This is a blog swap guest post with my friend Kate from Little Adelaide Kate. We posed each other 5 questions to answer today (my answers are at Kate’s blog). Enjoy Kate’s points of view below and fall in love with Adelaide again! M x o
1 What do you like, that’s unique and special, about living in Adelaide?
Adelaide is just the right size. From my house I can drive to the beach in 15 minutes, the Adelaide Hills in 20, the CBD in 30 and McLaren Vale in 35. That’s not even including all the great places to meet friends for a good cuppa, which Adelaide is quickly becoming known for. I love that Adelaide has a few hip suburbs, but that pockets of arts and foodie communities could be found at just a single cafe in any other suburb.
I love the pace of Adelaide. When I was younger, I always thought I’d move somewhere quicker, but I’ve really come to love that quiet Adelaide pace, where everything is provided, but never in a rush. I love that Adelaide has all the fresh produce, gourmet food and wine, music scene and arts festivals of other cities, but that it’s done in such a quiet way. While February and March in Adelaide is always a complete buzz of activity, it’s great to know that there are locals ready to put on a show year round!
Finally, I love that Adelaide is all about the lifestyle. I truly think those of us living here are among the luckiest. There’s nowhere else that I would rather live, or that I can think of that would provide me with the things Adelaide does, while being so affordable and so close!
2 What motivated you to go back to study graphic design?
My first degree was a Bachelor of Social Work, and after about six years working in the field, I started to burn out. It took six months of leave without pay, a whole lot of sleep and some serious sunshine for me to figure out that I could choose a new career path!
I realised that for me to be happy I needed to redirect my career into something more suited to me. I finally accepted how much I valued creative pursuits in my life, from lino carving to painting to re-upholstering to gardening to writing…
It was time for me to find a way to purposefully marry project work, my communication skills and my creativity. I had always wanted to study graphic design so enrolled in a Cert 4 of Graphic Design at TAFE SA to see if I thought it could work for me. It turned out to be a perfect fit! I’m now half way through a Diploma and already collaborating with other creatives, filmmakers and web builders.
I love the ‘project work’ aspect of graphic design as compared to art itself, as I’ve learnt I’m someone that needs clear goals and objectives right at the beginning of a project. I love working with people to solve problems and make branding clearer. I’ve even found that I have loved all the fiddly things to do with design work, like web design and the dreaded CSS & HTML. I still love making art for arts sake, but have found my career ‘fit’ in design work.
3 We both have an art/graphics+environment kind of combination of interests. What do you think is the green + visual connection?
Gardening, hiking, walking bare foot on grass and swimming in the ocean all bring for me the same sense of calm and peace as carving, drawing, painting and sculpting. It’s all in the tactile experience. It brings me back into my body and into the moment. It stops me from intellectualising everything, prevents worry and helps me to stay focused. There’s something so satisfying feeling physically tired at the end of a day from gardening, or having sore hands from carving.
I think living sustainably also has a real ‘artisan’ quality to it. It’s rekindling that connection with base materials, creating something from ingredients on hand. Baking my own bread, growing my own tomatoes… For me, this is an artistic pursuit.
Finally, I think a lot of artists and designers are in the field because they’re so in tune to and affected by their visual environment. This is definitely true for me. Litter and desolate land just leaves me feeling depressed, as does a messy kitchen or an unloved garden. I am truly affected by my visual environment, and this was probably the catalyst for my environmental interests, even before I fully understood some of the big issues faced by this generation. When I pick up litter as I walk my dog, I’m making something beautiful and nurturing my visual environment, as well as contributing to a healthier planet.
4 Can you tell us about how living in alignment with your values and priorities relates to being happy?
In my previous work, I felt discontented. While I was doing valuable work, I felt like I was going through the motions. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy, but I certainly wasn’t pumped by my day-to-day.
Leaving full time work to instead work and study part time meant that I gave up a certain amount of freedom, particularly financially. I thought this would be really hard, but in fact, I’m now in a much better financial position because I’m no longer ‘medicating’ my lifestyle with unnecessary costs. While I worked full time, I bought a lot of meals. When I left my job, I had time to cook and I remembered…. I LOVE to cook. I love making my own pasta. I love whisking together mayonnaise. I love baking bread and making butter from cream. These pursuits are far more satisfying to me than working five days a week, so I feel happier.
Living in line with my values and priorities has made me more content. I don’t feel conflicted about how to spend my day or have a need to justify my free time. My relationship with my partner, friends and family is more positive because I now surround myself with people who matter to me and I’m not too tired to speak to them! At the end of the day, I feel satisfied that I have achieved something worthwhile, because what I do is worthwhile to me.
5 And finishing up with a Lightning Round: What was your most memorable of the following categories while you were travelling recently? 1 art, 2 nerdy thing, 3 environmental, 4 food, and 5 unexpectedly awesome sight.
1. The streets of Berlin. I could walk those streets many, many more days. So much amazing street art, plus a ton of incredible mini and pop-up art galleries to drool over.
2. Stamps exhibition at the Museum voor Communicatie in The Hague. I’d like to blame this on the husband, but it was all me.
3. The bicycle culture in Amsterdam. It was incredible to see cars back in their place and cyclists and pedestrians taking the streets back!
4. Oh, the waffles in Brussels! This was followed closely by the garlic and cheddar soup in Prague (but for very different reasons)
5. All of Prague. I had heard it was beautiful, but I still wasn’t ready for it. Every building is a surprise, every view is beyond stunning.
Little Adelaide Kate
Hi, I’m Kate of Little Adelaide Kate. I’m a community development worker, blogger and all over creative. I spend my days in gardens and my nights in books.
Come visit me over at the blog to follow my journey of living happy in the Adelaide ‘burbs, or chat with me on the Little Adelaide Kate Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you! [Later: Tangerine Meg can pass on a message]