Monday, October 04, 2010

Lucky Lucky Me…


'A Great Hand' Velvet by Fifi

September and the very start of October have been pretty amazing I have to say…

Today I won a prize…yes another one (I hear you say). In the Get Set Create event at Te Papa.  More about that later….

It’s easy for a blog to become a brag; a nauseating list of fabulous things that have been achieved and pretty soon people turn off, just a quickly as they do from extended whinges about how life is or isn’t. You can use a blog as an online diary or as a marketing tool. Either can be helpful or destructive depending on who reads your postings. I have a few followers and my blog gets visited a by around a hundred people a day.  Many of those people are stumbling upon my site because for instance, I have posted a picture about a mermaid and they are looking for sirens. They might stop awhile, read, and move on. Or equally flick onto the next image found on google. This post is for the people who read what I have to write.

So I’ll tell you a story… it is about fame, fortune and serendipity and how it has come to play in my life recently.

So…I’m 50. Apparently you should never tell people your age. What bollocks. I'm proud to be 50 and still alive and kicking given my mispent youth and later inhalation of too many dangerous chemicals through my pursuit of art (read Costumes and Chemisty for a wake up call!)

But on my birthday I wondered what I had worked my arse off all these years for.  I gather that’s quite a common thought, and yes, I thought it. For the past year, all my endeavours had come to nothing. Yes really, nothing. I’d put into my communities without expectation of reward, I’d created artworks of magnificence, I’d been a good and loyal freelancer to my clients (I think). So why was I so broke, so underemployed and why were all the opportunities going to everyone else? To be honest I was finding it hard to drag myself out of bed in the mornings, to sit in my studio creating more projects that might fly high one day when the wind was right. I was fed up and said so. On facebook.

One person who listened was another artist who has great insights and honesty in her posts. To her, I stopped doing the marketing and self promotion. To her I was brutally honest about how I was about my world- the one that seemed to be laughing in my face. This by the way is the experience of pretty much everyone at some stage- feeling forsaken.  It takes different forms and occurs at different times in your life, so I am aware it is a frame of mind. But for me at that time it felt like all my worlds had shut me out.

So, my facebook friend said if it would help she would send me a Good Luck coin from a Buddhist Temple she’d been to in Taipei. It is a place people go to pray or give thanks for abundance. She thought I didn’t need it and didn’t hold much with icons, but if I thought it would make a difference she was happy to post it from far away. I said yes because I had truly tried everything else and nothing was working. When you haven’t bought new clothes for a year, restrict yourself to one take out coffee a week, cancel the papers and the electricity bill is looking like an insurmountable hurdle, you know you are feeling the pinch. See, if this blog was purely about marketing, I’d never have said that…

So she sent it, and the day after it was posted I got my job interview. And then I got the job, illustrating for the film industry. And I adore it. Then I won at WOW and have had great coverage in the media. Now it looks like the Chinese rights to my last novel may have been sold (is my publisher saying shut up Fi!?). Today I took part in the challenge at Te Papa I mentioned up front, pitted against two former Supreme Award Winners, a kind of Masterchef meet Project Runway in a 1 hour stage challenge…and I won.  I got a goody bag of all kinds of marvellous things including generous voucher to Hippotamus, the fine dining restaurant at The Museum Hotel.

So, did the coin make the difference? Probably not. I had someone pushing me forward for the job, the WOW creation was made in June, my novel was published last year and today I was in good company and I had a great model. So what was it? It really comes down to this: people who believe in you, allow you to believe in yourself. No matter who you are. Sometimes you just need to re-open the portal, and if a talisman does the job, then thats all fine by me. And I give thanks, every day.

Talking of believing in people, there are some stunning young writers in the Fabostory project. Check out Andy Xie’s entry this week. Boy, we’ve got some tough competition ahead of us… better keep rubbing that lucky coin!


8 comments:

TK Roxborogh said...

You could have written almost exactly the same thing for me Fifi. I wear your badge (My time for Glory) proudly on my coat. I think we have to believe we have the talent and people DO want what we have but we are also so sensitive and every rejection, bad review etc knocks us harder.

Our friends and family believe in us and love us and we DO get the small tidbits such as "I just loved that book!" but our self-belief seems to be holding with only that golden thread. Hence my bursting into tears at the LIANZA awards - all those times of disappointment and finally someone 'official' says: you're a winner!

I read an article about Joy Cowley you said she didn't think she was a GREAT writer, just a persistent and hard working one. Pretty much sums up how I see myself.

And, not lucky, Fifi. Talented. Generous. One of a kind.

(BTW, my verify word was 'dopsyc' - sounds like drop kick - which I ain't he he)

Melinda Szymanik said...

I'm so glad good things are happening for you. China? that's brilliant! Long may this overdue karmic payback continue :-)

kiwicarole said...

I'll be joining the 50 and fabulous club in 3 weeks! Hope you haven't drunk all the bubbly!

maggie@at-the-bay.com said...

Nice, Fifi - a very nice post - the fifties are fabulous - enjoy them.

Vanda Symon said...

Love your honesty, Fifi! Helps us all to keep doggedly carrying on.

Joan said...

I think you are wonderful Fifi. I loved your WOW entrant. My favourite. Fifty is ok ..60 is even better.

Fifi Colston said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. I am very blessed in life with wonderful friends and supporters which means lots to a small girl who found it hard to feel cherished by anyone outside of her close family. I find now I am a grown up I have many families and communities and I appreciate them all dearly x

Rachael King said...

Weighing in a bit late here, Fifi, but just want to say how happy I am for you that things are falling into place. You deserve it.

Rachael