sleepless nights and most of all I was simply tired of myself. I fell in a role of the nice women graphic designer who wasn't aligned with where she came from. I hated myself and my body for all it was and that needed to change.
Boom! It was time to do something new!
So I opened up a female-powered art gallery with a friend. (Of course, all of this while still having a part-time job and working self-employed) We did that for almost 4 years first only online and then in a pop-up store for two years! What an experience! I learned a lot at that time about myself, about growing a successful 6-figure business. Seeing and working alongside all of these amazing artists made me see all the struggles there are in the creative industry (and that we all have the same once) but also inspired me to do art again.
And I got hooked! I was like damn: Andrea that's it! What are you waiting for! With the experience of a creative eye and the knowledge of being a business owner and curator, you can totally rock this and finally be that artist you wanted to be!
And I did and still do! From that moment of decision on I started creating again and stopped everything else that was not serving me anymore. I quit my part-time job, I veeeeeery slowly quit my graphic jobs or said no to new opportunities and finally, we closed the gallery.
And there it was again: FREEEEDOOOMMMMM!!!!
But this time it felt different. It felt like something has lifted. This was real freedom. This was the real me. Especially after I figured out what I want to do art around body positivity and empowerment, which ultimately healed me from my body issues and made me love myself in all its glory. I knew I was on the right path.
This feeling was amazing. Liberating and beautiful and I needed to shout it out to the world. Artists and small business owners around me got curious so I started talking to them about this and how to reach this feeling.
Slowly I started structuring my gained wisdom and started teaching it to creatives all over the world.
So this is me in a text as short as I could possibly make it. If you want to know more about me then visit my Insta where I tell little stories about the topics I care about, me and my business every day.
See you around,