Aside from sitting in front of my macbook checking emails and downloading fonts all day, as an artist and designer it’s always a thrill being asked to speak in front of an audience as part of your job. Last Monday I was honoured to be invited as the guest speaker for the opening night of the 2015 Southern Independent Schools Arts & Technology Exhibition. Just after the 2NE1 SS15 Collection had ended, Sharon, the executive secretary of SIS, called me and requested a speech that covered my road to year 12, as well as the success I’ve had after year 12. Reuniting with my 2012 Top Arts artwork behind me brought back memories of high school, it almost felt like yesterday but actually it was almost 5 years ago since I graduated year 12!
The final year of high school was when I promised myself I wanted to create the best artworks I’ve ever done because I knew if I didn’t work hard I wouldn’t be able to set myself up with the career I have today. I didn’t want to leave with just an ATAR score, I wanted to leave high school with a memory I could take with me forever, and that is exactly what my Top Arts artwork “Go Forth and Prosper” offers. I have a framed copy in my room but the original art piece was acquired by my high school, Nazareth College. Since then, the piece lead me to an interview on a radio show, an article in the local newspaper, recognition from Goldman Sachs and has made its way into people’s homes. Here’s one of them:
Public speaking was never really my forte because I used to be very shy and I thought I could get away with designing in my room forever, not ever finding the need to talk to anyone. My perception of that changed when I started freelancing in uni. I had to go out of my way to build my circle of online and real-life networks. It was almost like going out on multiple dates, I had to get the clients to like me, the more they liked me the better the relationship was. Communication with clients was so important in marketing me and my work, now talking to either one person or a group of people has become very natural to me and I love meeting new people all the time……cue more dates! This kind of confidence brought me to speaking to larger crowds. The last one I did was in front of uni students talking about my Oxfam Design For Change campaign.
Zart Art sponsored the SIS event and they gave me some unique supplies from Japan. I have no idea what this Aquash pen does but I seriously can’t wait to try it. ZIG Kurekate pens are my favorite and I mainly use them in my artworks.
Speaking to representatives and students of 16 schools last Monday hopefully inspired them to strive to be the best in their chosen profession. I’m glad I could inspire the parents too! I didn’t think the parents would compliment my speech or even take a photo with me afterwards.
“And my advice to parents, stay close to your children every step of the way because you are their biggest role models. If it wasn’t for my mom and dad, I wouldn’t know what hard work is.”