Follow your heart!

image of bird flying towards a heart

It is only with your heart one can see rightly, what is necessary is invisible to the eye.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Many women quite rightly will put their families first but when the timing is right, start taking steps along the path to the dreams you once had. It is only when we follow our hearts, will our souls be truly be happy.

This quote, is my favourite ever quote ­­– and one which, as an artist, I try to follow. Sometimes your style may change a bit as you develop your art. You may come across an artist whose work inspires you and they may have an influence on your work. But it is only when you truly listen to your heart and produce work that is from your soul that you generate truly original images and the real artist within you fully emerges. Remember you are unique!

It might look an easy life, painting pictures all day, but life as an artist is not easy. I have juggled painting with other jobs for many years, but slowly, slowly I feel I am achieving my dreams and becoming an artist in the community.

I believe that when you start following your heart, good things start to happen. For example: 

I had longed for a dog for many years. Amazingly my husband relented and we got Tilly our dog. Because I loved Tilly, I gave up my part-time job at Glenthorne High School and became fully self-employed to concentrate on my clubs and painting. Because I was working from home, I saw the message about sharing a studio and was able to answer it. If you follow your heart, you meet like-minded people and things fall into place (after a while)! I started sharing the studio of my dreams in February 2019 and now I am the sole occupier of Studio no 9 Oaks Park. My temple in the park!

There are of course times I have concerns (especially this year) and say to friends that if it is not meant to be, I expect pathways to be blocked but, I must admit, this year, projects keep popping up, commissions keep coming. So much so, I am really beginning to feel I am on the right path!

I am starting a very exciting project starting in April. I am working with Living Streets as an artist/designer in Mitcham. The project is to work with the community to design 3 road murals to make the area more aesthetically pleasing and safe so people are encouraged to walk more. This project, I believe, will put all the skills that I have learnt along the way to good use.

I am not advocating throwing caution to the wind as we all have bills to pay and responsibilities but if you are unhappy or have unfulfilled ambitions you would like to achieve, try following my tips below: 


Tips on how to achieve your dreams:

  • Listen to your heart (no-one elses)
  • Try to get a job or a career change that takes you in the right direction.  
  • Get a dog! I’m joking but I do suggest going for a daily walk. A lot of my thoughts are generated when I go out walking. Not into walking – build in some daily time to give yourself space to think.
  • Progress slowly. Put aside a dedicated small amount of time each week to work towards your dream. With time, you will see successes and feel  more confident to invest a little bit extra time and so on…..
  • Talk to your loved ones. If they love you, they will want you to be happy and will help and support you.
  • Connect with likeminded groups. This way, you are more likely to be in the right place at the right time to see opportunities.
  • Read some books on the subject. I can recommend ‘Creating the Impossible’ by Michael Neill. It is a guide to achieve your dreams in 90 days. 
  • Be prepared to work very hard
  • Be brave!

Jo Sharpe is passionate about art and believes that anyone can draw. She runs regular art classes and workshops for children and adults.  Furthermore, Jo also runs art parties for children and adults. You can find out more about her parties here.