Creativity, Illustrations

Follow your own star

Follow your own star
The illustration above is very pertinent right now as 4 weeks ago, I lost my job. There was no warning. I walked into work and was told that there was no more work in the pipeline. These things happen when you freelance. (I have been freelancing for the last 2 years, writing wellbeing books for a publishing company.)

Now, there are two ways to view this turn of events.

1) The Universe has just crapped on me from a great height.
2) The Universe has just answered my prayers.

I’m going with option 2. Here’s why:

I have been finding it harder and harder to juggle working in an office with blogging, writing my novel, writing picture books, and illustrating/selling t-shirts. My energy felt scattered. My brain was all over the place. I was trying to do too many things.

Feeling a tad desperate one day, I looked up at the sky and asked it/God/energy/the Universe for a sign. (I’m not sure what I believe in; I’m open to all possibilities.)

The very next day, I walked into work and lost my job. 

(Cheers Universe!)

But, as is often the way, this ‘bad’ moment turned out to be a major turning point – because since that day my creativity has soared. All the energy that was consumed by sitting in an office staring at a computer screen is now free to play.

Every day, I open my notebook, pick up my pen, and see what wants to come out. Sometimes it’s a sketch of some bees:

Bee illustration

Sometimes it’s a quirky little story:

Fish illustration

Other times, it’s something a tad more profound – like the ‘Follow your own star’ doodle which emerged yesterday morning.

So this is the plan:

I am going to take my own advice and follow my own star.

I am going to find myself a physical job which does not involve sitting on my arse in front of a screen all day (I’ve already had an interview for an exciting non-arse-based job).

In my spare time, I will do what my heart and soul want me to do – without worrying how the heck this will ever pay the bills. Right now, my heart wants to doodle and write stories. So doodling and writing is what I will do.

I always wanted to work in publishing. I did it for 2 years and I loved it. Now it’s time for something new…

4 thoughts on “Follow your own star”

  1. Hi Katherine, it’s been a while since I last contacted you- we met on the Animal Flow course last summer. When I read this blog post I felt I just HAD to comment!

    Firstly, sorry to hear about you losing your job with no warning. I learned a lot from your book, Oh Sugar!, and I’m sure it helped many other people too.

    Personally I’m an atheist and not a spiritual person, but I do believe in grey clouds having silver linings, so I think you are handling the ‘bad’ news in a very healthy way. Sometimes things in life are out of our control and unexpected changes happen, but sometimes good things can come out of those changes. I know this myself because many years ago, me having to leave the country for a few months because my abusive ex boyfriend was released from prison indirectly lead to me doing artwork for a famous athlete who has paid for me to travel to many exciting events, including the Sochi Olympics. Of course I’m not glad that bad things happened to me in the past, but I am happy that I was able to make the best of the situation I found myself in.

    I am also a person who believes that being mentally and physically healthy and happy is more important than how much money you are earning, as long as you have enough to get by. I have a family member who unfortunately measures her worth by her achievements and career and is constantly stressed. She earns a lot more than I do, but I would never want to swap lives with her! We only get one life and it’s sad how many people are unhappy when they don’t need to be as stressed as they are. Fortunately you and me have recognised this truth at a relatively young age!

    So I think you are definitely thinking the right way, and I wish you good luck, and will continue to follow your blog!

    By the way, the reason it’s been so long since I last wrote to you is because I still haven’t managed to cut down on my sugar intake as dramatically as I had hoped to do- I’d hoped to write to you once I had managed it. As you know, I am of a thin build (BMI of 19), train hard and have a fast metabolism, so when I cut down on sugar it’s difficult to get as many calories as I need. I also, admittedly, enjoy sweet treats in moderation! But I’m consuming MUCH less sugar now than I used to, feel better for it, and am very slowly continuing to reduce my intake.

    Roja Xx


    1. Hey Roja, great to hear from you! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I’m really sorry to hear about your ex but how amazing that this indirectly lead to art and travel. Every cloud definitely has a silver living :-) Like you, my aim is to earn enough money to be comfortable without being massively stressed/working every single hour/feeling driven to be a ‘success’ (my definition of success has drastically changed over the past 10 or so years)… I’m really pleased my book has helped you reduce your sugar intake. I remember you saying you found it hard to consume enough calories. Try swapping sugary foods for things like avocado, coconut and nuts etc. That should help. It sounds as if you are well on your way with this one though and small steps is the way to go :-) Keep me posted xx


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