“The infinite and unthinkable possibilities of what can be achieved when creative minds collaborate to bring a common vision to life and how it can impact positively on other people.”
Tell us something no one would know about you (until now).
You mean no-one on this earth? One of my favourite things to do as a child was to hold my breath and lie on the bottom of the pool in the quiet. I’m not sure why, but I think I loved to block out one of my senses to amp up the others. The shapes and colours of light reflecting around the pool and surface was mesmerising to me. My poor mum probably thought I had carked it though, on a number of occasions.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Patch Adams! I fell in love with the idea of helping people with humour, compassion and creativity. I think that story made me realise I’m a people person who doesn’t like to take life or myself too seriously. I always loved painting, sewing, drawing and dancing but it just didn’t occur to me that I could do creative work for a day job.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the small town of Rockhampton in central Queensland. It’s claim to fame is being the Beef Capital of Australia. The local joke was to pinch the balls from the bull statue on one of the main drags (roads – if you don’t speak Queenslander) in town.
Where do you live now?
In Brisvegas with my ginger ninja toddler Evie, two nut job Border Collies and my hubby Tim who is a big kid like me. I love that Brisbane is a big small town with a vibrant creative underbelly and a chilled out vibe.
Who/What inspires you?
As a textile print designer, I love working with independent Australian fashion designers – they’ve got guts, they make sacrifices, they push boundaries and they are relentless! They are so driven to go up against the big guys to express their unique creative vision… and I love playing my part to help them do just that. Who wouldn’t find that inspiring? It is so inherently Aussie – LOVE it!
In terms of getting in the zone to create, I am never short on inspiration. I am inspired by our Australian culture and environment, and any form of art or design (books, art, fashion, movies) that evokes a strong emotional response – you know, that feeling you get in the pit of your tummy?
How did your Side Project come about?
My day job as an Occupational Therapist involved a lot of creative problem solving with a bit of painting/play/singing thrown in the mix… but after about 5 years I was brave enough to listen to an inner voice that urged me to explore what else I had to offer the world. Whilst studying interior design part-time, I found my thing. I became fascinated with textile prints and the people, stories and history behind them.
What really sparked The Indigo Room was my experience with four years of IVF and pregnancy loss. It was during some of my darker moments I noticed how empowering it was to wear bright, bold prints – helping me to fake it ’til I made it. It became a way to tap into my inner strength BUT… these kinds of prints were so hard to come by.
The Indigo Room was born from a love of helping independent Australian designers to stand out in the crowd and my drive to empower and inspire women.
What stage is your Side Project in?
The Indigo Room has really gained momentum in the last 6 months. I’m currently a one-man band but hopefully not for long.
What’s your day job/what was your day job?
As a freelance textile print designer for The Indigo Room. Prior to having my little girl, I balanced The Indigo Room with part-time work as an Occupational Therapist in Queensland’s top paediatric hospitals.
How do you balance the nine-to-five with your Side Project?
I’ve learnt to be super efficient and focussed when working on The Indigo Room. I am also mastering the art of finding extra pockets of time in my day to nail tasks. Whilst I’m very driven, I do my very best to be a present mum and wife but, it’s a work in progress.
“The bigger I dream, the more doors open and the more naturally my creative work flows.”
When was the moment you thought, I might be onto something here?
When what I wanted to wear, was what I loved to make, other people tell me they love my work too and there isn’t anything else quite like it around.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
My creative brain is always open for business. If on the odd occasion I’m just not feeling it, it’s usually from burning the candle at both ends from too many nights designing into the early hours or multi-tasking. Remedy – yoga, busting a move in a dance class and time out from social media.
What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered and how did you overcome it?
Myself. The limits I set for myself without even realising it. Now that I know I can get in my own way, I work really hard at reframing my thinking. The bigger I dream, the more doors open and the more naturally my creative work flows.
What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given and who gave it to you?
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art” ~ Andy Warhol, well not personally. This spurs me on when I start over-thinking, which chews up my time.
How do you want to make your mark and what legacy will you leave behind?
I want my daughter to live in a world that celebrates diversity and difference. I have some big plans for 2017 to do my part to contribute – watch this space!
What’s the most challenging aspect of your Side Project and how do you overcome it?
I have a vision for The Indigo Room and want to make it all happen yesterday. I try to remember to “Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process” ~ Alexandra Stoppard.
Who are your top influences in your life, in terms of your career and helping you to focus on your Side Project?
My husband is so supportive and gets me. My closest mates tell me I’m awesome on the odd day I don’t feel that way. Also, my Ma and Pa – my Mum is incredibly creative. She dabbles in drawing, but I often wonder what she would be capable of if she followed her passion. My Dad has taught me about backing yourself, breaking the glass ceiling and re-inventing yourself (he made a big career change in his 50s).
How do you fund your Side Project?
To get started, my Occupational Therapy work and a husband who believes in me.
“When you look back on that windy yellow brick road, you may find that all of the pieces came together in just the right way.”
What is the most satisfying part of your Side Project?
The infinite and unthinkable possibilities of what can be achieved when creative minds collaborate to bring a common vision to life and how it can impact positively on other people.
Do you have other Side Projects?
Always. I do my best to weave my hobbies around my professional and personal life. I love sewing, keeping chickens and growing my own veggies. Although, it’s more like Jumanji than veggie patch at the moment!
What advice would you give to others who are thinking of ditching the day job for their Side Project?
Although it can be really frustrating when all you want to do is ditch the day job and real life (like a mortgage) gets in the way, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Play the long game. When you look back on that windy yellow brick road, you may find that all of the pieces came together in just the right way.
Does your Side Project make you more productive and happy in other areas of your life?
Absolutely! The Indigo Room fills up my happy cup. I am a happier wife, mother and friend – the best version of myself.
How can people find you and your Side Project?
In whatever way floats your boat!
Contact 0439 744 098 – I know it’s a digital world, but honestly, it would seriously make my day if you gave me a ring.