Tag Archives: twistyrob

What does success look like to me?


OK, how come this is such a complex and challenging question for me?
The flippant me automatically responds “a bigger house in the country, overseas travel and money without stress. Seriously, what is so hard to answer that one?”
But even as these thoughts race across my mind I know that is not it. This is the ideal that has been sold to me by TV, movies and the media for years. It feels off the mark and not enough. Definitely not enough.
So, what does success look like to me?
It is a question that involves alot of introspection of what is my purpose, my goals and the image I hold of myself. So my flippant side gives up and goes off to have a coffee and indulge in Pinterest. Classic avoidance tactic.
But the question just keeps coming back and niggling at me. What if I am successful? What if I fail? Well, how will I know if I have succeeded or failed if I do not even have a real idea of what I am aiming for. So again I ask myself, what does success look like to me? Sorry flippant self, if you are not willing to add something productive to this think fest then you can just check yourself out for a while. And off she goes to timeout in the corner. OK, now seriously, I can work this out. I have a BA in Commerce, for years I worked with clients doing this, I have worked in public and private sector, as an employee and a contractor. So why is this so difficult to turn those years of experience back on myself? Simple, accountancy has been a great career but being an artist is a vocation. Art is my essence. My art is an opening into the real me. This time, it’s personal.
Time to go really tackle this question. I will be back to let you in on this unexpected journey….


Last Chance to get into my Facebook Page giveaway!!


Last chance to enter my Facebook Page giveaway!
Just follow this link to my page and follow the instructions by 9pm tonight Australian Eastern Day Light Saving Time.

Link to the Original facebook giveaway post

Confession of being overwhelmed with ideas


Confession Time: It is time for me to breathe and slow it down.
For the past few years I have used Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Life Workbook. It has been a great way to step back from daily life and refresh myself and refocus. I have always done it at my own pace and in an art journalling form. It has has been a very soulful and private journey for me.
This year doing her Amazing Biz Workbook one as well has sent me into a spin. Partly as I am doing the process twice but also the overlapping between personal goals and business goals has become confusing. When working as an accountant, I had a solid separation of private and business life. But now starting to fulfil my creative side through my new business those boundaries have become blurred.
I am also bouncing off everyone’s enthusiasm and ideas on the Amazing Biz Workbook group I am on, sending my head into a whirlwind at times. It is an amazing group with such an array women running their own business across the world. Truly a wealth of knowledge and ideas.
I woke up this morning realising I need to approach the Biz one in a creative way. Build it from my soul outwards. My professional training and experience as an accountant was kicking in and taking over. I have been trying to subconsciously squeeze my Biz into a shape it is not meant to be. Yes I need to use my business experience but not yet, not in a way that is sets up a confirming and constricting framework for my creative needs. I need to find a better balance for this to work and fulfil my dreams and not stifle the creative essence of my being.
So today I literally went back to the drawing board… And painted it! Now it is time to start my vision and planning!


G is for Goal… Adding onto my friend’s post about this.


G is for Goal….


Goal setting is always a struggle for me….. Big, airy ideas, a sudden dive in the deep end… sink, swim, gasp for air, flounder… That is the easy stuff. Taking a serious look at what I want to do, what my real goals, actually put it done and commit to them, now THAT is scary stuff!

But I am learning!

Give me tasks, projects, holidays, social skill groups for ASD kids, timetables of therapists, other people’s businesses, no problemo. I can plan, multi task, flowchart, schedule, review and reassess new directions with clarity and decisive objectives to within an inch of its life.

Trying to nail my own personal goals down, truly reflect on what makes my heart sing and set myself on a path to realise dreams I have avoided out of fear of utter failure, rejection or realising that I really don’t have a dream. Well that is a whole different ball park. I have spent decades drifting along, going with the flow, jumping into something without really planning on it, jumping right back out, never truly feeling satisfied in my career. I am not saying that I have hated all my jobs, I have had some great jobs, learnt so much, met wonderful people but never really felt that this is really me. Some fit for a while but still I feel the need to move on. A new challenge.

But life takes its own turns without asking permission. For the past 13 years I have had some really unexpected twists and turns as I bring up my two gorgeous kids who are both such amazing souls and both are on the Autism Spectrum. So I have had new challenges galore, new things to learn, therapies to implement, ever changing goals. My need to get things done for others was well and truly fulfilled, filled to over flowing in fact.

But now I am feeling the need reassess and maybe finally it is time for me. Time to commit to me. I am at a weird point in my life and I am finding myself in unfamiliar territory. I think it is time to chase my dreams. But first I need to realise what my dreams really look like, not someone else’s suggestions or idea of me. For the past few year’s I have worked through an amazing workbook/journal to help me with my personal life. Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Life Workbook (see link below) has really helped me through some tough bits in life but personal reflection and setting meaningful goals were just as challenging as what life was throwing in my path. Each year I learn alot about myself and I get what I need at the time but rarely push myself out of my comfort zone. That changed last year when I decided to do my Amazing Life Workbook as an art journal. Wow, things started to change. Art kept popping up as a key element. The idea of actually selling my art started to emerge and I actually felt comfortable about it. It started when a friend ‘encouraged me repeatedly’ to enter a painting into a charity art show she was co-ordinating. I totally baulked at this initially, I couldn’t see myself as a real artist, that my art was really something that may be liked by people outside my family… Hung somewhere other than on my Mum’s fridge door! But something stirred and I went with it. I ended up putting 4 pieces into the art show. When I went to the opening night, I was totally blown away that one of them had already sold. Seriously, I think I walked around the artshow grinning like the Cheshire Cat. When I went back at the end of the show to pick up the remaining ones I found another had been sold. A third one sold a few weeks later. I was totally gobsmacked. I started to think about this and how good it felt that other people actually valued my art enough to part with their hard earned cash for it. Thats about as far as it took it for a while. Then a rather sudden turn in health and I found myself thinking it was time for a career change. I started to think about my art.
So I started to think about how to approach this, what would I need to do…. I started to really think about this and got excited.

So this time, when I got my 2014 Amazing Life Workbook it also came with the Amazing Biz Workbook.
So to finally get to the point of this particularly long ramble, I am finally going to “commit to myself”, I have started to set myself some goals, REAL goals and start digging to see what my dreams really do look like. I know art is the foundation of these dreams and it is time for me to take a personal risk and create more art.

Seriously, the worse thing that can happen is that I end up with alot canvases and drawings around our home, right?

Cheers, I have got some goals to contemplate and my 2014 Amazing Life and Biz Workbooks to work on!

Leonie Dawson 2014 Amazing Life and Biz Workbooks and Calanders


Beginning my biggest “inkie” artwork.



Finally I have made time to start this new art project. It is going to be a challenge as it will be my biggest hand drawn “inkie” design (actually 3 interlinked designs) combined  with mixed media and vibrant colour on canvas.

I have to admit, though this is daunting, I am so damn excited to get started.  I have had ideas and images for this piece circulating in my head for a while and lately, it has ramped up so much it is like a hurricane.  I just hope that I can get those ideas out onto paper and it looks like what I want it to look like.  It is the feeling I really want to translate onto paper, the images will change I know and hopefully morph into something that projects the essence of what I want.

So here are a couple of pics of the prep design sketch.

My first arty giveaway on Facebook


I am excited that my art seems to be connecting to people out there. It has been a GIANT leap of faith for me to share outside of close family and friends so thanks everyone for your support.

I have so many ideas growing inside that I feel like I am going to burst. It has been along time since I felt so alive with ideas, I love it!

Art is such a personal experience for the creator and the viewer. As such, not all art is appealing to every person. But knowing that my art which gives me so much whilst I am creating, can also make someone else’s heart sing is real buzz and inspiration to do and share more.

So please pop on over and like my Facebook page, leave a comment in my “Giveaway’ post and share my page with your friends to be entered into my art giveaway when I reach 200 “likers”.

Cheers from your buzzy, rambling arty blogger Rob xxxx

Tears are so complicated


This original artwork of mine has just been listed for sale on my facebook page

Also, this design is available as cards or prints from my shop at Red Bubble
A small but growing selection of my work is also now available through Red Bubble so please pop on over and have a look!


Christmas Miracles


Today I feel extremely blessed.
I witnessed a ‘Christmas Miracle’. It bought me to tears.
I delivered a special painting today of the gorgeous Paddy to his Mum Sally-Anne O’Rourke.
Paddy is a wonderful kid who happens to have Autism. Paddy is still not big on using his words but his smile and eyes express everything.
When the kids and I arrived Paddy was out on the trampoline. When he came in, we showed him the painting and asked who is it. With a BIG beaming grin Paddy said ‘ME.’
Needless to say Sally and I got a tad emotional.
Love this kid.


Christmas ponderings


Christmas celebrations are something very close to my heart. I unashamedly love Christmas!
Christmas, for those of Christian faith, is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the one that was sent to us to save us from our sins. a pretty big awesome task for a baby!

But as our multi cultural society blends more and more, the idea that Christmas is now just a commercial farce is banded around the media, dinner tables and social media. It has got me thinking. Bought up as a very irregular church going Christian values child, I always understood the reason for Christmas. I knew the story and loved the idea that a fresh little baby was sent to fix our world. I loved being in the school choir singing my little heart out the more popular carols of my childhood years. It gave me joy. Watching Christmas Carols on TV on Christmas Eve was definitely a highlight. How cranky I got if I was sent to bed after the kids songs were over. Must go to sleep or Santa wont come I was told. Sent to bed but determined to stay awake, thinking of what surprises I would listen to Mum bustling in the kitchen and Dad was busy doing the gift wrapping in their bedroom. Finally drifting off to sleep to be up with the sun ready for the best day of the year. Each of us kids had a Santa Stocking which we were allowed to get into before the official gift giving around the tree. Little jars of boiled lollies, PJs, and a few toys and a book, usually an Annual of some sort. Then what I think was my parent’s favourite part of Christmas…. stretching out the time from waking until being ready to sit around the tree to finally open our presents. First Dad had to make Mum her coffee, then he would have his shower. Mum would come down and make us all eat breakfast. The torture of waiting continued. Mum would next dress the turkey. I am sure she used to drag this out longer the more we hopped around her begging her to hurry up. Then she had to have her shower, then do her hair… Each hair individually I swear! The essential makeup too. We would be in and out of her room telling she looked fine, that the tree didn’t care if her hair wasn’t done. Mum would just smile and continue doing what she was doing. In the mean time, Dad would be perched on his stool at the kitchen bench, sucking on his pipe and reading his book. Seriously, how could he be sitting there reading when there were presents to open! We were beside ourselves, twitching with excitement. The more we tried to hurry them, the more things that needed to be done.

FINALLY, Mum would come sit in the lounge room and stage 2 of the parent torture began. Dad would sit on this little cane stool in front of the tree and us kids would sit so close around…. Too close. Dad made us move back, then a bit further. By now we were bursting. To top it off, Dad would fish around for a present, read out the card and finally hand it out. YES!!! But we still had to wait. Wait for Dad to read the card, wait for him to hand out the present, wait for the present to opened, wait for the oooh & aaaahs what is it?, wait for Dad to be satisfied that the present had received sufficient attention then he would reach for the next one and we would go through the process again. It was exquisite torture and made the gift giving all the more special. Finally it would be over and we had to collect up the paper then we could start to play with our bounty.

Being in Australia, we would be outside playing, trying our new presents out. Beautiful weather, carefree and just fun.
I though Christmas truly was magical. I thought this is what happened the world over. I had no concept that there were kids who missed out on a gift, who would not be eating delicious food until they burst, sharing the day with their family. It never crossed my mind that this scene wasn’t played out across the world, across across Australia or even across the street.

But now I know better.

I still love Christmas, I go overboard with gifts for my kids and I definitely torture them by dragging out the whole process of getting to open the presents. I understand the pleasure of a parent watching their child squirm with excitement and anticipation to see what they got for Christmas.

But as an adult, I know that it is not like this for everyone and I choose to do more. I want my children to understand this and when adults they too will choose to do more. So very proud of both of them as they have chosen without prompting from me to help other children this Christmas in their own special ways. I think they actually get it!

I want other children to feel the joy of celebration, of opening a special gift and eating a special meal on Christmas Day. At first it was a few gifts under one of the Charity Christmas Trees, then I discovered community groups that not only collected presents but also food. Every year I find out about new Christmas givings near and far where people willingly give up there time time, skills as well as money to try spread joy to those who for what ever reason struggle this time of year… actually at any time of year. It saddens me that so many people are in need, so many close to home too. But seeing what others will do to help someone they don’t know have a better Christmas makes me believe in Christmas still. That as much as we get caught up in making sure we have found the perfects presents, perfect Christmas dress, perfect Christmas dinner, that many of our community also think of others not so fortunate and do amazing things to get gifts and food to as many people as they can… And mostly without any chance or desire of getting recognition for the efforts. They do it because they believe in being a community, that we all have something to offer if even an hour of time to wrap gifts or check on an elderly neighbour.

These are the reasons I love Christmas so much. Being able to share a special time with my family and seeing our community at work to support others in times of need.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of making it a perfect Christmas then go de-stress by helping to out fill Christmas hampers at your local community centre, offer deliver gifts to families in need, get your hands dirty and pitch in at a Toy Fundraising Drive, cook an extra meal or two and drop them into someone living alone this Christmas, drop your spare coins into the gift giving charity box. In giving to someone in need, you are also giving to yourself. Try it and see!

Phew, that was a long, rambling post. I hope you made it through.
Cheers Rob