I've been working hard the last few months at overcoming my fears and following my dreams. So I'm running a series of interview with inspiring people to see what part fear has played in their life and how they've overcome it to live life their way...
This weeks interview is with Shona Cole
Hi Shona , tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Ireland. I moved to the US when I married an American in 1995 at the age of 23. Today we live in Texas on 5 acres and we have 5 children ages 10 down to 1. I am an Artist On Call for Stampington & Co. In March, 2010 my first book was published by North Light Books, it is entitled ‘The Artistic Mother – A Practical Guide For fitting Creativity into Your Life’. It is a mixed media ‘how to’ book and available at all major bookstores. I love to take photos of my world and my favorite colors are red, black and olive green.
Have you always been self employed? And if not how did you make the change?
No, before I became a mother I worked for a non-profit agency that ran shelters for the homeless. When I was 7 months pregnant with my first child I left work and have never been back to formal employment since. When my kids were a little older I started doing more and more art work and now I am an author, so I am essentially self employed. It took a number of years, lots of hard work and help from others to get to where I am today.
Is the life you lead now the life you've always dreamt of?
Honestly, no. I am a mother of 5 today, but I never even thought of having kids! I work at home, but I never even thought of being away from the work place. I am working in creativity and the arts – well I guess that is something I had always dreamed of doing, but not seriously. I am an author, it crossed my mind, but I couldn’t say it was a dream I had. To be honest I never really had many dreams. I kind of drifted through life reacting to what was before me. Today I am not like that, I have goals and things that I want to achieve.
When you have faced difficulties, what has been your inspiration to keep going?
Now I have my long and short term goals lists that help me through the dry spells. Not only that, I have the belief that it is better to do something than to not do it and the only way to progress is to work at it and practice. That mindset helps me keep on going no matter what.
Fear affects us all at some point. What part has fear played in your life and how have you overcome it?
Good question. My biggest fear has been that I will not be good enough, that my work won’t measure up. So that that doesn’t become a self fulfilling prophesy I work a little harder. I don’t ever give in. I may worry a little, but then get back to work and keep on creating or writing. Then any success that I do have helps me fold away any new fears. I look back and look forward and let experience help me through.
What advice would you offer on following your heart and living your dreams?
I would say create a goal, something that you would like to achieve in the next 5 years. Then look at what you can do every day, every week to move closer to that dream. If something is worth doing then it is going to take hard work and commitment over time. Keep the dream alive by regularly re-visiting your goals and reevaluating where you are on the path to achieving your goals.
In a nutshell -
Continually re-invent your self and your methods.
Be humble and accept criticism and direction from others.
What do you think are the three most important things you need to lead a happy and radiant life?
For me to lead a happy radiant life I need 1) my belief in God 2) time with & support from my family & creative friends 3) freedom and space in which to create.
Where can we connect with you?
I have a blog: www.shonastudio.blogspot.com. The main focus of my blog is Motherhood, mixed media art, photography and poetry. On Mondays I muse about being a mother, on Wednesdays is ‘Workshop Wednesday’ of ‘Wordless Wednesday’ and Friday is the day when I post short ideas on whatever topic I want to surrounding art.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org