Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Kath Unsworth chatting about her passions and her emerging second act as an Illustrator/Artist/Writer.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Growing up in a mixed bunch of creative people was a great way to thrive. Nine siblings to be precise. My passion to draw started early. As a child I loved looking at nature. Most happiest when observing the birds, watching a spider spinning it’s web or following a butterfly in flight. I dreamed of being an artist and painting beautiful pictures to hang in galleries. I was a mad book-worm too and often imagined my own endings to books if I did not like the way the story ended.
For some reason I let my passions slip through my fingers when I became an adult.
My career crossed paths with creativity many times. Visual merchandiser, costume jewellery maker, graphic designer, being some of the more memorable experiences. But I never seemed to feel my feet lift off the ground. Or believe I could fly, like when I was a child creating art. My childhood dreams, lost in my attempts to live a busy city existence.
Life gets in the way of the creative journey and I would be lying if I said it didn’t. I did not realise I needed to change my career. It was by sheer accident I discovered a new world of art.
I fell in love, stopped work to have children. With children, came a need to write stories. All my passion for art came floating back to me.
Reading picture books to the children inspired ideas. Moving to a dairy farm the power of nature found me once more and I began to create art. Children can do funny things to a person and they inspire me every day to think outside the box. As does my husband.
Recently I sent my picture book manuscript off to an editor and the healthy dose of feedback, made me realise I still have much to learn. I’m okay with that, I am learning by doing. My first book Sugar and Spice has had its ups and downs because I am writing and illustrating it. It is not finished yet. Some say this is a big no, illustrating your own picture book in the publishing world. I believe in the beauty of my own dreams and I know what I want for this book.
I began dreaming about picture books and drawing new characters. Ideas pop into my head at any given hour. I have no education in this field and understand the road is not an easy one. I have decided to take on a few more courses to aid me in this craft.
My interest in the minuscule moments and living where I live, inspire a creative lifestyle. I will open an Etsy shop this year and start selling my art. I am thinking of offering pet portraits too. It has taken years for me to realize I am an Illustrator/Artist/Writer. My journey continues and I know I will never lose this passion to create. I am a student, all over again.
My advice for anyone wanting to follow their passion is start today. Listen to the voice inside you, it knows best. Get educated. I am learning new skills daily. I have found the road of creating a picture book is a long and challenging path. It will take me many years to get it right. Attaining new skills is rewarding in itself. Don’t rush it, even though it feels like you should. Don’t be afraid of feedback it is where you learn the most.
My art is my life, I go where it leads. To who knows where? All I know is I am learning to fly again, like a baby bird fresh from the nest. All I have to do is keep going, keep learning and never give up. Through all these crazy projects something will happen.
I will leave you with some wise and wonderful words from Dr. Seuss:
“If Things start happening.
Don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
Thank you Joanne for inviting me to your awesome inspiring site. It has been a pleasure to write about my emerging second act.
Kath lives down the far south coast of Australia on a dairy farm.
Kath, thanks for sharing your journey and insights. I love your artwork and look forward to the release of Sugar and Spice.
I love how you’re embracing the artist within you! So inspiration for all of us!
Luanne I appreciate the kind words and you reading this post. Have a great day.
This is beautiful, Kath! And it’s awesome that you have started sending out feelers about your work, and getting feedback. Sounds to me like you are just where you need to be right now.
Alarna it is because of this amazing blogging community that I might now be on the right track. Thank you for your encouraging comment. So glad we connected online.
Kath, great to hear your inner artistic being has surfaced and you’ve welcomed it to her daily world. You’re right…if you feel it, do it.
Thank you I am amazed at how long it took and yet as child I already knew it.
I believe in you Kath! I know that nobody could do Sugar & Spice the way you are and that is, without a doubt, how it is meant to be.
Thank you Joanne for introducing more people to Kath. She is one to watch! Léa
Lea, it is people like you who inspire people like me to keep going no matter how hard it gets and I feel blessed to have met you.
You are very kind Kath! Perhaps we can continue to inspire each other? 😉
Lea that is my mission to inspire and create good friendships online I treasure this world.
That’s an inspiring tale, Kath. I also find my family to be great for motivating me and my art, but life often gets in the way. Your determination to push ahead with your dreams is one we can all learn from.
Staci thank you, you are an inspiration to me and I thank you for taking the time to read my post. Family are right behind me in taking the revision course I feel very lucky.
Hi Kath. I know it’s so easy to say; ‘if she can, I can too’ But it rarely works that way. It takes extreme courage and determination. Yet again you reminded me NOT to give up. To never doubt I can fly.
Dr Seuss…today is your day. The mountain is waiting…so…get on your way.
Patricia thank you and I have no doubt about your writing talents. We will keep going and encourage each other to believe in the beauty of our own dreams.
Very inspiring Kath ~ I’m happy you’re putting your art out there! I’m happy we never stop learning 🙂
Lorna so happy you stopped by and thank you.
Loved reading more about your journey Kath and how you found your true creativity again.
Andrea thank you for stopping by I am amazed at the incredible encouragement people give and hope I can inspire others to keep going.
You’re happening, Kath! “With children, came the need to tell stories….” Oh, yes.
Susan, I agree. The journey is an amazing one. I never realised how much they can teach an adult.
I’m impressed the early publisher provided such helpful feedback. Usually, it’s simply a form letter. S/he must have seen merit.
Nine siblings! There are a lot of stories there.
Hi Jacqui I was very lucky and she was worried I might stop writing after such a strong critique, but I know I need to listen to the experts if I want to thrive and survive in this craft.
Ah, what an extraordinary journey you are on, Kath. People often say to not do something a certain way—until someone does it exactly that way. Listen to that inner voice and follow your art, for it will lead you to where you need to go. 🙂
Christina thank you I am on the rim and looking down into a great swirling funnel. The learning will see me through this ride and my belief that only I can illustrate my picture books. My art is closer to being where I want it than my writing. I hope with hard work I can level it out.
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Thank you I appreciate the share.
Glad you are doing what you love even if you took some detours.
Kate I guess thats what its all about, the detours are the real important learning curves. Thanks for stopping by.
I’m so happy your passions “floated back” Kath! You are so talented and your blog is a breath of fresh air. I love the Dr. Seuss quote!
Hi Jill I could live my life through Dr Seuss quotes, he is my hero.
Nine siblings – wow! I love that you imagined endings to the books you didn’t like the endings too; that is so lovely!
Letizia Thanks for stopping by I know how much you love books and I bet you have imagined different endings too?
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