Personal Creative Sustainability

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Usually I happily radiate creativity. Sending what I do out into the world to be bought, worn, critiqued, judged, loved and adored. I always liken doing trade events to lifting a trapdoor into my head and letting people peer inside.

The last year or so has been a distinct period of introspection. A time to look inwards and nurture my inner self. Letting ideas ebb and flow, still creating but with a distinct feeling of change in the air. It could me hitting the big 40, a major midway marker in life. A time to look back over what you’ve achieved, take stock and decide what’s fulfilled you most and what you want to achieve next. Without doubt, that’s The Rock Hound and my ever expanding modern family. Being a creative soul my work is my life and my life is my work. They are intrinsically intertwined. The creative energy I put into all my designs and bench-time isn’t a job, it’s about harnessing part of me, distilling it down and creating pieces which bring me joy. I feel blessed that they bring others joy too.

Often I feel like social media can be a bit stifling, like the notion when photographs were first made popular that they steal a bit of your soul, sometimes I feel social media can steal a bit of your creativity. Especially when it’s not just my brand that I’m promoting but on a personal level my creative soul. What I’ve come to realise is that in order to be fully transparent (a word we use regularly in the ethical jewellery industry) I need to be more willing to let people in. But then anyone who knows me, also knows I’m a perfectionist. Doing a quick post on the fly can leave me anxious. But life’s not perfect and I need to get over that especially when the juggle is about to get more intense with the arrival of our little boy in about 3 weeks time.

It’s not always easy, you see we’ve been here before last year. We were over the moon to be expecting a baby in 2018 and I thought I could just keep the same pace I usually keep. But at 8 weeks life hit a wall and it wasn’t to be that time round. Miscarriage is still such a taboo subject shrouded in silence because society has come up with a way of us sweeping this particular grief under the carpet. As if by advising parents-to-be that if they keep their pregnancy quiet until 12 weeks, if the worse happens no one else around them has to be affected by the sadness. But that model is outdated and to me social media just amplified it. Everyone projects such a polished and perfect life and I felt that pressure. Finding myself facing the worst on an important work trip far from home but not wanting to let the mask of perfection slip I literally posted a smiling picture of myself as my world was crumbling within. A moment which scarred my creative soul.

Unconsciously I found that I pulled back from being “social” creating a buffer whilst I put myself back together. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Our little family pulled together, healed and here we are a year later ready to welcome with open arms our little rainbow baby.

This time round I’ve listened to my body and those around me to slow down and I’ve taken time to nurture my creative soul by learning a new skill (I can’t wait to share my new passion for hand engraving). What I’ve learnt is that not only is pregnancy about harnessing a transcendental creative energy but the affect this period of reflection has had on me personally is like a fog has been lifted revealing a fresh vein of new designs and ideas which were bubbling away underneath. We talk about sustainability and safeguarding our natural resources for future generations so it is only fitting to define this as Personal Creative Sustainability. A vital part of the evolution of The Rock Hound and something which I will be conscious of in the future.

I feel like I’m about to emerge from my creative chrysalis, am ready to stretch my wings and can’t wait to share.

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