Inspiring stories don't have to come from far away places. On many occasions they can come from a single degree of separation. This article is about a family friend, Camilla. My wife and I met Camilla through our local primary school where our children go to school together. Camilla has an inspiring story about creating the future that she desires. Camilla has two daughters and is an active mum.
At heart, Camilla is an artist. Trained as a secondary school teacher, Camilla teaches Italian part time at a local private girls school. As her life unfolded and the pressures of family life grew, Camilla's art took a back seat in her life. Yet, deep down she wanted to see if she really had what it took to be a genuine artist - could she create an exhibition and sell her art?
When rare opportunities arose Camilla continued to paint her oils on canvas, producing at least a couple of paintings per year. On occasion friends and family would say to her, "Camilla, these paintings are so wonderful. They are bright and the colour combinations are amazing. You really should try to sell them."
Self doubt sat heavily on Camilla's shoulders for a long time. "No one would ever buy my paintings, they aren't good enough.", she would say to herself. This went on for many years. Then one day Camilla asked herself, "What do I really want?". Her answer was to "Have a go. You never know, maybe my dream could come true! I'm going to have an exhibition!".
Camilla's first step was to find out what was involved. Her research uncovered that she required 30 paintings, but she only had 12. So, with less than 12 months to prepare, Camilla set about creating a further 18 paintings. This is an important step in her process. When Camilla discovered that she was well short of the required number of paintings for an exhibition, she could have easily given up. Yet her clarity about why she was doing what she was doing it was such that quitting never entered her mind. "I just had to paint, it was as simple as that!" Camilla told me. This is the power of desired futures in action!
Later that year Camilla opened her exhibition at an art gallery in Glen Waverley, Melbourne, Australia. Her 30 paintings looked amazing as they adourned the walls of the gallery. Varying in size from 30 square centimetres to 1.5 metres by 1.8metres, Camilla was stunned when a single buyer bought a collage of her paintings. By the end of the exhibition, 22 out of her 30 paintings had been sold. I'm told that such a high number is extraordinary for a first time exhibitor at a local community gallery. It certainly looked impressive to walk around and see so many red dots (which means that theb painting had been sold) on her paintings.
Camilla is now preparing for her next exhibition. What is also interesting about her story is how she discovered that the energy that she gained from living her passion enabled her to get back into exercise and to increase her fitness. People often report how living their passion provides energy for the rest of their life. What is your passion? Are you living it, at least in some part of your life?
Camilla's story really is inspirational in the context that she had a dream and made it come true. No doubt a lot of effort went into creating her dream, and while it was terrific that she did sell her paintings, she genuinely states that it was the experience and the fact that she was having a go that was more important than selling her paintings. An added bonus was the look on her two daughters' faces. They were so proud of their mum that it cannot be put into words. And what do you think the lasting effect on them will be?
If you are interested in seeing Camilla's art, please check out Art By Camilla.
What are your examples of inspiring friends or family who are truly creating the future they desire?