In the post, In love with life, I wrote about growing up with creative parents, having several creative relatives, and being creative myself. Creativity runs like a thread through my life, and it seems it’s part of the oxygen I need to be me. Where photography, both everyday and erotic photography, has interested me for as long as I can remember, I’ve had so many different creative things I have done in my life.
Creative art lessons
I was 10 years old when we moved to Namibia — then still South West Africa — and when I went to high school at the age of 11, I ended up in art class. This was the first time I had formal art lessons, not only practical ones, but also theoretical. I learned about the pyramid of Cheops, about mixing colors, about drawing circles freehand, the techniques behind drawing faces and much more. I had art class for three years, when my parents decided to move again, and sadly the next school I attended had no art class.
I was about 19 when I moved into a tiny flat with my daughter. The evenings were quite once she was asleep, and I was looking for something to do. Since I had done my final school exams through a correspondence course, I looked at the same organization for more things I can learn. I decided on a designer course, on learning how to draw patterns to make my own clothes. Back then it was still cheaper to buy material and make your own clothes than to buy it.
I made myself quite a couple of long skirts, combined with long blazer jackets, and I loved showing off my creations. All patterns were drawn on my own measurements, and the clothes fit me like a glove. When I was about to get married at the age of 20, I designed my own wedding dress, drew the pattern and gave it to my future mother-in-law who wanted to make my dress.
My own magazine
Fast forward two and a half years, and I was a divorced woman, with two young kids. This is when I moved down to Cape Town to join the army. I came to work in the personnel department, and soon was part of a great group of colleagues, who became and remained friends for many many years (some still are).
In March 1992 I had an idea. I created a magazine with news from our department, but also some of the news of the military hospital where I worked. I didn’t tell them I made the magazine, but somehow they all knew. My writing style gave me a way. The magazine was a hit! It was meant to be a one time thing, but my colleagues wanted me to continue, and I did for the rest of that year. I asked a couple of them to ‘work’ as ‘journalists’ to help me compile a good magazine, and I was the ‘end editor’.
When it was time for publication, I lay out all the pages on the floor in my living room. I then arranged the articles and pictures in a way to be visually appealing. There was a lot of cut and paste work, and then a full day of copying all pages back to front. Fifty copies of the magazine were distributed through all departments in the hospital every month.
I still have the original copies of the magazines, which with the third edition, go the name ‘Talisman’. Sadly, when I was transferred from Cape Town to Pretoria in January 1993, no one wanted to take over the magazine.
In my first years in the Netherlands, I joined the ‘movement’ when many people started making their own wishing cards. I started out simple, but eventually moved onto making 3-D cards. Of course, those all had to be used for birthdays and Christmas and other occasions where cards were needed. For my second wedding, I made the invitations cards. I enjoyed making those cards, but stopped doing it when I discovered web design.
Creative web design
My dream to write was something that started at a very young age. Creating that magazine fed some of that. I started writing No Consent in the second year I lived in the Netherlands, as part of a healing process. Once it was written, it just sat there. I wanted to do more with it, wanted to present it to the world.
This was when I discovered Microsoft Frontpage. I started playing around with it, with the idea to eventually put the story on there. It never happened, but I taught myself a lot about creating website, and also about HTML. I would do something on the ‘front end’ of Frontpage, then go to the HTML tab and study the code. Much of that is still in my head, as from the moment I discovered websites, I wanted my own.
The first website I created that went online, was for the pheromones I sold online together with an American friend. This is where I learned how it worked to buy a domain, and to upload your created website to it. In the same time — back in 2001 — I also created a website for a Dutch cleaning company.
All of what I have learned in those years, was just the forerunner for me finally starting this website.
An art coach
It was in 2010 that I wanted to get back to painting again, and I found an art coach in our town. I went to class once a week, where I relearned some skills that had become quite rusted of the years. I was the only one there who dared to make anything remotely erotic. All the other ladies made Buddha’s or mandalas or just ‘simple’ landscapes. I enjoyed seeing the different techniques we used. Some painted with the tiniest brushes and after a three-hour class, you could hardly see they have done anything. Others painted with large brushes, and less details. I think that was the beauty of the group — we all had our individual style.
Sadly the coach had to move to Rotterdam, which meant the class moved there too. The space where she went was cramped and small, and the dynamic of the group changed a lot. It got even worse when she started bringing her two giant poodles with her to class. By then I was already doubting whether I wanted to continue painting. I had come to a crossroads and had to choose: painting or writing.
You know what I chose.
Sharing from my creative background
Over the years I have learned so much. About website, about writing, about photography and about writing manuals (I still do this for our custom made management system at work). I love to share my knowledge, and this is exactly why I jumped at the opportunity when May approached me about Blogable. I have shared quite a lot already, but have so much more to come. If you aren’t a member of the Blogable Club yet — it’s free! — please sign up, and see what tips May, Missy and I share. There’s something there for everyone.
© Rebel’s Notes