2014 has proven to be quite a large year of growth, tough experiences, wild rollercoaster rides & shifts in the Universe. The Year of The Wooden Horse described as wild & best handled when decisions made with very little thought. It has been a tough year, not just for myself, but most that surround me.
For the Lilly Pilly name, this year has been a year of change, searching & discovery. Though-out the year of interstate travels doing corporate event photography for Architectural Information Services Australia (Equinox Events) & seeing more of the mother land that is Australia, I had been searching for a new style, a new purpose & direction to mould myself into. Whether it was art, photography, writing or modelling, a change was in the works (and, safe to say still is in the works).
I’m thankful for the experiences that AIS (also Shannan for the ongoing support) have provided me in the past year and a bit working with the staff and clients.
Juggling my main work as a waitress, finding myself as a person/an individual and other ordeals in the mix. Things had become difficult & I had started to struggle for some solid ground for quite some time during the year, leaving me with little time to be creative. Even though, art is one form of stress relief, I found very little motivation to tap into at times of stress & darkness.
I went through a large period of time of self-doubt, darkness & soul searching. It was tiring, stressful, scary, aggravating & soul drenching to go through, but I continued to the best of my abilities to fight through the smoke & learn from all that life has thrown at me this year. And, now I’m almost out in the light from the fog, I knew then and still know now, I’m thankful & grateful for the struggle I was faced with.
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t the only person faced with struggle & darkness, all my friends & family were facing it too. Some still are. And, at times I feel helpless because I can’t help them get out of their struggles, but I also know I can offer a hand in dealing with it. Through my experiences and own hardship, I can offer insight & advice. Let them know, no matter how hard the struggle or hardship, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is a reason why we have to deal with what life throw at us, it’s a life of learning & appreciation. Without darkness, where would the love & appreciation of our light come from? We will all live to tell the story of struggle, battle & triumph. It will bring us down but won’t destroy us!!!
Towards the end of my darkness, I could feel all stresses dropping off my shoulders, dramatically, one by one… and it felt so good! One night, a couple of weeks after, it was like the left hemisphere of my brain died & my right hemisphere exploded with life, colour & creativity. The stuff that I was producing at first may not have been my best, but it was something, it was a sign that my creative motivation was making a fast return back into my life. With much determination & hard work, a styles, new ideas/concepts, new creations, new motivations & inspirations were slightly visible on the artistic horizon. Now, they’re coming hard & fast. My next lesson now is to keep up!
In amongst the new discoveries & soul searching, the concept of Lilly Pilly has now changed. Lilly Pilly will no longer be known as a local photographer extraordinaire. But, the Lilly Pilly name/brand will now be known as an all-round artist of my own original work & creations. Working on projects & ideas that I hope to carry out in 2015, some involve custom designed products that might be used to further the exposure of Lilly Pilly.
One of the major changes in my life this year has not only been career path & view, but also a personal change of self-image. For many years I was going by names that are of different personalities, like Lucie, Lilly Pilly, Andrea, Isobel, Ladiebug… but none of them were me. So, rather than trying to run from my past & myself, I’ve decided to go back to my roots and use my real name Tjanatja (pronounced Tar-nay-ya). I’m still getting use to introducing & calling myself by my original birth name so it’s a work in progress. And, by using my original birth name I feel as though I’m stripping myself of all the personas I had, along with their shells, and have made myself raw to then experience life for what it actually is. It’s rebuilding the foundation from the ground up. I’m being ME and only me.
Moving out of home for the first time earlier this year has also been a big factor of my growing this year, as I leave the roof of my parents & easy living into the world of adulthood & responsibility. At first, it was quite intimidating & overwhelming the thought of huge responsibility & what would happen if I were to stuff up. Fortunately, I have great housemates who have supported me while I tried to find my feet on the ground & reassured me that everything will be ok. And, everything is ok!! And, it’s not as scary as I thought it would be.
Having housemates of similar creative interests has also been very helpful as we can all share ideas, help one another & be motivated/inspired by one another. Also, having housemates who are so involved in work within their communities & the Indigenous Community has given me more of an understanding & exposure of the Indigenous culture within our country (as most public schools will mostly teach the history of the British settlement and not much of the culture or history of the Indigenous community before the First Fleet had invaded their land).
I’m lucky to have the housemates that I do, and I’m thankful for everything they have done for me this year.
Most importantly, this year has been a defining year of what I will & won’t take from people, the shaping of my community/network/circle of friends and what I want to achieve in my life (still a work in progress ;) ). I’ve been working hard on myself & my health (mentally, physically & spiritually), and have been making large progress towards shaping myself as a being.
However, that doesn’t go without saying that none of this would have been possible without the support of my friends & those who have shared my journey with me, and have sent messages of support & love. I do extend my thank yous & love out to anyone who has been there for me at one point or another (whether you’re a close friend or not, this still applies to you). I extend my love & support to those who are or have been in my life at one point or another, and need the love for whatever journey or challenge you are going through.
In closing this review of 2014, I look forward to what is installed for us all in 2015 – The Year of the Wooden Sheep (correct me if I’m wrong)
Much Gratitude & Respect,
Tjanatja – Lilly Pilly