My shift towards living creatively - part 2

Author: Gabriella Tagliapietra   Date Posted:21 April 2019 

[Picking up the thread from previous posts]

During my time in Como I decided to undertake further studies. I did a screen printing course at Sydney Institute of TAFE because even though I had done screen printing at uni I wanted to become more proficient and also learn how to print yardage. I also started doing a ceramics course at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre at Gymea... and then in 2013 I started another course in Community Arts and Cultural Development.

I digress here to reference the Slow Your Home podcast again because of the cross-over in my journey with what Brooke and her guests speak about. In this instance it's that over time this mindfulness and awareness you gain by slowing down and simplfifying your life, when applied to your own life eventually starts spilling out into your relationships with people, your community and the world around you. It makes us better citizens, makes us want to be connected to community and makes us want to effect positive change.

I started doing this in one way when I was still living in Swansea Heads. Armchair activist as I may be I know my one voice when added to many can make significant impact, and I have witnessed this time and time again since I started actively participating in animal welfare and environmental campaigns around 2010. [This is an important part of my daily life. I am compelled to do what I can, what I have the capacity to do, to try and make the world a better place - to fight the good fight and keep those with less integrity accountable.]

Around this time I also found a Community Arts and Cultural Development network online, I think they were in SA. They ran distance education courses and I really wanted to get into it but it wasn't the right time and so I let it go. When I moved to Como I looked them up again only to see they had been de-funded, but fortunately they handed the course over to TAFE and so in 2014 I did the inaugural course through Sydney Institute of TAFE, though it was mostly delivered online.

One component of this course was undertaking a six month Internship. I gave this significant thought because I really wanted it to count. Whereas I had really wanted to go into gallery work after I finished uni I now realised it wasn't fine art I was interested in but craftsmanship. In researching craft organisations I found that Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre was the best fit, especially given the opportunity to assist with the inaugural Design Canberra Festival. I lined up the internship and instead of commuting I decided to rent a place in the ACT for a year while undertaking the internship to see what evolved. Five years later I was still living there.

When I first arrived in Canberra I was incredibly active with Pinch River again. It was great, I was doing markets galore and even had a pop-up shop for a week... and then again it stalled. This desire had been growing in me to want to work creatively with the community. It seemed so incredibly natural I just couldn't ignore it. I think being of European stock I had been raised with that whole community spirit, particularly coming from a large extended family. Although I hadn't labelled it, Placemaking came naturally to me. It took a while but I eventually got the creative job I had been looking for. Many creative people work in creative roles, this enables us to live more aligned with what we are about and was something I wanted since leaving uni. This journey in itself has been incredibly satisfying and rewarding and has led me to discover Asset Based Community Development and all these incredible initiatves going on all around the world that just continue to energise and inspire me. I could write a whole post just to tell you all about the great things that are going on.

However, working more hours for someone else ate into time I had to work on my own creative projects... but it was more other niggly things that got in the way. Nothing significant but distractors and consumers of my time nonetheless. Looking for a property to buy was certainly one of those things. It took way longer than anticipated because what I was looking for didn't exist. I eventually had to compromise but it's all good... and so, this led to my next move... to Cooma NSW. It's still pretty new as I've only been here a little over three months. I had lived in Jindabyne many, many years ago, so am not totally unfamiliar with the area.

During the five years in Canberra I absolutely fell in love with the region. The colours, the light. The country living with city benefits. Canberra is the best kept secret ever... it is brimming with arts and culture and great places to eat... all while offering an easy escape into natural environments. The Monaro region is spectacularly beautiful too and offers much in the way of artistic inspiration.

So why Cooma? Stay tuned for the next installment.

[Image by StockSnap from Pixabay]