Although I feel at peace in my relationship with my biological father, and his untimely death, it has still affected my ability to live a ‘normal’ life and desire ‘normal’ jobs. It’s not that I haven’t been able to take on run of the mill jobs, it’s just that I have had a constant need to do something more ‘edgy’, things that have more possibility – and greater risk – than merely mowing lawns all my life or serving drinks behind a bar.

For many years I did other jobs to support myself as an artist, such as short busts of house painting or landscape gardening. I was trained to be a teacher, which I undertook for a period of time until it became clear it was not my path.
I did work full time as an art teacher during my early twenties, shortly after I was initiated into what was called at the time a ‘religious cult’ known as the ‘Rajneeshees’ or the ‘Orange People’.
Being part of this movement required me to wear red or orange clothing and display a ‘mala’ of 108 wooden beads around my neck, with a photo of my guru Osho displayed in a pendant hanging from the end. These were intentional devices used to help with dis-identification with the ego. This period of time was invaluable to me as an artist, because it taught me to discern between the destructive needs of the ego and the authentic needs of my soul.
I’m surprised I lasted a year in that job – and it was at a Catholic school! Although they loved my teaching approach, they found the eastern outfit too much. When the school year finished, they suggested I accept three months holiday pay to find new work the following year.
That was the beginning and the conclusion of my full time teaching career in secondary schools in Australia. I taught at university, but baulked at the idea of full time tenure when it was offered. I was terrified that if I took on a full time position I would cease to make art.
These income-generating explorations were vital to supporting my fledgling art career. By remaining open to offers of new work, and trusting life itself would not let me starve, I have been able to create a self-supporting career as a full time working artist.

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