This post is by Rhodian, starting his DCI this year. A master goldsmith and seasoned Computer Aided Jewellery Designer (CAD), he recently shifted focus from commercial to academic, completing a Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries at CQU in 2016 and is now pursuing the Doctor of Creative Industries at QUT. But like his gemstones, Rhodian has many facets including an interest in mental health rehabilitation and recovery, is easily tempted with chocolate cake and enjoys the company of a good movie. He was inspired by the ‘word of the year post’ (goo.gl/Clsnez) to reflect on what is in store for him in 2017 and his word – REACH.
If I have learned anything from my experiences over the past few years, it is that when things are spiraling out of control and you think that all your legacy is lost, that you are only arriving at new opportunities.
Because it is so hard to recognize, let alone act upon opportunities while we are submerged in crisis and blinded by despair, we may sometimes have to throw caution to the wind and reach beyond what may be familiar to ourselves.
My crisis stems from becoming irrelevant as a master jeweler mainly due to the impact of disruptive technology on my industry, the lasting implications of the 2008 global financial crisis and the changing jewelry culture. I was deeply passionate about being a designer and goldsmith, but for the sake of survival, it was time for a radical change.
In a panic, I spent over $11,000 on training to get a job in the mines, just to have three major mines shut down as I queued up at the hiring line. Then I decided to follow another passion of mine and qualified for a role in mental health. While I started my first job as a mental health worker, I was offered to study a Graduate Certificate of Creative Industries (GCCI) at CQU.
I was blown away by this opportunity. Consolidating my creative career into an academic qualification seemed to be a wise move, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It provided me with a more reflective insight into my role as a creative professional and gave me a new perspective, like a new lens which brought things that were previously unnoticeable into focus. My next step was to study a Master of Art Therapy, but I soon realized that I didn’t want to become a psychologist who uses art as a tool, but that I wanted to be an artist first.
The professor at LeTrobe University in Melbourne referred me to the DCI program at QUT…and a whole new experience unfolded. Here, at the beginning of this new journey, I have to pinch myself because I am finding it a bit difficult to accept that I belong in the company of these accomplished people. But apparently feeling this way, like an imposter or fake, is somewhat of a common denominator among us folks at the starting line.
I didn’t know this before my journey started, but now I know from experience that we need to grow to reach our full potential. To grow, we need to respond to challenges by accepting change and reaching for opportunities during, through, and beyond those crisis moments. But the next thing that you grasp might not be the solution that you are looking for. However, it prepares you in many different ways to be ready for the next opportunity which comes along. And then it becomes necessary to remain in motion – regardless of whether you feel that you are moving in the right direction or not because while you are on the move, it is easier to respond to challenges and opportunities on your path.
So my motto now is to dare to reach beyond my scope and to maintain momentum. Ultimately this journey delivers meaningful fulfillment because it is willed into being from a place where I knew not what I didn’t know…but dared to reach for it anyway.
Note: The image is of the collection of fountain pens Rhodian designed as part of his GCCI at CQU in 2016.