Our people. Charlie Job

Our people. Charlie Job

by Charli Cox

Meet Charlie. When we were needing to extend our services to the Mount, that would not have been possible without this girl. An artist and designer, founder of Lovely Creatures, she recently left our shores for Melbourne and has found her groove working in the arts therapy space, Charlie understands the power of seeking beauty within the mundane of our everyday and that ultimately, we cannot exist without compassion, kindness and the golden light of love.

How have the past eighteen months been for you?

To be completely honest, eighteen months ago I was feeling pretty lost. Having gone through a relationship breakdown, a job redundancy where I adored working as an Interior designer and then consequently, moving out of my dream little beachside home and leaving behind a tight-knit community that felt like family. I just remember feeling so overwhelmed at rebuilding my life all over again. 

Still, looking back now, it was exactly the clean slate I needed for growth to happen, for clarity to arise, and to rediscover what lights me up inside. 2022 was a year of healing, building new connections and learning that home is not the four walls that surround you but the people that stay on the journey throughout your life that have your back, whether it be pretty or ugly at the time and the importance of feeling at home within yourself wherever you may be in the world, that really is the foundation for true happiness.

What is your day job or your typical day-to-day?

I am an artist and graphic designer, so I’m often bouncing between projects in the studio and collaborating with lovely clients to bring their visions to life. I love creating beautiful, clean designs on the computer, working on detailed pencil illustrations and painting large-scale artworks that express my somewhat quirky imagination and unique take on finding the beauty in the mundane of our everyday lives.

How has your community work influenced your outlook on life?

Working within the community has influenced the direction of my life and where I want to take my business. I have seen the need for creating safe environments for our communities to express themselves freely and process emotions in alternative ways. Sometimes we can’t find the words, or saying distressful matters out loud can be intimidating. This has inspired me to pursue a career as an Art Therapist where I can bring my love for creativity and people together.

Every living being to have ever existed on this planet shares this one common thread. We all want to feel connected and have a strong sense of belonging. We all want to experience how it feels to be loved and love unconditionally. This is how we thrive as human beings. It’s very hard to function in this world happily without feeling grounded or settled within. We are all deserving of love, warmth, genuine compassion and kindness. No one is above or below you.

What positive changes have you seen come through the communities where you previously volunteered?

I have seen a sense of relief, joy and confidence.

What does Aotearoa, the world, need more of right now?

Compassion, love and understanding. It seems pretty trendy these days to be kind, especially for businesses which is great. I hope this always comes from a place of authenticity and genuine care for the community and not just some strategic marketing tool to look like heroes. 

How are you settling into Melbourne?

I flew to Melbourne on the 31st of December to receive my new year's kiss from my partner. Pretty romantic. Arriving with just a trolley full of my belongings, feeling somewhat liberated (suitcase bursting with new Koha Apparel). I love it here. This city is full of creativity, open minds and supportive communities. I have two lovely housemates, Rachel is a super talented jewellery designer running her own business, and Natalie is a comedian and radio host on 3RRR, a heavenly little duo if you ask me! I lived in Melbourne nine years ago and have a few friends still living here, which I’m looking forward to reconnecting with, and some gems dotted around Australia. I’m very excited to immerse myself in the creative world here, make new connections, and let this journey unfold!

You're creative with a huge passion for your community. How do you hope to connect these in Melbourne?

I recently connected with Creative Arts Therapy Australia which is an organisation providing mental health support programs through person-centred, practice-based, Creative Arts Therapies for people living through adverse physical, psychological and social experiences. And so, I will be working here, running creative workshops with individuals and the community to help improve overall well-being. I also have some personal projects I am excited to pursue in my spare time that is illustration focused educational and will tie in nicely with my Art Therapy practice.