I can’t remember the moment I grew up. I always assumed that I would. That there would be a specific day when I woke up to be hit by the knowledge that I was no longer a child. Perhaps the moment I realised that that was not the way it worked was the closest thing to the epiphany I expected. Time, like age or happiness, creeps up on us and takes us by the hand when we are not looking. The best we can do is grab hold of the important things and take them along with us. When I try to mentally map the line of progress from then to now, I see that it is not one drawn against the straight edge of a ruler, but that it meanders like a river round many bends and into many pools before it reaches its end.
As a child I was naturally drawn to nature. I could sit for hours in silent wonder, literally watching the flowers grow. Little did I know then that I was serving my apprenticeship for my future career. All artists have many inspirations and mine first came in that garden. My first designs were inspired by that cacophony of colour, so bright, so raw, so vibrant.
That is the thing I have carried with me through the years. If I can capture a tenth of that joy and wonder in my designs I will be very happy. I think that the most important thing to take from the bank of rose-tinted childhood memories, is inspiration to pursue your dreams. We all, to some extent, discover our passions in childhood. The lucky ones carry them through their entire lives. In this respect, perhaps the reason I can’t remember growing up is because I never really did. I’m a little older and I hope a little wiser, but deep down I am still that same little girl standing in awe at all the beauty in the world. I know I am blessed every single day that I can pass this onto my friends through my work. And I say ‘friends’ deliberately. Because to every person with whom I work I give a little of myself and hope that I share something of them in return.
My advice, to the small extent that I’m qualified to give it, is this; never give up. Whatever you brought with you as you glided down the river, never let it go. Let your passions from childhood nourish your whole life. The river is long and takes many detours before it reaches the sea. The trick is knowing when to swim against the tide and when to go with the flow. Because you never know what is around the next bend.