Mandy Nicholson shares with us why being creative and corporate doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive and why she’s championing hundreds of women to enjoy their craft and make it their business!
Mandy said; “First and foremost I’m an artist and creative and I’m loving introducing other women to the fact that they can follow their dreams and run their own creative enterprises at any age!
I live in Longhoughton, Northumberland and it’s a stunning part of the world. I’m inspired everyday!
I’d say I’ve always been creative but it was never really celebrated, and for many years I felt that more traditional careers were somehow better.
Then one day, a number of years ago, everything seemed to come tumbling down; I was involved in quite a serious car crash, my marriage of 13 years broke down, I lost my father and my son was diagnosed with autism. I just felt like my world was falling apart. This is when art… and the love of a wonderful new partner….became therapy for me.
My incredible husband Gary always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He passed away last year, and I will be forever grateful for his affirmation. He gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
Mandy Nicholson – Overcoming Adversity
I suppose you could say I’m on a bit of a mission these days! I want creative women to thrive. If it hadn’t been for Gary I’m not sure I would have been bold enough to pick up a paintbrush again, but he gave me that gift, and now I want to give other women the gift of self-belief.
Being creative is a glorious hobby but it can be so much more than that. Craft-based businesses have so much to offer the world.
I now run two businesses; Violet Aura Art and my Creative Genius consultancy. I teach women how to build their self-confidence and banish imposter syndrome and ‘comparisonitis’. It doesn’t matter how old we get, we still have to fight the feeling that somehow we don’t qualify. What a load of nonsense!
Once we start to break down those barriers we move into practical solutions from business modelling to monetising and marketing their creativity to writing and self-publishing.
I bought my dream home a couple of years ago. This might not mean anything to anyone but me, but it confirms that my natural gift for being creative has a place in this world and that’s so affirming. It’s exhausting being in a career, for any length of time, which doesn’t fit your natural talents. It’s like wearing a pair of ill-fitting shoes. If I can keep encouraging women to be true to who they are and make a living from it in the process, I’ll be really happy!
Pass The Art On
I think we have a responsibility to positively affect the next generations too. I hate that creativity is often only encouraged as a hobby, not as a career. Many parents don’t want their child to be a ‘starving artist’. That’s why I am fighting the cause for following your innate talent. Live up to your pure potential and learning to become a business owner. You don’t have to be either or. We should make it as easy as we can for the next generation to be both!
I spend my time these days painting for pleasure and coaching other women. And I’ve just started writing a series of children’s books based on, what I call, my son’s “superpower;” his autism. My own kids are actually illustrating the books.
I’d love to expand the business too. I’m currently partnering and investing in some exciting opportunities and properties that will allow me to run creative retreats; bringing people from all around the world to a stunningly beautiful place, re-connecting them with their creativity, teaching them skills, and digging deep into what is already within them.
This will all be dedicated to my beloved Gary. He took the lid off my creativity at a time when I had no confidence left and enabled me to follow my dreams.