I grew up with my mum telling me how much she loved hairdressing and how much fun she had, creating new looks and making new friends. So when I had the chance to do work experience my mum talked me into spending the week at a hairdressing salon. OMG. It was dreadful. We’re talking about the days of perms and strong chemicals. It was not my thing at all. My poor mum was so disappointed that I didn’t share her passion but that quickly turned to dismay when I decided I wanted to join the police. However, that was a passing dream because the police at that time had minimum height requirements and, at 160cm, I didn’t measure up.

I loved doing art but didn’t think of it as a career. When I finished school I did all sorts of things. I worked in retail, I iced cakes, I scooped ice-cream, I worked in a fairground and then I ended up in hospitality for 20 years. I got married and had a kid. You know the story. Time got away from me.

I loved being creative but I couldn’t see how I could make a living from it. I did not love hospitality but at least it paid the mortgage and the bills. I was stuck, until I realised one day that something had to change. I was not going to stumble on my passion one day and make a living from it. I had to engineer my future, and that meant making some tough choices. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to have a partner who gave me the courage and confidence to do exactly that.

I left my full-time hospitality job to do a Advanced Graphic Design course. It was a tough two years. I worked night shift in a service station, I fitted in my homework around my responsibilities at home, I gave up luxuries (?) such as haircuts and I didn’t get more than five hours’ sleep in one go. But it was all worth it. I won Student of the Year and now have a wonderful variety of work to do. I have finally turned my passion into my career.