Introspect Design / Inspiring Mums®
What is your professional or training background?
My creative life really started when I was born into an artistic family. Both my mother and father where avid photographers and owned a photography store in the centre of Sydney, some 33 years ago.
When I was 3.5 years old I witnessed the result of a tragedy that struck our family at that time, when my mother committed suicide from Post Natal Depression. Unfortunately, my father had to sell the store and support four young children under the age of five on his own. So, he became an artist full time, painting and teaching people to paint in our home. Little did I know what impact this would have on my own career in photography and design.
I travelled Australia and other parts of the World with underwater photographers from my mid teens to my late twenties. I worked with photographers Michael Aw, Neville Coleman and Richard Swansborough as an underwater and land model and photographers assistant, this included, filming and editing documentaries, product commercials, travel brochures and scuba diving magazine. I also had a brief stint working at Jim Brownett's photography studio and Chris Brown (Silver Shadow) wedding photographer in Sydney, where I dabbled in wedding and event photography myself.
My professional design career spans now 12 years. The greatest achievement in my career is taking the risk to step out on my own following a very serious car accident, with little to no funding, just my head full of ideas and my heart full of passion and the need to support my little family. What has taken me where I am today, is a determination not to let adversity or being 'unqualified' be a deterrent to success. I was told when I was at school I would never amount to anything in life, I'd be nothing, clearly I have proved them wrong!
What do you make, create or do?
My clients are SME's and generally need a brand, marketing materials, social media and websites. So, I conceptualize their brand, design and develop their marketing materials, work with them to create their social media presences and image, and use various CMS online website solutions to design and develop their websites.
In regards to my work with Inspiring Mums®, I inspire mums around the world to use creativity for their self care, inspire them for an active life and help connect like-minded mums network to build their businesses.
What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side-project to your current work, or move into full-time?
I am keen to complete several childrens books I am writing and illustrating. However, at this time, I am keen to explore my writing as an online and self published Author.
I am soon to be published alongside 31 Inspiring Women from around the world in a book titled 'Women Igniting Change'. Additionally, I'm in the process of completing my first book entitled 'Kick Start Your Social Media Empire' which is aimed at helping those completely out of the Social Media world to get started fast! This will be closely followed by my inspiring book titled 'My Attitude Will Change Yours!'. I do all this with a 11 week old baby born in April 2011 and 5 year old at home to care for as well!
My speaking career is also hitting new heights with invitations for speaking to women in business, fundraisers for PANDA and more. I am nervously excited about many more wonderful opportunities that will come of it.
What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
I started my corporate career as a Office Administrator/PA, so learned how to manage an office, priorities and the kinds of paperwork and bookkeeping required. However, I do outsource my bookkeeping because quite frankly, I am a pictures gal, not a numbers gal! I could certainly work on this area to enable me to monitor the accounts more confidently.
I am a self taught designer and developer. I have never been to university or creative college, I have learned on the job and I suppose to coin an adage the University of Life. This still doesn't sit well with me, even though I can knock out the work I do, have large global clients, I find myself a little dissatisfied that I wasn't tertiary qualified.
If I can give anyone any advice about business, that is to use your intuition, it is one of the most powerful things I can share with you and not to be underestimated or second-guessed. Tap in to it and it will serve you well.
List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
www.inspiringmums.ning.com - Inspiring Mums is all about creative awareness for overall wellbeing. By introducing creativity into your life, you can improve your overall wellbeing and mindset for a happier, more fulfilling life.This is my other website, without this website, community and purpose, I believe I wouldn't be where I am today.
www.rachaelturner.wordpress.com - Rachael is my photographer and my friend. Her blog makes me laugh and her photos make me cry because they are so beautiful, I inspired her to be a photographer and follow her dreams, she did just that!
www.taniausherinternational.com - Tania is an amazingly talented, professional, inspiring woman that I could only aspire to be like in life and business. She conducts herself with dignity, passion and professionalism. She keeps me motivated by what she does and how she does it through the life challenges she has faced.
www.whatworkingwomenwant.com.au - I went to an event and met the Founder, Fabe Keily and did an impromptu video interview with her. She is a remarkable woman and yet another inspiring woman I aspire to emulate in life and business.
Pink Hope - The Pink Hope community is just so inspiring. The battles with cancer these women have had to go through, the tragedy and loss, their fight through the pain and treatment, their fight to survive is so inspiring, it makes you appreciate what you do have and make the most of it everyday.
Contact Heather via media/at/heatherjames.com.au
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