If you’re wondering who am I to do all these things… that’s fair enough. I have an MA in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland. This unique five year degree program is the equivalent of an art history degree from the University, and a studio art degree from the Art College. It’s pretty hardcore.
My first degree was within the Tapestry Department at the art college, which was essentially a mixed-media / installation art view of the world. As the tapestry department was within the School of Painting, I technically have an MA Fine Art (Painting).
My second degree was within the Sculpture School at Edinburgh College of Art. I officially have a MFA (Sculpture) which I received in 2000. Since 1999, I have been exhibiting artwork nationally and internationally under the name tectonic industries, which is the collaborative art partnership of myself and my husband, the Danish artist Lars Jerlach.
I have had a variety of rubbish jobs (hey, art grads, welcome to the world). I worked in a call center (an absolute nightmare job for this introvert who hates talking to people on the phone)… I once spent an entire weekend photocopying the Yellow Pages at a crappy admin job… the list goes on.
After those fun times, teaching art to adults and kids was an absolute treat. In the last 11 years I have taught a variety of classes and workshops in colleges, galleries, and schools.
In 2008, frustrated by never knowing if I’d have classes the following semester, wanting to be around for the kids, and determined never to go back to the world of the rubbish job, I started my own art business. numsi made limited edition and custom wall art for babies and kids, and for the first couple of years I made clothing too.
Everything I sold was designed, printed, packaged and mailed from my studio. I had wholesale accounts across stores in America, my products were featured on TV, on some super popular websites and blogs, and there’s even a photograph of a numsi wall art panel in the first book by Young House Love.
It was great, but also really labor-intensive. When I was pregnant with baby #3 and we moved to New Zealand, I closed my online store temporarily for maternity leave. While in New Zealand, I set up online art and creativity classes for families… then we moved back to the USA.
In all the juggle of moving and resettling, and moving and resettling, when we finally got situated in Portland, Maine, I reopened my wall art business with a view to incorporating the art courses too. But, when crunch time came and we needed to pay the bills, consistently, I opened a web design business, now called Ideas + Design + Action.
I got very busy, very quickly and couldn’t manage more than one venture, so I sadly pressed pause on the rest. But honestly, life is way too short to not do the things you love, so here I am. It's time to walk the walk and choose happy.