Only some of you know that in a life before my consulting career, and even my reinvented self I had burgeoning artistic career.  Who would’ve guessed?

The journey of discovering my “inner artist” began innocently enough after I started dating an artist back when living in Darwin prior to moving to Canada.  

She was an accomplished artist with an extensive portfolio of work with strong recognition within the art community.

She invested an enormous amount of time perfecting her artistic talents including a Fine Arts degree from the University of Sydney and exhibiting her work.

The longer we dated the more I began dabbled… 

Just a little at first, but then the more I worked in the various mediums, the more I began enjoying my time using a side of me I hadn’t known had existed…  

I guess it was always there, somewhere deep within… lurking just waiting for the opportunity to get out I suppose. 🙂

Initially I spent a lot of time experimenting with silkscreens and developing paper stenciled multi-dimensional designs. I focused primarily on t-shirts which is where I found my most enjoyable outlet.  

Given that Darwin has a hot, tropical climate I wanted to create designs and art that was visible in everyday life, and yes it’s pretty cool to see someone actually wearing your work out in public.  

She was generous to a fault and showed me all aspects in the art of silk screening. I didn’t take me long and I was designing like crazy, seeing images and designs in everything I looked at.

Yes, that critical eye got a work out! 🙂

To monetize my efforts (yes, even then I knew how to capitalise on my creative talents…not to mention save for my year long adventure backpacking around the world). I sought out a vendor license for a local Sunday morning market. 

So with not a lot of experience but a whole lot of moxie I set up vendor stall each Sunday and began selling my t-shirts under the brand “Ric’s Australian Artwear”…

It’s a long story I’ll save for another day!

As you can imagine sales were up and down, some weeks I’d sell four or five t-shirts, other weeks up to 10, each for $20. 

Other weeks zero…it was an important lesson in not getting down on yourself. Creativity has no bounds!

The economics worked in my favour – the t-shirt and inks cost less than $2 per shirt. As for the cost of my time I always had a couple of shirts on the table at any given time so difficult to equate. 🙂

I think what I loved most was creating images that captured my interest and drew out my artistic passions, more than the money…  

After moving to Canada I continued, and began to expand and explore pencil drawing and the use of acrylic paints with both paper and canvas. I even tried my hand in jewellery for a short while. 

I had a number of exhibitions of my work in the early 90’s in around Toronto – nothing too fancy, but a couple of minor galleries and showings.  

Although it was great to exhibit my work, and sell a few pieces over the years, it wasn’t that aspect that kept me interested so much as it was the actual creative process.  

When I married and had Zach and Sam my creative side took a back seat, as it should. Over the years, other than driveway drawings and impromptu finger paints with Sam there were few creative outlets.

Fun times for sure!

After my marriage dissolved in 2012 I decided to reacquaint myself with my creative side. I went to my local art store and brought a canvas for the first time in more than a decade.

There began the slow process of familiarising myself with pastels, crayons and acrylics again…

From there a number of mixed media pieces flowed, more experimental than anything else. I loved getting back into the creative process more than anything else.

I brought my first serious camera back in 2013 and was hooked from the start.

The best part I realised was that I could travel the world capturing images and designs at will. I was no longer constrained to the more traditional forms of creativity.

Since then I’ve shot over 250,000 photos (I currently have eight multi-terabyte drives), as well as cloud back up. Yikes!

I don’t want to tell you how many camera’s and lens I have…

For my coffee table book that I published back in 2018 I had over 30,000 photos of Italy alone. The travesty was that I could only use 190 for the book. 🙂

The curation process took me five months to complete!

My creative journey has been interesting…a wide and varied pallet of media, spanning continents, over 40 years and counting.

I guess I only needed a gentle push to ignite my passion for imagery and design all those years ago.

Who knows; perhaps I’ll surprise you one of these days with an exhibition of my photography. 🙂

I think the best part is that Sam has inherited my creative talents and often find her painting or drawing… I love it!

Until next week