It can be quite difficult
Occupation: Artist, designer and founder of GoGairy Hand Painted Leathers.
I came through a very difficult time with my kidney and pancreas transplant and mental mental health. And staying positive when the whole world seemed to be against me.
What's your proudest achievement?
Getting GoGairy Hand Painted Leathers off the ground and being able to employ some incredibly talented artists who are all struggling in their own way. The fact that so much creative talent is literally going to waste is a crime. I would like to see more of these wonderful creative minds doing what they love to do and, in the process, earn a living and make the world a more beautiful place. I’ve tried to start the ball rolling in a small way and hope to be part of something bigger.
How do you inspire others?
It breaks my heart when I hear that kids are leaving creative courses from college and university, only to find work in a dead end low paid job. I believe this is the foundation for many creative people suffering from problems with their mental health. By our very nature, creatives are sensitive to negativity and if symptoms are noticed, action needs to be taken.
It’s been very difficult to be patient when you are told you have a life-threatening illness. That was the cherry on top of the illnesses, the depression and caring for my dad and dealing with his depression and his self-medication. I look after and care for my disabled uncle with learning disabilities.
I try to look at the good things that could happen in the future rather than dwell on the crap that’s going on right now. It can be quite difficult. I locked myself away for over twenty years, not physically but into my own world. I was given a new hope and the chance of a new start after my life saving transplant.
A special thank you to the perfect human being and his family who donated his kidney and pancreas after his death so that I could carry on. Much of this new life and venture is for him!
How do you keep focused?
The gratitude I have for the help and support I have received and continue to receive is like a drug. Knowing that people really do care is a beautiful feeling. After going through twenty something years of thinking nobody cared or loved me and that people even hated me for no reason, this new feeling is so empowering and gives me the drive to do the same for others and help people in pain realize that they are not alone, even when all the evidence around them supports the opposite.
Difficult and sometimes nearly impossible but if you can somehow muster the strength which is in us all, you can accomplish almost anything!