Thursday, February 22, 2007

crossroads.....

Hi, just a quick touch-bases post. I am STILL sick, despite finishing a course of antibiotics and cortisone. Much as I enjoyed the trip to Knysna, it was exhausting, so I have finally admitted defeat and gone to bed for a couple more days. Thanks for all the recent comments, and I’m sure I’ll be back soon.

So, just a bit of an update about where I have arrived in my life……….
Crossroads……….
One thing about being in bed is you have lots of time to think. I have known for a while that I have been approaching a crossroad in my life, but have cunningly avoided actually arriving there, by keeping busy so I didn’t have too much time to think!

Recently a whole series of circumstances have conspired to bring me to the point where I could not procrastinate any longer.

For some time now, I have been feeling that Interior Design has lost much of its appeal for me, and wondering if this is what I want to be spending the rest of my life doing.

It used to be such fun, and I was really passionate about it, but the business has changed over the years. There is now so much less “design” and so much more admin, hassle with suppliers, tight deadlines, difficult clients etc. Add to that competition from home-ware stores who stock stunning, up-to-the-minute stuff at prices we cannot begin to compete with, magazines all over the place full of the latest ideas, so that it is getting quite stressful keeping a few jumps ahead, and quite honestly, it has reached the point where the hassles far outweigh the creative inspiring bits!

At the same time, my art seems to be taking off, and my paintings are selling steadily. I am not making a fortune on them, but then I don’t with the interior design either, the overheads seem to gobble up all the rewards for the stress and hard work!

And so much of my time is spent sorting out hassles at work that I have less and less time and energy to put into the painting.

Because I am so “locked in” with offices, money tied up in samples, phone and fax lines, staff relying on salaries etc, I have felt trapped for a while now.

I think we also tend to define ourselves by what we do, and to suddenly turn away from the thing by which one has been defined for many years is scary, it leaves a vacuum! I will no longer be “interior designer” which is a label I wear with confidence, having established a good name in the industry over many years, but “artist”, which I am much less confident about. Even a look at my present blog profile reveals a lot! I guess I will have to change that too! Anyway, it has been a factor in the procrastination!

But I had some moments of clarity recently, and realised that it is crazy to waste the rest of my life hating what I am doing, because of the inertia of extricating myself from the structure I have created. So I made the decision to wind up the business, and concentrate on my painting full time. If any of my old favourite clients want work done, I will tackle the odd project on a freelance basis, as long as I have time to keep painting too.

It is amazing how, as soon as the decision is made, things start falling rapidly into place! I was asked to design the entrance and stage for an upcoming Homemakers Fair, which is a trade show that has events around the country, and in return, will receive a place on the stage to display and sell my art work.

And a local gallery, which is great about supporting local artists, has offered me a solo exhibition in May! So that just seemed like confirmation. The other confirmation came in the form of fabric that I had reserved, and the client had paid for, being stolen from the supplier! It is discontinued and there is no more available in the country, …. aaaaargggh! I was asked to consult with a 2 new clients, and for the first time ever, turned them down, and recommended someone else for the job. I then later heard that both are “very difficult customers”, so I heaved a great sigh of relief and felt I had made the right choice!

Karen is so organised, and has come up with good ways of wrapping things up, so we shall proceed on the new path and see how it goes! Only time will tell, but for now I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I am really excited as I venture on tiptoe into the new world of full time art!

And now for something completely different….
I can FINALLY show you the finished bathroom! After the basin was broken, it was a nightmare trying to get it all together with a replacement, and all plumbed in etc, and I finally only managed it on Monday. Just in time because my 88 year old father arrived on Tuesday for a month’s visit, and it would have been a bit tricky with just a hole in the wall where the basin was meant to be!

Here, to remind you, is how it was…
Ugly blank wall and pedestal basin at the end of the passage
…with yucky surface mounted pipes everywhere… and then the builder broke the basin...
And now, with new window and basin, and pipes removed to outside wall.

(ir) regular photos!
I am so behind with daily photos, but so ahead if you look at the average number of pictures I put in most posts, so let’s call it quits for now, and I’ll give you a couple from my files, to keep the wolf from the door until I am up and running again!

Looking out my front door, week 8, and the cooler weather after the heat-wave seems to have fooled the Maples in the park into thinking that autumn has arrived, the leaves are all brown and ready to fall! (Because we never have really cold winter weather, most of our autumn leaves do not go the stunning colours you get in colder climates, they just go a sort of dingy amber/brown colour!)

6 comments:

Shirley said...

Good on you, Suzi,I hope the change works out well for you - I'm sure it will.

CJ said...

I turn to your blog whenever I need a fix of "home" and I'm constantly amazed at the amount you accomplish every day. You are so creative and talented, the change of direction has to go well! We all know that old nugget, "success is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration"...well now your art will have all your perspiration;-)

RUTH said...

Great photos. Hope all your new plans go ok & really hope you feel well soon.

Libbys Blog said...

Sounds like youv'e made the right choice. Lots of luck!

Blue the Spa Girl said...

Glad the hot water and honey worked for you!
I like the new bathroom!
xo

Laura Albertyn said...

Hi Sue

Sounds good the change!!! Love the bathroom too!!

Love Laus