24 May 2017

Advert: Nib, Ink, Paper

I’ve always had this problem with reliving moments in my past. What could I have done better, what should I have said, what shouldn’t I have said. I was too loud, too quiet, too opinionated. With all this going on in my head I have been unable to live in the present and enjoy what is happening here and now. During the past year I have done a lot of self-reflection and thinking and realised that this overthinking is holding me back. How can I plan my future if I’m constantly re-reading the last chapter? How can get the balance my life needs?

I have two young children and as the cliché goes, their little lives are whizzing past me. One is about to enter Year 5 and Secondary school decisions and the other about to enter Year 1! I am a History teacher by profession and have always loved my job. However, with recent government changes and a massive increase in workload I have felt that it is ever encroaching on my time with my boys. Obviously I get the holidays off and time with the boys, but there is always something that needs doing work wise. I miss dropping them off at school, picking them up, seeing their assemblies etc. I have decided that I have whinged about this enough and need to find a way to make life more flexible.

Inspiration hit one Sunday morning. A calligrapher called Lucy Edmonds was being interviewed on Sunday Brunch and teaching Tim and Simon the skills they needed to start.  I used to do a lot of calligraphy as a child and thoroughly enjoyed it. It started me thinking, why could I not reteach myself? I googled the website mentioned on the show, searched Pintrest, found out about courses and got myself some equipment. My first pieces were understandably amateurish but I quickly remembered how to do the basic shapes and how much I loved it. I messed around with inks, papers and pens for the whole Easter holidays, posting bits on Instagram and getting some lovely comments. I decided that I needed to quit my job. I went into Manchester, signed up with a supply agency, walked into work on the Tuesday and gave two weeks’ notice!

Fast forward a few weeks, a name for my company was created ‘Nib, Ink, Paper’ with a focus on designing cards and prints that not only look beautiful but also give a positive message. I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life and had a severe bout of PND after my first son was born. It is only in the past year that I have felt able to talk about this and have spent time exploring myself, my thoughts and my actions. It has been an amazing journey of self-discovery. I’ve spoken to amazing people, read inspirational books and found a mum community on Instagram that has made me feel normal. My only wish is that I had spoken up sooner. I never want anyone to feel the pain and loneliness that I felt in those first few years after my first son was born. I realise though, that it is sometimes hard to spot the signs and sometimes hard to reach out to that friend who is suffering. I wanted to create a range of cards and prints that say to people ‘You are not alone,’ ‘I understand,’ and ‘You can do this.’

This was just under a month ago. I now have just over 200+ followers on Instagram (@nib_ink_paper), have attended my first networking event, have my first pieces of work commissioned and am working on digitising my images for printing. I’ve signed up for an Etsy shop and am working on opening it in June. And do you know what? I have not looked back once! 

Find more information on the blog here


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