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Embracing Change: The Transformative Power of Saying 'Yes' in Art and Life

Have you ever stumbled upon a story that felt like it could be your own? A tale you relate to, regardless of your profession or background, a story of change, self-discovery, and the transformative power of saying 'yes.'

We all come to crossroads in our lives, uncertain about the next steps. Whether you're an artist seeking a new path or someone contemplating a major change, this is a narrative that speaks to the universal desire for growth and embracing the unknown.

Award-winning artwork of a cheetah cub with award banner attached
"Unwritten Destiny"

I'm part of a global art community and there has been a lot of recent conversation about pausing, saying no, taking time out to consider what next.

I totally get that. I needed to do that myself after 22 years on the corporate grind. I didn’t know who I would be without my Chief Financial Officer label. Without my big office. Without the teams of people working for me. But I’d somehow lost myself and lost the huge energy and enthusiasm I had for life and work.

Three and half years ago I decided to step away from my full time corporate career. If I’m honest, I didn’t know whether that would be on a permanent basis. Maybe I’d go back, bored after an extended break. Or maybe I’d end up with a little portfolio of Non-Executive Directorships. Kind of doing the same thing but differently. I did head down that second route in that first year.

But something else happened. Something so off the wall I never could have imagined it.

I fell in love with creating art. Somehow, the space I gave myself unlocked something inside me I didn’t know was there.

Smiling artist working in her studio, surrounded by vibrant artwork and art supplies

And so for those of you that have been doing a thing for many years, and are searching for something different, perhaps contemplating a pause or a slow down, I hear you. And I say listen to your inner voice.

But for those of you out there, like me, who are looking around, starry-eyed, wondering why on earth it’s taken you so long to find this tiny hidden track to the most beautiful place, I say go for it. Soak it all up. And understand the power of saying yes to encourage you to keep on walking down that track you’d never even noticed before.

I recently did my first ever in-person event. It was a demo for a local art society. It was the first step to me really putting myself out there as an artist.

And I absolutely loved it. Who knew all of that presenting at corporate conferences would ever be useful again?

But more importantly, the audience absolutely loved it! One established artist came up to me at the end and encouraged me to join the agency she’s in which finds gigs for artists. And a lovely lady came up to me to tell me that my description of the inspiration for my lion portrait transported her back to her time in Africa many years before.

And so I’m saying “yes” right now to encourage me to explore all of the opportunities down this little path I’d never even noticed. I haven’t felt so alive and inspired for years. I hope whatever stage you’re at, you can give yourself the time and space to find something equally beautiful.

Award-winning artwork of baby orangutan with award banner displayed
"Bad Hair Day"

And remember, when you stand at the crossroads of your own life, it's natural to have doubts and fears. The journey of embracing change and discovering your true calling may not be straightforward, but it's always worth it. The beauty of life often lies in the journey itself.

"It doesn't interest me

how old you are.

I want to know

if you will risk

looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive"

[The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer]

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