Self Portrait Photographic #Artist based in #Yorkshire, UK. Lover of swirling fabric and hair flips.
In 2010 I quit my city job as an Equities Broker and went to Art School. I'd never considered myself creative but I now make my living as a fine art photographer. Go figure.
I'm handing out free high fives plus a sympathetic ear to anyone with the guts to get out and try and make it as a solopreneur!
I'm a fine art photographer and I make my living selling prints, and products featuring my work.
My main series of work is called "Tales from the Moors Country" and it's a series of self portraits, inspired by folklore and fairy tales, mostly from the North Yorkshire Moors, where I'm based.
I was an Equities Broker for seven years. It was never the career for me but I was so often persuaded that I was so lucky just to be able to do it that I should stick with it whether I enjoyed it or not.
But in the end, I couldn't make this career fit with who I really am and I'm ashamed to say that, for a while, I altered who I was to fit the job rather than the other way around. The trouble was that I had no idea what else I could or should do. I had never considered myself creative and if you had suggested to me that I could become a full time artist I would probably have laughed in your face.
In 2010, I left my City job with very little idea about what I was going to do next. Luckily I'd been frugal and I had an escape fund saved so I was able to take some time off. In those few months I experimented with everything I loved doing. I trained as a yoga teacher, I took writing classes and, despite my fears, I went to Art School to study Photography.
When I let myself believe that this was possible for me, everything changed and i fell into a period of huge creative outpouring that was probably a response to years of having no creative output at all. It was one of the most powerful and profound experiences of my life and I'm still unpacking it two years later.
I'd been struggling in my life as a stockbroker for a few years but it really took me a lot to admit that I wasn't happy. I was only thirty years old but my body was starting to noticeably degenerate. I had chronic neck and shoulder problems and I was ill all the time. I didn't notice the passing of the seasons and a year would pass by so quickly.
One day I was sitting at my desk going through the upcoming events with my boss and he said to me "It'll be November before we know it."..... It was January.
In that moment I knew I didn't want to live like that any more and I had to get out. I didn't know what came next but I knew that, if ten months could pass in a flash, I wasn't going to have time to figure it out while I was in that job.
I had been living very frugally for a stockbroker for several years....I think somewhere underneath it all I knew I was going to have to get out and that I'd need some money to do that. So I'd been living in very cheap shared accommodation and saving every penny I could.
I'd also been working with a life coach. I'm a total convert to coaching now but, at the time, I was hugely sceptical. I can safely say that it was a fantastic investment in myself and, for the price of a nice holiday, I got lots of clarity on what was important to me and a starting point for where to start looking for my next move.
The Best: I do something I love every day. I make my own hours and I'm in control of my life. I work far harder than I did before but it doesn't really feel like work most of the time. No commuting is a bonus too.
The Worst: Just as the highs are higher, the lows are lower too. Nothing happens as fast as you'd like it to and there are moments of sheer terror when you have no idea where your next paycheck is coming from. But every moment of hard work feels like it's in service of building something that's all mine.
"Show up. Share your soul. Take the risks." This was from Seane Corn, a truly inspirational yoga teacher who has created an organisation that uses the power of yoga to effect social change. Just do it. Seriously.