Inspiration,determination and creativity are three big words in my life right now and at times I’ve been lacking in all three but this week I met an NI artist who has rubbed shoulders with a genius and has worked with some of the most creative beings in the world. So here comes the next chapter of this blog section…

Lets pick up where we left off last time I had  just started my life working freelance full time . I am a creative person and I’m very adaptable to different business needs but the highs and lows of freelance work  has made both my work life and personal life unsteady, it had started to effect my confidence. Having no one to fall back on financially (bar my fabulous parents) and missing the feeling of having a team behind me became very isolating. So the past few months I’ve been seeking roles to either compliment my existing freelance existence or something full time which feeds both my creative and business side.

Low and behold I came across a role which was full time and feed into my artistic passion and business experience/achievements. I fit the job description perfectly as if the role was made for me. The application was one of the easiest I could complete (I have completed hundreds at this stage) as I ticked all the boxes and thankfully I got the interview. Past and present colleagues gave me glowing references and I was determined this was the job for me.

Unfortunately the interview panel didn’t feel the same. I thought my assessment, presentation and interview had went well with a few moments of nerves and apprehension (I hadn’t done very many interviews in the past six years!!) but I wasn’t the right candidate for the position. But it’s another learning curve, I have the experience of that interview under my belt and I am thankful that I was seen by the team (maybe I’ll have an opportunity to try again at this one!)

Anyway I have since got another freelance project and a little part time job and it hasn’t stopped me searching for the perfect position. However I had started to doubt a career in the arts, it is such a small niche in Northern Ireland. I had been looking further a field as well but with no joy. I had hoped as I’ve been an active adovocate of theatre, film  and have worked in the sector since I graduated it wouldn’t be so hard (After all I now  have almost two decades of experience behind me plus a degree and a postgrad!). I needed inspiration, I need to hear it is achievable, I needed to hear all my hard work wasn’t a waste of time. Then I met Chris Sutton.


I was invited to a conversation with Chris Sutton at the MAC theatre Belfast. Chris is from Belfast studied fine art at University of Ulster and now works full time on image making and fashion consulting. He has worked with Dior, Chanel, Fendi, W Magazine, V Magazine, Interscope Records to name a few. He discussed his career and how the past decade has been a whirlwind of directors, stylists and artists across the scope of fashion and the entertainment industry, including Nicola Formichetti, Nick Knight, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein and Patti Wilson. His collaborations with musical artists have included Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and the Scissor Sisters. He even provided fashion direction for Marilyn Manson, how many people can put that on their CV.

Chris is inspirational, he’s from home, he’s basically my age and epitomises grabbing an opportunity by the horns and making the most of it. Don’t ask how or why just make it happen. He has made so many advances in his career and has continually evolved. He has grown in his life to make choices that work for him. He has been through so much in such a short space of time but he’s not afraid to go back to making tea if it gives him the opportunity to learn and develop from a genius. He’s been at that point in life where you survive on very strong coffee alone, something I know only too well. He made me think that we can’t be restrained from experience and life. We can learn from our surroundings and if someone gives you an inch take a mile. It’s unbelievable what can happen with a bit of cheeky charm. Just ask him what he said to Jerry Hall!!

He made me feel like working in the arts is achievable there are many barriers (yes I could fill another blog post with those) but it’s more about what you want to do and how you go about it be determined,be inspired, show your creativity and don’t take No as the final answer.

So let’s continue this work life and fingers crossed maybe I have that big break coming right around the corner.

Emer D xx

PS Thank you Chris Sutton and Chris Love for inviting me to take part in a Conversation with Chris Sutton, I throughly enjoyed it. If you want to know more about Chris check him out on