Kat in Picton Harbour - hubby Rob Smith has a good eye for a photo too.


Hello CQ World…

Once upon a time, I was a shy kid, I felt out of place in England after spending my first few years of life in Zambia, and this made me change and I went from being an imaginative child to one that tried to hide, and hide I did until I met my husband at 16 years old. He gave me the confidence to try. I have spent the last 25 years trying to cast off her shadow and shine with confidence. And I have been trying to “Level Up” since, hence this blog post.

I love art, that was my strongest subject at school, but my aspirations to be a fashion designer were slapped down by the school careers adviser - stating I should go get a job a the ‘knicker factory’… which I inevitably did for 6 months, until I cadged a ride with a fellow worker old enough to drive (minimum wage and no chance of meeting their high production targets) thanks to that bunk from work I landed a job packing crisps (more money and all you could eat!) I then spent the next 13 years being a full-time mum… Crafts, art, photography and reading were the things that kept me sane while keeping a house and 3 kids with 2 yrs between each of them (they grew up to make me and hubby proud so it was worth the tight budgets and no holidays). Hubby was a Tech Geek, so when the computer finally evolved into something more than a blip moving across a screen after 3 hours of programming, I learned how to use them.

Art programs, word processing … eventually I went back to college and gained a Business Admin Certificate (the only Free course available) so I could get a job and afford the things the kids wanted and again art and photography took a back seat and although I have tons of pictures of my kids, holidays etc. I didn’t get time to do much else … reading oh I still had time for that (before the days of Amazon and leaving reviews for books I might add).

In 2006 we moved with our family to New Zealand, we then spent 7 years there before heading to Queensland, Australia for a few years before moving to the UK again in July 2015, we stayed 6 months, a wedding, Christmas and New Year later we headed back to the land of the long white cloud and hopefully a brighter future.

So fast forward to life without kids (and being away from the grandkids too). Some may think we are mad for moving the other side of the world from all our kids, others may understand that the opportunities available for 50+ in the UK are dismal and our chances of work and a better lifestyle were more favourable in New Zealand, and at the time our daughter and family lived across the ditch in Australia - little did we know she would move back to the UK the same week we flew back down under!

Through our daughter, Rachel taking the leap and pursuing her dreams of becoming an author, I started using my skills that I had gained during my work life to help her out. I became her PA and set up my Blog Katsindiebookblog and PA services and eventually with my husband we set up Creation Inspire. We started to design her book covers ( Originally RSDesignplace) we changed the name last year when I decided to pursue my photography and design further, between my skills and my husband Rob, we offer graphic design, website design, hosting and maintenance, re-branding, and book cover design, we host 3 authors websites and hope to continue to offer packages to authors and businesses alike and helping people create their brand and promote their creations, in whatever form they are. Our goal this year is to grow our clientele and hopefully one day in the near future, I can quit my day job.

SO WHAT AM I DOING TO LEVEL UP you may be thinking?stock-photo-swan-on-the-lake-at-sunset-560654566

This week I took another step and set up an account to publish my photographs on Shutterstock. They are taking their sweet time in approving my full account but my first picture was approved. YAY Go Me :D

This week I also became a member of the Southland Photographic Society. I decided that I would rather learn from experience than spend 3 years and lots of money on a degree that is after all just a few letters after my name, my favourite photographer did not go to Uni to learn his craft, no he has taken a leap and set out on his own and what a leap it was (check out Von Wong here). He truly is an inspiration and I love his imagery - those photos are not heavily Photoshopped he creates the scenes.

So I will continue to learn from tutorials, reading, and experience gained by fellow photographers. I plan on enjoying each new thing I learn, create or in the case of my PA services enjoy supporting others and their creations.

And my advice to you all is, never stop learning, never give up on your dreams, take that first step, you never know where it will lead.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80. Anyone who stays learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” - Henry Ford