I have had lots of jobs, and a few careers. Most have been a very awkward unnatural fit and sometime downright traumatic, wedging myself into roles that were never going to suit me long term. Some I was miserable in, living in a constant state of unhealthy anxiety.
Much of my adult life has been spent trying to catchup after being a failed student. However, I never gave up, I kept working and trying to test out little ideas as I went to try to work out what else I could do. As I fought to catchup, I definitely had some wins.
I set up programs to help foster children, ran a small business delivering youth art workshops and painted murals (preceding the popularity of “street art”), paid my way through University as an adult and worked in the highly competitive advertising industry.
I’ve transitioned through several other career phases since leaving advertising, working with businesses on compliance and regulation issues, government grant programs and as a Salesforce trainer.
Throughout this time I kept searching for opportunities to try new careers out. I eventually came across this question “What problems do you want to solve?”. I can’t quite remember where I read it, but it stuck in my mind and became the question I decided to answer.
Now, after further study, I use my experience to inform ways to identify and manage careers. The problem I want to contribute towards solving is career mismatch and career mismanagement which has become a source of real unhappiness in contemporary society.
To begin working towards solving that problem I have started the Creative Career Counsellor. I am here to help young people searching for areas of focus and adults who are transitioning, like I did, from jobs done to survive, to work or a career with a focus and a future. I utilise a creative, strengths based approach to help activate your career ideas.
Based in Melbourne, I provided access to low cost career counselling on the weekends (online options available). I have a love of all things careers, ideas and art and run a shop where you can find things to help inspire and support career thinking, products to help celebrate ideas and creative thinking and sell my own artwork and will be stocking some art products and supplies.
To get help you get started, check out A Job to Love. This book helped me immensely and has been a book I’ve repeatedly bought for friends working through a career crisis.
There’s a huge variance in the way artists quote on mural projects so I’ve created a simple calculator to help give some guides as to price. This isn’t a formal quote, but will give you an ‘ballpark’ figure to budget around for you project.
The great thing about having learned my craft through ‘graffiti’ is that I’ve developed a strong work ethic, am comfortable trying new ideas and am not afraid to climb up onto a roof and get the job done, a very underrated skill for a contemporary artist (the downside to missing traditional academic study is talking about my personal work is difficult. I lack the vocabulary to engage in high-brow discussion with the ‘bow-tie’ crowd).
I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and work with some brilliant small business people like Grant and Jayne from Hidden Alley. They are about the friendliest people I’ve met in recent years and this is reflected in the sense of comfort at the bar. It’s just opposite the South Melbourne Markets, do your shopping and stop in for a beer or a coffee.
This is the largest (non-graffiti) painting I’ve completed to date. Painted on two large, light weight ply doors the piece is 2m high x 164cm wide.
Since my short period working in advertising I’m acutely aware of the tricks used to mislead people about body image and beauty. I started by painting a portrait, similar to what you may see in a full page ad in a fashion magazine, then destroyed it. The result is a sequence of textures and layers, not unattractive, but not a celebrated reflection of aspirational beauty.