I am a woman, I am an artist, I am alive

Family illustrations, Uncategorized

Sunday 8th March is International Women’s Day, and on this occasion, I want to share my story and what it means for me to be a woman who takes a huge leap of faith into a new life.

The last couple of years have been pretty incredible – after years of using my creativity in a series of ‘normal’ jobs, I started drawing again following a 20 years hiatus, pushed first by wanting to entertain my kids, but quickly because people liked my stuff and asked for their own artwork. This is nothing I could have expected.

Like many other women, I always assumed that having met my beloved, had my kids, found a career and hit 40 – life had given me everything I could expect, and in some way, it was game over and all I had ahead of me was more of the same.

And then this crazy thing happened, people wanting commissions, an exhibition in Belgium, Pinterest going through the roof (almost 250k followers at the time of writing) and more creative ideas than I could handle. It soon became very clear that 40 was DEFINITELY not the end of life. It was a new beginning, a time when I just didn’t have to question who I am, if I’m good enough, and should I dare to dream about a different life.

This month, I did it. I made the big switch. I have ditched the permanent office job, left prospects of a ‘brilliant career’, said goodbye to wonderful colleagues who have been my close friends for years. Why?

Because, life. I have two wonderful kids. I have a wonderful man. And I have a mind bursting so full of ideas, that it couldn’t be contained anymore. So this is it, I choose life, I choose to spend time with my loved ones, be there for them, for school runs and school trips, homework and heartaches, cuddles and kisses, bake sales, park trips, laundry baskets and dirty socks, house-keeping, home-making, staying home when daddy travels for work, and all. I put myself at the heart of every little story that makes every day so intense, sometimes tough and yet magical.

But I also choose life because this is me working for me, allowing my creativity to work for myself, using everything I have learned about business, marketing, social media, team work, networking and making it happen for my own benefit.

Most of all I trust my deep belief that each and everyone of us has something so unique, so worth noticing, that it’s worth taking the time to celebrate it.  And so Karuski’s little shop of colours is officially open!

From now on, I will dedicate my time to document what makes people and families special, be it through family trees, portraits, cake toppers or more, and hopefully be lucky enough  to partake in many happy moments, the big birthdays, weddings, birth announcements, all the things that are significant to us as people.

It’s a win-win situation – I get to spend time with my family and I get to do what I love best. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, there is a huge journey ahead to truly become the artist I can be, the business woman I have in me, and ultimately, fulfil all the promise that there is in being this woman, this human being.

But we only have one journey, and there is NO WAY that, as a parent, I won’t take the chance to inspire my children (both girl AND boy) to take confidence in themselves, hopefully to follow their own path, and maybe get there a little faster than I did.

Being alive is the ultimate gift, and it’s time to realise that it can indeed be Christmas every day, if you know where to look.

I am a woman, I am an artist, I am alive.



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Karuski is the nom de pencil for me, Katherine Mengardon - I am a fan of all things 1960s, CAKES, obscure indie pop bands, children illustrations, bad puns and cats. Any spare time goes towards baking mad cakes, drawing families and catified musicians. Find me here too: http://www.pinterest.com/katmendo https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/karuskicolours https://www.facebook.com/Pateachoux https://www.facebook.com/KaruskisLittleShopOfColours www.karuski.co.uk

4 thoughts on “I am a woman, I am an artist, I am alive”

  1. This is a wonderful, inspiring story. Congratulations on all the successes so far, with wishes of many more to come.


  2. This is wonderful and oh-so inspiring. This is my dream too, but it may take a few years to get there….. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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