Working as a creative has its challenges

Hello to you all, I hope you are getting through the extreme hot weather. It’s February and birthday time for two members of my family. I wish them both a very Happy Birthday – my sister Meredith and my granddaughter Mia, and as it happens they both share the same day!

At PIKE Jewellers so far this year, Matthew has already completed some beautiful new pieces and there are more on their way. Keep an eye out for them as Lou showcases them and their stories in the following newsletters.

In my January blog, I wrote about my early days of meeting Helen, and I had a lovely email from a dear friend and supportive client who agreed with me that Helen was ‘an incredible looking bird – stunning!’ Thanks Dianne for your kind words, I passed them on to Helen.

Speaking of the early days, not all my memories are happy ones. As for many young people, life is a huge learning curve full of glorious highs and awful lows. A lot of my memories in teenage years were of uncertainty and how I struggled as a young creative boy, not fitting the expected persona of the average Aussie male. School days were difficult due to my lack of sporting talent and feeling like I didn’t fit in, and sadly it was much the same during the years of my jewellery apprenticeship. I never felt particularly brave or clever and compliments were rare. And yet, somewhere in me I had a drive to be noticed, because I felt I had a talent that others didn’t have. It wasn’t easy and bullying was a big part of it. Intimidation was a topic I rarely spoke of due to the obvious repercussions so it was head down and try and ignore the bullies. The will to fight back was there, but I didn’t want to speak up and make the situation worse.

blog3In my workplace, anybody who didn’t fit in or dared to show that they were different was singled out as odd, weird or weak. The skills required to get on with my job were huge, particularly when I was constantly surrounded by those who were critical and undermining. It was even tougher when my employer did nothing to stop it. What is it that makes males in a group so brave and brutal? The cruelty that existed when there was safety in numbers was really a form of cowardice, and the pride I feel now in succeeding against all of that has fashioned me into the man I am today. And I am so glad that I stuck to my belief in my born talents. I am living proof that if you truly believe that you are talented and have something to share with others then you will get there, especially if you are fortunate enough to have the support of a loving family and partner. My mum, dad and sister were always there for me and now Helen and our children are my rock. They truly believe in me.

There are so many people who are experiencing and are concerned about bullying today. Often all that is required is the understanding and encouragement of another person who is able to talk it through and give them support. For the bullied person to have someone confide in them that they have been through similar pain allows them a chance to see things differently. I believe given the right tools you can learn to deal with it. I have spoken to some young people about this topic on a few occasions and I hope I have been of some comfort.

Having spent most of my business life in the public eye, it still amazes me the number of people who knew me when I was young and confide in me regarding their admiration for what I have achieved. It’s as if they were willing me to beat the odds and succeed. Overall, as one of my lovely 90 year old clients said to me the other day when I marvelled at her stamina ‘My two friends in life have been D and W.’ I was not quite sure if I was supposed to know who she was referring to, but she clarified it for me. Her eyes sparkled when she revealed her friends names, ‘Determination and Willpower’. We both laughed, but I know she meant every word.

The more I have spoken to friends and clients over the years I know I was certainly not alone in my experiences, but I am confident to say that I do believe the processes in place today are better for dealing with this topic. If sharing my story would help anybody in need, don’t hesitate to contact me through my work email, I would be happy to have a chat.

In the meantime I am continuing to design for clients as well as create the ‘dream’ pieces I love to sketch. Have a look at them here.

Until next time, love to you all, Nicholas.

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