My name is Helen Anderson and in 2011 I graduated with an honours degree in Interior Architecture, from Edinburgh Napier University. Since graduation, time seems to have flown by, however I have still managed to fit in many wondrous pursuits on the way to finding what I really want to do, where I want to be and ultimately how to achieve this!
Since finishing university I have come to realise a number of things. University is an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone. However, it can be hard to adjust back into to reality and the 'real world' after spending three or four years in what - on reflection - seems like a bubble. To suddenly be surrounded by the pressures of getting a good job, paying off student debts, finding somewhere to live can be a haunting experience, particularly so during these times of recession in the economy. Thankfully I have not been totally blind to these realties, as I have always worked in a restaurant or cafe since I was 13, which has given me a fair insight to the reality of working life! As they say: 'a waitress job sets you up for life!' However, after months of filling in application forms for jobs and internships, working in a cafe to pay the rent was only making me feel more lost. I soon realised that it was time to stop and focus on the creative things I love to do and work on expressing my creative skills and aim to ultimately make a living out of it! This is where self-motivation kicks in! I am enjoying the challenge of doing all this here in sunny Northern Ireland. I am very lucky to be surrounded by encouraging and inspirational people and to have amazingly foresighted parents! Having time now to reflect on the creative projects which I have completed over the years has opened opportunities to me to explore new ways of expressing my work and to build a portfolio which more accurately represents my creative outlook.
Since I moved back home in the summer, new opportunities have thankfully evolved, gaining experience is essential part of getting me on track!... I have been involved in local voluntary work with some local designer firms, which is giving me great insight. My dad being one of them! As he continues to give me a great understanding into how his architectural practice is run with some great experience gained on some of his design projects which I love getting involved in, and ultimately having an input of my ideas at different design stages.
I have always known through my studies what I was going to do next or where I wanted to study next, but after university, I entered uncharted territory, not knowing what to do or where to go next. I had to take a step back and allow myself time to take stock of my experiences and gather all that I have achieved. Over the past few months I have been focusing on my photography more than anything else. I have also taking time to return to painting and have even managed to squeeze in a couple of commissioned paintings for friends which has been great and I hope it continues! In the future, I hope to travel everywhere I can in the world, taking the opportunity to discover new places and people and also creatively documenting my travels!
I have also been spending time getting into this business of social networking. Although challenging at first, documenting my creative pursuits through online social networking sites has been a great way of collating my creative expressions, finding new ways to stand out from the crowd in a competitive creative world, which in a way has almost sign-posted the way forward for me, pointing me in useful directions and allowing me to connect with like-minded people. Building and updating my sites through research and documenting is something I hope to work on improving in the future…I know that it can open great opportunities that I want to explore!
There are so many different kinds of social and creative media networking sites out there, that for me it has been about trial and error and finding out what works best for me. Already it has been very rewarding for me, as it has given me a new outlook on the creative world and what is out there and importantly how I can get my 'stuff' out there. Sharing and connecting with other creatives really helps me to keep going and motivates me to improve what I do. I believe that if you keep doing what you love and continue to work hard then good things will come.
Thank you to Price for giving me this opportunity as your guest speaker on The Pursuits of Price! I met Price in the beautiful city of Edinburgh at university when she was on an exchange visit! I was doing final exams at the time so sadly I did not get to see her for very long but it has been great to make contact with her again through the powers of creative networking and realizing we have similar creative pursuits!
It would be great to hear from all you pursuers of pursuits out there! Any feedback or advice is also very welcome :)
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If you are interested in purchasing any of my work or would like a commission of any sort please do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you all!