Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life

Kerry Lyons – rediscovering the inner artist

October 15, 2023 Claire Waite Brown/Kerry Lyons Episode 85
Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life
Kerry Lyons – rediscovering the inner artist
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Navigating change and inspiring creativity.
Kerry Lyons shares her inspiring path, starting from her childhood love for art – influenced by her architect father – to overcoming societal expectations and enriching her everyday life through her artistic pursuits.
Kerry opens up about a transformative quarter-life crisis that saw her end a long-term relationship, sell her house, take a solo trip to the US and move to Dublin.
Her career in graphic design progressed through agencies and freelancing,  and Kerry  ventured into crowdfunding to release a purposeful planner that brought together her expertise in manufacturing, design and personal development.
It doesn't stop there. Kerry delves into her recent transition into creative coaching and pattern design. As she navigates her journey of self-discovery as a wallpaper and surface designer, creative coach and illustrator, we shed light on the importance of taking risks, learning from failures, and embracing change.
This episode is a treasure trove of insightful experiences for anyone seeking to reconnect with their creative side and live authentically.

If you found value in this episode and would like to show your appreciation, consider supporting the podcast through the Support the Show link, or by sending a boostagram , for example in the Fountain app.

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Researched, edited and produced by Claire Waite Brown
Music: Day Trips by Ketsa Undercover / Ketsa Creative Commons License Free Music Archive - Ketsa - Day Trips
Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.uk
Photo: Ella Pallet


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Speaker 1:

It was positioned as the thing that artists do if they want to get paid. And I definitely identified as an artist and I definitely wanted to get paid. I mean, I can talk about it quite candidly now, but it was a number of years where life was just so dark and so hard. I didn't know if I was going to come out this side of it. It was like crazy, crazy, crazy time. I had this realisation very slowly. I don't feel like I'm kind of creating anything anymore and that doesn't feel so good. Right now, life just feels like mine. It feels really, really mine.

Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm Claire, founder of Creativity Found, a community for creative learners and educators, connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them do so with workshops, courses, online events and kits. For this podcast, I chat with people who have found or re-found their creativity as adults. We'll explore their childhood experiences of the arts, discuss how they came to the artistic practices they now love and consider the barriers they may have experienced between the two. We'll also explore what it is that people value and gain from their new found artistic pursuits and how their creative lives enrich their practical, necessary everyday lives. For this episode, I'm speaking with Keri Lyons, who drew on walls as a child and has re-tapped into a creative passion doing the same thing, kind of.

Speaker 1:

Hi Keri, how are you? I'm really good. Thank you, really good, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Tell me about your current creative focus.

Speaker 1:

My current creative focus is illustration. All the tethers of illustration is my focus at the moment, and I have a wallpaper and cushion range that features my illustration work. But my focus is also building my commercial illustration work as well, in terms of collaborations with brands and things like that. As you may come to learn in this conversation, I like to have a few things going at the same time. I'm not necessarily let's just get me in one box and do one thing person, so, as I'm in my forties now, I'm really embracing that rather than fighting that. But essentially, when there's a pencil in my hand, be that a graphite one or an apple pencil, I'm happy out.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's when you're happiest with that in your hand. Oh, brilliant. Yeah, we are going to hear those. Quite a few movements around and things that you've tried in the past, which is fabulous. Tell me, though, about your childhood at school and at home. Was that creatively?

Speaker 1:

influenced? Oh yeah, definitely. I have quite a distinct memory, which may be mine or lived through the stories that have been told about me, but drawing on the wall was a regular habit of mine, much to my mother's chugger in but now we can see the funny side. But yeah, so essentially always had crayons, always making marks on surfaces that I could find appropriate or otherwise, and my dad was actually an architect as well, so that kind of creative pathway and environment was kind of part of me growing up. Anyway, I was always going to building sites with my dad and helping him do surveys and helping him like get bits together and seeing these buildings go from like mud to fully-floated houses, office buildings, all the things like that. So that bringing something from nothing has always been very normal for me.

Speaker 1:

But I think through that experience of having a dad who's in a creative profession, there was a whole another layer of.

Speaker 1:

Then there are shoes to fill right, that kind of, I would say, daddy issues. That sounds a bit there are pies, but there's definitely that sense of really wanting to make him proud with everything that I did and I think I think that could be quite a big part and reason of why I had taken the path that I have taken up until now, which has been a little squiggly, right, it's been a little squiggly from since then, but I think that grounding in the creative world definitely impacted my kind of protective mechanisms of like perfectionism and making sure I mean it has to be like dead right and making sure I make no mistakes, which, yeah, has really impacted my creative choices, life choices, professional choices as a result, and I think it's only because I've had years of therapy, years of my own personal development, that I can identify that and go, ah, that makes total sense now. So, always creating, always doodling, always scribbling, always muraling that's my childhood in a nutshell.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so maybe making decisions as you go forward are a bit more difficult than going with your impulse.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But other things that you're considering maybe make you doubt yourself. But tell me what happened at school? What happened? Did you go into further education? You didn't become an architect, for example. So what did you?

Speaker 1:

do? No, I didn't. One memory that stands out actually, and amongst what we're just talking on there was I did a drawing competition in primary school and was so like I think I did like a Garfield illustration and I can still draw him from memory now, but it's his Garfield illustration was like this has got to win, this is going to be the one. And I came like second. And so I think there's like all these little moments of like when you had really put your expectation on something really coming off and then feeling like you've just come that little bit below the expectation has become a bit of a pattern. But when I got into like the senior school age still always dueling on pencil cases, and I always had like a side business that didn't pay me any money, where people would be like queuing up to give me their pencil cases to doodle on, almost like this Keith Haring style. That hasn't actually left me. That was my aesthetic and people digged it, so that was always part of my senior school. And then, like 14, you can have that kind of careers day session where a complete stranger comes in and chats to you and basically decides what you should be doing with your life. Helps you at least, or think they're trying to help you. And I was introduced to the world of graphic design, it was like, oh, okay, this is like a new, a new realm that is alien to me. But it was positioned as the thing that artists do if they want to get paid. And I definitely identified as an artist and I definitely wanted to get paid. So that is the path I then took and I think, with this dogged determination that came from like that childhood of really wanting to like make a creative success for myself, to like prove myself, and go, dad, look what I did, I was like so tunnel visioned, laser, laser, focused on making that happen. Nothing was going to stop me. Every decision from there on in, from my GCSE choices, my A level choices, my degree choices, was like this has to be the strategic next step to get me to this end goal.

Speaker 1:

And it wasn't until, you know, looking around universities and things like that, that I saw that illustration was like an option. So I studied visual communication, like as a bachelor of arts and you could do it in like graphic design, you could do it in photography, time based media or illustration. It wasn't even like on my radar to think that I could actually do illustration. It sounded like so dreamy and so like if I could just spend the next three years drawing, that would just be like the most amazing thing. But this is what I've decided I'm doing and this is what artists do if they want to get paid. So this is what I'm going to do and I think at the time I wasn't really really processing it as that.

Speaker 1:

I didn't realise it was a real like sliding doors moment. It's only looking back I can see that it was. But I went down the path, continued on this graphic design path then, and I think it was like one of the very small few people who got a job in graphic design straight out of university as well. And yeah, then kind of set off on this adventure into design agency land, where your life is not your own. And yeah, there's a whole other, a whole other trajectory that then took me on from almost what felt like a drawing competition that didn't go the way I wanted to. It sent me on a different direction altogether. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's often we hear a lot on this show, these single pivotal moments that usually you do then look back on and realise, as you've said. I just want to go back to Garfield though you didn't tell me it was Garfield before, but I used to trace Garfield. I loved Garfield and I talked to one of my other guests recently fish, because he used to draw Smurfette and we were talking about drawing these characters. But Garfield was my absolute favourite back then when I was at school, but I didn't draw or I had to trace.

Speaker 1:

I could do it now. Actually, what if it's a little live, kind of live art challenge?

Speaker 2:

The life Garfield drawing Absolutely fabulous. You've said you've got this focus and you've got the education that you've focused on and you've got the work that you focused on, so then presumably everything's fine. That's what you wanted to do, so carry on, and we've got nothing else to talk about. Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Goodbye. Yes, I think, well up until like 25, right? So I'm a few years out of university. I wasn't just happy with like I've got my design career now and let's just kind of put it along and see how it goes. It was then I'm 22, but I want to be a senior designer. So I'm kind of like pushing myself forward for every single promotion opportunity and I was like I want to be like the best, the best, the best.

Speaker 1:

And so it was soon becoming clear on reflection that it was this like relentless mission of nothing is ever going to be good enough and I'm never going to feel good enough for the life that I'm in or what I have achieved. And so at this 25 point, I entered what can only be described as a full on quarter life crisis, where I had this well paying job, I had a 12 year relationship, I was in childhood sweetheart kind of relationship, we had a mortgage, had a nice car, had the holidays, and it was suddenly this moment of like this isn't making me in the least bit happy like what is going on, something has broken, and I mean I can talk about it quite candidly now, but it was a number of years where life was just so dark and so hard I didn't know if I was going to come out. This side of it was like crazy, crazy, crazy time. But through that and through therapy and through kind of like, we're trying to unpick where my diversion kind of went wrong or say went wrong. It was like I do believe that these paths are actually intentional. But it was this. It was this realization I'm actually not living my life. I'm living the life that I think my dad might have wanted for me and I'm living my life that I think that you know society wants for me or believes I should do. And it was just this is why it doesn't fit, because it's actually not mine. Then it was this realization of I need to quit my job, I need to sell my house, and it ended this relationship and that's basically what I did. I kind of just poured petrol over the whole thing and just torched it and then ran away to America Obviously next step for someone that's grown up in Birmingham in the UK.

Speaker 1:

But I ran away to the West Coast of America for this solo trip where I was on a kind of mini bus with like 14 strangers. It was all organized for 14 strangers. I didn't just like turn up and go, I'm getting on your bus. It was organized. It was like 14 solo travelers and this was about between two informants of selling my house and ending this like 12 year relationship. So then the first person who sits next to me on this bus says these carry, is it because we'd have this group where we met beforehand online and I was like, yeah, is it David? And then he's my now husband. So I had about eight weeks of being single. Then I got married. Anyway, that's by the by, but essentially, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So on this trip then it was just this period of time where it was every single decision was so led by my instincts and led by like I just need to please myself, and definitely like ruffled a lot of feathers of people that I know close, especially like my mom, who was just like why are you doing it? And I was just like I just live in my life. But, yeah, I think maybe we all need to kind of have those kind of awakening moments, but that's definitely what I needed, and it ended up bringing me to Ireland then. So then my husband that I met or my then didn't know him wasn't a guy from Dublin and I ended up moving to Dublin then within about six weeks, coming back from this trip and, yes, I then there for eight years. Just, you know, that's what everyone normal, normal person does.

Speaker 2:

It's all very brave, really actually brave, but also emotionally brave and mentally brave to a to realise and follow the fact that this isn't me and then actually do something about it. Let alone the actual physical bravery of going to America and going and then getting rid of the house and everything Cry-K is a lot for you to deal with and then to go and live in another foreign country yeah, so you didn't have any other ties there in Ireland. You started all over again with this chap.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I did, yeah, and it wasn't like that was like any part of any plan. I was literally just living, literally flying by the seat of my pants, just going week to week, and I think that's obviously what terrified my mom, because she's like you're on the rebound, kerry, you know like you need to be by yourself, you need to take it, and maybe I did, I don't know, but I basically kind of just follow my instincts of actually I'm just enjoying hanging out with this guy. I don't want to be in Birmingham at the moment. I don't want to be like in my old life. I want to do something new. And there was no ties there other than, you know, I'd met my someone that I was really getting on with and, because I'd quit my job before traveling, I had this freelance setup anyway where I was doing some like design work, which was a lot more tolerable when it was out of this agency kind of world.

Speaker 1:

But it became quite apparent after a few months that it was actually because I was really, really enjoying being in Dublin.

Speaker 1:

I was really enjoying how our relationship was going.

Speaker 1:

I then was like I think I probably need to get some kind of job somewhere, even if for a while to just find my own little circle and start to establish my own little kind of yeah, my own little circle, and that's what I did then.

Speaker 1:

So I went back into the kind of agency world and then I think, because Dublin's a bit like London in that it's like a capital city, where it just feels like there's more opportunities going on, like there's more bigger brands that are wanting to, you know, invest in things that are happening there, and so the level of work that I was doing was then like a lot more exciting than a lot of cool projects in Birmingham. But Dublin was like this other level of working with some really cool brands and just having the time of my life, basically. And so for about five years then I was quite happily working my tail off in agencies, having loads of good fun with my friends there, having loads of good fun with my partner and his friends, and then in like 2013, kind of we got married in that time as well, throw that one in we got married in that time.

Speaker 2:

That was quite good as well. That was quite nice.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we kind of did the whole like dressing thing Anyway. But then around 2013, then about five years in, it was this very slow kind of dawning of I'm starting to feel something itchy again, not like medical, but there was this like itch brewing. That's like actually this design agency world. It was great for what I needed it for, but I don't see myself going any further on this path. My ambition that I kind of started in that industry with was like, right down there I didn't feel like I wanted to be creative director, managing director, have my own agency do anything like that. And it was in that kind of time when I realized I need to go back into the freelance space so I have the physical time or the physical space to be able to really work out what is going on and what I need for my professional life, because everything else was working so great and so that's what I did. And it was because my role was so senior as, like an art director at the time, there wasn't room for me to really explore within that role or that's the belief that I told myself at the time and because I was used to kind of just going okay, I'm going to leave, I'm going to do my own thing. I've done that before and I knew I could do it again. So that started this whole new self employed journey which I have been on ever since.

Speaker 1:

So the last 10 years has been that journey of exploration. It's been a series of yeah, experiments all sorts, you know interior design diplomas, making cake toppers out of FIMO, line-o printing I was just playing, you know whilst also designing on the side to find what my thing really was. But I think really, when I had my daughter then in 2016, like three years into it, there was a real turning point of clarity. So what did really tickle my fancy for a good couple of years in that time was creating my own like greeting cards and gift wrap, and I had my own line of products and I was doing like trade shows and I was in some really cool retailers and just as I had felt full and pregnant, I was doing a trade show very nauseously and I was told that this particular department store would like love to stop my line and I was like, why am I not feeling really excited about this?

Speaker 1:

Because it was like that was almost like the goal all along, and so it was in that moment where it was like this isn't quite it, but I know I'm close. But it was this transition of because I was becoming a mother, anything that is taking me away from her needs to be of impact bigger than me. It was this real sense of purpose coming in that it was like it's not just enough for me to make nice things. There was this almost like this deeper calling of service in it as well. And then realizing the kind of real, the commercialization that is integral within like graphic design was a bit that felt that odds with me and it was this sense of like I really want to feel like I'm creating for good. And so in that please just interrupt, by the way I'm kind of like going on here.

Speaker 2:

I feel like I'm just. I'll just sit here, I don't need to do anything.

Speaker 1:

No, just like is she going to have to shut up? I'll just get going, yeah. And so in this, in this journey then I had a lot of experience in manufacturing at that point, a lot of experience in design at that point. I had a lot of knowledge of personal development at that point, not only because of my whole quarter life crisis journey, you know, nearly 10 years prior to that but also since I started working for myself. It's inevitable that it finds you right. You can't work for yourself really and not develop yourself personally. It's like a marriage of these two things that run together. And so I kind of combined all these things into something that I thought I don't want to be the manufacturer of all these, like skews and products that I had with my product line. I want to create something really meaningful, really impactful, that combines everything that I feel like I have to offer at this point in my life. But also, is it the kind of price point that someone can pack and ship it for me? Because I was like I don't want to be that person that's buying the packaging and working all weekend to get things shipped out.

Speaker 1:

And then it was this idea for this planner. I mean obsessive stationery since day dot, as many creatives are. But it was this realization of oh, I can make a planner. And so this is where my journey then took me. Where, doing these trade shows and kind of meeting with suppliers, I made some connections of where I could possibly get these made and like minimum order and all that kind of stuff, and so I decided to do a Kickstarter then to get these planners made. There's like a minimum of 1000, I think I needed to get made.

Speaker 1:

I didn't have much of a following online I probably had a few hundred followers at that time. I just thought this is just too important for me to not try, and so it was these little half an hour snippets of snippets of time that I had between me getting up at like 5 am in the morning, my daughter getting up at half five in the morning, so I could talk these little half an hours for like a whole year to get this campaign together and then launched it in the August of 2017, and it was like a 30 day campaign. That was like I mean, I don't know how to describe crowdfunding as a tool. It takes some level of craziness to do it. It was just it was one of the most like stamina filled stamina filled, exhausting, soul crushing, soul lifting experiences that I've ever had, where we were 21 days into this 30 day campaign and I'd only raised, I think, about 8,000 of this 17,000, I just thought I've got a week left. There is no freaking way I'm gonna get another 50% and a bit more to get this made.

Speaker 1:

And it was this moment of like this isn't the thing, this isn't gonna work, and kind of like giving up on myself. And then, because of this sense of like purpose impacts that felt so, so important to me then and still does now. It's not about you, kerry, take your ego out of this equation and find a way to get this made. And just this volcano kind of erupted of determination. And it was just insane In that last week I managed to get overfunded I think like 25% overfunded and raised like 21 grand in the end and absolutely bawled my eyes out for about four hours when we met that funding goal, because it kind of signified the start of something that really felt right, which was me creating something that is helping other people. And yeah, that's kind of then the start of chapter 21. I'll let you just pause in there, I'm gonna take a little sip.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's fine Again, it's very brave, and I've heard lots of people talking about Kickstarter and how difficult it is in a 30 day campaign. I mean it must be exhausting. Even if you're not physically doing something every day, it's up here mentally exhausting.

Speaker 1:

I was so driven by this sense of purpose and congruence it feels too right to be wrong, if you know what I mean. I had a whole new reserve of energy for it that it's quite hard to describe, but it was just the most rewarding, the most emotional, the most exhausting months, I think, of my life so far.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, well done. And then the fund doesn't stop there, presumably because you've got the funding for this planner. But you now have to make the planner and sell the planner and make a success of the planner. So you're kind of starting all over again with this. This is right for me, kerry, but is it? Are other people gonna like it? So how did that go with the actual manufacturing of the planner? And the rest of you know that time around then.

Speaker 1:

That was what was great about the actual campaign itself, because there was such a kind of momentum and energy around it. Because there were so many people rooting for it then or maybe rooting for me they were kind of like thinking I just wanna support her because she's, like you know, really trying so hard to get this done. There was a sense of pity purchases, you know, along the way. I'm not gonna be like naive about it, but yeah, there were essentially around like 400 people that had bought the planners, and anyone that bought a planner got to join a Facebook group, as Facebook groups were just starting back then and I saw this Facebook group as a lot of kind of community for supporting people and using it. So it's very much focused on helping people overcome their perfectionism, their fear of failure, and the production process was relatively smooth. I mean, there was a few lumps and bumps along the way, but that kind of 31st of August was when it wrapped, and then I wanted to try and get it out for the kind of Christmas market in the December and I think the shipment came in in like the beginning of November. So it did actually work out in the end, even though there were a few, like I said, a few hiccups, but, like you mentioned, it's actually not just that campaign, it's. Then this is a product I need to sell. The rest of it was then a more extended pressure cooker of. I've got this window of time to sell these products, but because I had this kind of community building and people kind of like asking questions and it was like me supporting them, then thinking, actually I'm really enjoying this direct connection with the people who have bought from me and are wanting to see the change that I have made and they're trying to do it for themselves. And so it was like this almost accidental transition, I guess, into coaching as well, alongside having this planner product, and then over the next 12 months I had another. I did have another annual planner that I did after that. So I had a 2018 planner and a 2019 planner, and then the 2019 planner was a little trickier to sell because there was less momentum, so I didn't necessarily need the volume that I had before, and so from then I thought I wanna make this like a 90 day planner, because that's how I worked anyway, like I worked in these 90 day focuses and it evolved into a new product that was still the planner still had the same kind of tools in, but it was something that people could buy for for the year or just kind of use their one and it's kind of dateless, so they're not wasting pages that they're not using. And that became the new version then that I ran for the next couple of years after that.

Speaker 1:

So the planet evolved in itself and then my business evolved alongside it, where I started to kind of coach people around that quarter life crisis season and I had kind of a signature online program, if you will, where I was kind of helping people really identify their thing was and what they wanted to move into. And then that evolved into people that wanted to start businesses and it just evolved into then. I became this like business coach over the course of four years and that kind of took me on a whole nother trajectory, because this business kind of grew to this like six figure practice. It was just growing more than I had expected it to and I had this realization very slowly I've just like I don't feel like I'm kind of creating anything anymore and that doesn't feel so good. And so we're kind of coming up to around like the end of 2021 now going to that kind of Christmas break. I mean, I did have like a podcast myself. I just have so much respect for you having a podcast.

Speaker 1:

I had a podcast for two years in that time that was very much focused on business coaching as well, and it was this, yeah, this realization of I had all these things happening but there was no creativity there.

Speaker 1:

I'd kind of gone a bit too far the other way and it was then thinking like how can I have this marriage of me creating and me fulfilling what I know is part of my purpose, which is that impact piece and really helping people become more of themselves?

Speaker 1:

And so then that Christmas was a real, I really contemplative time.

Speaker 1:

The first time ever I took two weeks off business working all together, because I knew I knew I needed to hear what was going on inside, and if anyone is ever in that space where they don't really know what their instincts are trying to say, I would really really strongly recommend stopping everything and just getting quiet with it and just pausing as much as you can so you can kind of hear. Because that's that's what I then needed to do. And it felt like a whole different level of change that time because I had this big community of people that were really relying on me and there was a whole new level of, I guess, pressure because people were watching. This time, you know, when I'd done it in the past it was very much a solo mission. Now it felt like it had really big consequences and really big yeah, it impacted other people quite a lot as well. So, yeah, that's kind of. I'll pause in there in case you want to say anything but that feels like another trajectory where, yeah, you had to take a breath.

Speaker 2:

It's like you had a responsibility for other people. So is this, when you start to pick up a pencil, your beloved pencil, that is now beloved physically with regards to maybe space or time or time to yourself in your life, how were you able to start drawing, or even think I want to draw and then start drawing? Or maybe it didn't quite happen that way?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I think those two weeks were so, so pivotal. I actually feel quite fondly about them now when I look back those two weeks that I gave myself, because it let my body do what it needed to do and find comfort in something that wasn't my normal comfort. So my normal comfort zone is to work, and so what I actually found happened in that time was that I just wanted to pick up the pen, my daughter's pens. I wanted to get out the coloring books and I was just starting to colour and I was like this feels amazing. I have missed this like so, so much, and I don't know how many pictures I coloured in in that break, but there was like a lot. That's all my body wanted to do.

Speaker 1:

My husband and husband had took our daughter out somewhere for an hour or so and I was just like lying on the sofa looking at the ceiling and then it was this almost an audible voice of creative coaching I'm going to draw. That was very clear, that from that January onwards I was going to move things around, to make drawing a part of my life again. But what about everything else? It's that marriage that I knew was really important and then that realization of the creative coaching is what I needed to do and what I need to move into, and that's what it was all for almost From that January. Then I called Time on my podcast. After two years I got that to like 30,000 downloads, which was beyond my wildest dreams of how many people would listen to what I would have to say my brummy voice, yeah. So then it was this process of then really sensitively trying to make this transition of I'm going to slow this business coaching down and dial my creative coaching up, whilst also then making sure I'm holding my pencil. And so in that window of time, I came across a surface designer called Bonnie Christine, who was she hosts like a program called Immersion, every February I think, or that kind of time, and that kind of came through at a time when I was finding it quite clunky, drawing again like I love doing it for fun, and I could like color in for days, but when it came to, actually okay.

Speaker 1:

So what do I want to use this for? Do I want it to be just a hobby? Do I want it to be something that is, you know, a business of some sort, and that context of like pattern design and being able to use illustrations for interiors. Being able to use illustrations for fabrics, for stationary, for all the things you can use pattern design for, was just like, oh okay, this is feeling really juicy. And so I invested in that program and I was studying that program alongside creative coaching, business coaching and trying to figure out how that was all going to work out.

Speaker 1:

And then from there I realized I want to do pattern design, I want to do wallpaper, I want to do fabrics, I want to do stationary, like all these things, and I want to do more. I want to be doing murals, I want to be doing brand collaborations. It was almost like I wanted to create this space where, like, I am the brand as the artist and that can be applied across all these touch points. That's been the journey that I've been on now over the last kind of 12 months, where I'm just starting now to kind of some wallpapers out there, some cushions are out there, some brand collaborations are coming together and it's just I'm starting to see that bare fruit now and that transition of blending out my business coaching and blending in my creative coaching is also bearing fruit as well now.

Speaker 1:

So it just feels, yeah, right now life just feels like mine. It feels really, really mine. Yeah, I can't explain how delicious that feels and it's not, obviously, that challenges, shiz happens and things are challenging just as much as they ever have been, but it's like the kind of challenge and the kind of tension and stretchiness that feels like the right kind. I'm working towards something that is actually really meaningful and mine and me, rather than something that's not mine and it's not for me. Does that make sense?

Speaker 2:

yeah, no, definitely I was. I was going to mention I was going to ask you a question about that, but I just want to nip back to the beginning of this interview this chapter yeah no, no, no, the very beginning of the whole book. Okay, perfect, and that's the drawing on the walls.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, wallpaper and drawing on the walls and wanting to do murals, yeah, I love it when my guests have nice neat circles, even though that's well, it's not quite a neat circle, but you know there's a little thing. So, going back to what you were just saying then so do you feel now that you because obviously you've done something really well, then you've got itchy feet, and then you've done something else really well and it hasn't for quite right, so do. And you're not going to be able to say you're going to be back on in 20 years and we'll have another chat. But do you think my game?

Speaker 2:

if you are you might settle in this one and then you won't want to come back. Do you think you've hit on a long lasting balance with your coaching and creating so you have enough to sustain your creative needs and your work needs? Do you feel, or is it still a bit hilly, piggly?

Speaker 1:

no, I, I really feel. I really feel like I have and I want this interview to be kind of like pulled open 20 years and go ha, you were wrong. Don't mind me proving wrong, being being proven wrong at all. But because I've lived through the transitions that I've lived through, there is really a different, more soulful, almost connected feeling with my right now than there ever has been before, and it may be the paramount pause. It may be my age been in my 40s, I don't know, but it's there's just this sense of.

Speaker 1:

I think this, this season of life, is about coming back to yourself and being as much of yourself as possible for the rest of your days, and because I feel like that is now my policy, that's like my mantra I don't see well, I'm looking forward to seeing what is more of myself. If that's the case because that's the only thing that can possibly happen from here is that there's something that's even more me, but it has to be down this vein. I have to be creating, I have to be coaching and supporting others. It doesn't feel like there's any gray area there for me now which feels like it may obviously kind of go in a a niche of one of the other, but but it feels right now and it feels, different from the other times.

Speaker 2:

you're talking about age, but I also think time in the world, like the way things have moved on and the way attitudes have moved on, For example, when you were told well, if you want to make money from art, you have to be a graphic designer, even though there was that illustration in there. But I think it's much easier for people to do more of what they want to do without thinking. You talked about societal pressure earlier without thinking.

Speaker 2:

Everybody's thinking I shouldn't be doing that. It's possibly still doubts, but I think that's made it easier for most people, if they're as brave like you are, to listen to themselves and try something new or different. So you mentioned about all the different things and the different ways that illustration can take you. What are you hoping for for the future? Have you thought about that?

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes, I have. Yes, I thought about it lots and lots. I mean what feel like really big benchmarks of goals for me are definitely murals, more murals. Give me walls, please.

Speaker 1:

Children's books also, which may be between myself and my partner, because my partner is actually an author kind of handy. He doesn't necessarily write kids books, though he writes psychological thrillers, so there's like a need to work on a blend of how to not terrify children. But, yeah, illustrating kids books is another one. And yeah, I just think just having a part of my income every month be through using a pencil is just the dream, not the dream. That's what's happening, that is what happens. That's my life, and just making sure that that remains. It's all I want. And do you know what I even do? More painting as well.

Speaker 1:

I feel I have some canvas works in my bones also. So, and that's what I think, when there is this like artist element to what you're doing, there is no like pigeonhole, right. It can just be expressed in all manner of ways, and that's exciting and energizing and inspiring for me that it can just be. It can just be anything I put my mind to. It could be a planner, it could be a canvas, it could be wallpaper, it could be a mural and the commonality that it has my stamp on it, it has my aesthetic, it has my expression on it in some way, and collaborate with brands as well. I'm not limiting at all, but definitely those are like the key. They're in my body of work when I pop my clogs Falshale.

Speaker 2:

It's absolutely wonderful. It's really enlightening and exciting, and we will have to meet again and see how things go along. How can people connect with you?

Speaker 1:

Yes, I have two Instagram accounts. That's where I mainly live. One is Kerryline's coach that is my coaching account, and the other is Kerryline's creative that's my illustration artist account. I did have an account that I've had for years that unfortunately got hacked in the last couple of months, so I've started again and even that feels good. You know, I think I'm just like this Madonna, start again, queen person who just thrives and like just give me the new beginning and I'll do something with it. And yeah, if you are an Instagram and you want to tune my about what I've checked about or whatever, come find me. I'm delighted.

Speaker 2:

Brilliant. That was an absolutely fabulous chat. Thank you so much, Kerry.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for having me. You're amazing, claire, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thanks so much for listening to Creativity Found. If your podcast app has the facility, please leave a rating and review to help other people find us. On Instagram and Facebook, follow Act Creativity Found podcast and on Pinterest, look for Act Creativity Found. And finally, don't forget to check out creativityfoundcouk, the website connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them tap into their creativity.

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