My name is Tony. I am 68. I am getting old, and that’s the problem. I used to work on a fishing boat, in deep sea. That was my job. I worked in -40 degree. It was very cold, and you can’t wear gloves, because the line will slip. You worked with ice on the line. It was very hard work, very hard. I had done that for 25 years, and then, my uncle got cancer, so I moved in to look after him. When he died, the council told me to move out, because my name was not on … Read More
I sort of started my life in some very egotistic businesses, like fashion, PR, music etc. I call them “egotistic” because it always involved showing something or presenting something that was about me. I was very much into material things. I was into pursuing a hedonistic type of lifestyle, or a so-called “good life”. It was very much self-centred. It was all about my personal achievement. I did some personal growth workshops of some sort, but that was it. The word “spirituality” didn’t exist, because I didn’t know what that meant.
Most of these businesses came and went. I was … Read More
I always knew that I wanted to be a drummer as in playing African drums, but life got in the way…children, surviving etc. Nine years ago, I finally made up my mind. Like a New Year resolution, I said in front of a group of people: this is the year that I’m going to learn how to play the drums. I found a place somewhere in Camden where they did the teaching. I tried and I loved it! It was inviting and was lots of fun. I went there for about six weeks but unfortunately they lost funding, so they … Read More
I wouldn’t know how to explain it, particularly now. I know my parents care about me; they always care about me very much. But I couldn’t tell where this discontentment came from. From the very early age on, I was taught to be very rigid, to be contained in the boxes so that I’d be accepted and loved. But there was always so much wild energy moving through me. It was very difficult for me to conform. I’ve never felt I fit in, not at all. The word “I” was always externally located, alienated by identities that are constructed upon … Read More
The idea behind Food At Heart had been bubbling up for a while. I’d always enjoyed my previous work. This included a few different industries: music, market research, the public sector and then e-commerce. Things were going quite well, but it just wasn’t giving me the fulfilment I was looking for.
Then, I started to have really bad problems with my digestion. It was really difficult because I really love food! I’ve always cooked from scratch and eaten really well, but for a long time my stomach was upset by anything I ate, even very simple food. I knew it … Read More
I was working full time, as most people do. But I knew I needed to do something outside of work. I started with guitar, but realised that it wasn’t really for me. I remembered when I was about eight or nine, I had a taster ceramic class at my local community centre, and I really enjoyed it. So I thought maybe I should try it again. If I don’t like it, I can move onto something else. I tried, and I loved it! From the moment I got into the classroom, having my hands on the clay, I just immediately … Read More
My husband and I travelled around the world, for work, for 10 years, until we had kids. All of a sudden, our lifestyle changed and we were not able to jump on plane so easily. My career progression also reached a plateau as I was no longer committed to long working hours. I suddenly found myself doing a lot for the family but hardly anything for myself. I realised that I had to change something, and that I needed to have an outlet where I could express myself totally. That’s how the idea of “12 crafts in 12 months” started. … Read More
I grew up in a small village in the mountains and always felt it was too small for me. However, I remain extremely attached to my roots and can never really define my identity without them. I have always searched for more, more knowledge, more answers, more myself, more solutions to my existential interrogatives and more human connection. That’s probably why I choose to study Philosophy and achieved my bachelor degree in it, and then my master degree in Philosophy, Sustainability and Environmental Studies. I used to love spending time in the garden with my grandparents, watching chickens and the … Read More
I’m absolutely hyperactive. I hate routines. When I was working for someone, I had to repeat the same thing again and again, and I just couldn’t do it. So I started a few businesses. Some were successful; some were not. My life has been hectic, between routines and my small ventures. I was looking for something, something that can keep me awake and excited every morning.
After having spent a few years in Italy, France, and Hungary, I moved to London. I started to experience the British weather, which was quite tough for me. So I decided to leave again. … Read More
Leaving my country at the age of 19 was nothing but a rebirth. Things in Caracas back then were not moving, and there was no future in sight… My school was on a nine-month-long strike. I used to wake up every morning, not knowing where things were going…and by “things” I mean both in my personal situation and in my country. There was something really heavy in the air in those days. You could sense that a storm was coming. In addition, Venezuelan society is very traditional and I was experiencing some friction with that as well. The “accepted” career … Read More
I was lucky as I did not make a conscious career turn. When I was working as a digital designer, I already spent lots of time making bags, and I really enjoyed it. Coming back from work, I would just get on the sewing machine, start making and creating products, and doing the same thing over the weekends. I remember going into the job interviews, instead of talking about the jobs, I would just talk about my bags. At that point, it became clear that that’s what I really wanted to do. Meanwhile, having just moved from London to Amsterdam, … Read More
I don’t really know where to begin. There have been several events that really determined my journey…
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been wanting to be a peace-maker. I always felt quite uncomfortable when seeing people in violence. I didn’t understand why.
When I was nine, I got interviewed by a Polish writer. She asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I said I wanted to create peace in the world. Astonished, she asked, how are you going to do that! I just knew I could do it – one person at a time.
Later on, … Read More
I didn’t know that I was creative. Actually, I always feel that I am the least creative person in my family. I studied business and marketing, and I was working full time in a real estate agency. But it was so not me. As I always love shoes, I did a short course in shoemaking and I loved it. So I quit my job and went full time into studying footwear.
Because we did lots of things with the heavy machinery at school, once the course was finished, we couldn’t do anything anymore. So I started experimenting. I really didn’t … Read More
I love food! When I was younger I used to go out every night for dinner and I collected menu cards from every restaurant so I could read them for inspiration. I listened to lots of audio about nutrition. Rather than novels, I read cookbooks, and I could taste the food by reading the recipe.
I love teaching because you are interacting with so many different people and you create a passion within them. It is really hard work but all worthwhile. If I am doing a class by myself, it can take me five hours to weigh up the … Read More
When I was growing up, I was very uncomfortable with the degree of sensitivity I had. No one had ever told me that it was ok to feel. Yet, I was also very sexually curious. So when you combine “not wanting to feel” with “feeling sexually curious”, you somehow end up in this tunnel where there seems no exit.
I met a man when I was 18. He was my first ever legitimate relationship. Although I was very sexually curious, I was still a virgin. When I met him, we were in each other’s world. But something was different in … Read More
All my life, basically, I was searching for something.
When I was young, I liked to ask questions. Questions such as “why we are here”, “what we are here for”, “why there are certain things we should do and certain things we should not”. Growing up Jewish, I could only eat certain food, and I wanted to know why. But it was not easy to get answers in a place that was a little bit religious. So, whenever I asked those questions, I was told, “this is how it is”, or “because God wants it”. It didn’t seem right. Does God … Read More
I always had a desire to bring something positive to the world, to contribute beyond myself. I had it from very early on. I was always looking for how to do it. I think it was a bit buried when I was a teenager. Then I studied engineering out of practicality. After finishing that, I started working in that industry, but it just felt like something was missing. So I changed jobs. Eventually, I realised that I had to do something completely different because I felt so empty. So I left my job.
I decided to go to rural India … Read More
I never know anything else other than music. I got admitted to Sofia Music School to play the violin when I was six, but I hated it. So I stopped and switched to classical percussion. I obtained my pedagogy degree from Sofia University Klimenr Ohridsky. I used to play for one of the biggest TV shows in Bulgaria. Then I quit, because I wanted to travel and to do something different.
I moved to London in 2008. Being a percussionist, living in London is brilliant. I’ve met so many different musicians from all over the world and I’ve learned so … Read More
My background is in chemistry. For many years, I had been working as a consultant, providing trainings on health and safety to companies and to their workers in Spain. Then I decided to move to Chicago. I didn’t have anything there, but I wanted to start a new life, to learn a new language, and to experience another culture.
I was lucky. Not long after I moved there, I stumbled into a university that happened to be looking for someone to teach a similar training program that I did in Spain for the Latino immigrant workers. I contacted the manager. … Read More
Everything starts with the urge to escape. Happiness is elsewhere.
Amongst all things family is the hardest to detach yourself from, both physically and ideologically. My father is a quite authoritarian figure. There was not much space between what you wanted to do and what you were expected to do. I started painting at a very young age, but followed my family’s path and became an architect. I then discovered that there was only the artistic side of architecture that appealed to me.
I used to paint landscape, but always got frustrated that I couldn’t create anything on my own. … Read More
I first picked up a brush at an arts school in Moscow when I was 10 and in a few months I won some competition. 17 years passed until the day I felt I must paint again. In the meantime I started working in the arts and moved from Russia to the UK to do my Masters. London filled my lungs with the air of opportunity, I felt elevated with the variety of cultures, its mind-blowing arts scene and possibilities. For over three years I organised cultural exchange projects, worked with leading writers, artists and amazing professionals. I was doing … Read More
When I was young, I was not terribly joyful. I was always perplexed by my existence, and I had a strong spiritual longing ever since I could remember. I was very sensitive. Quite early on, I could feel energy in my body. I didn’t know what it was, but it was very alive. Later, I realised that it was sexual energy, which, I also realised, was not OK to talk about. Mine was a fairly conventional family and an Orthodox upbringing. I was trying to look for role models among religious figures: Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, various Saints… but I … Read More
10 years ago, we opened the door of our music studio to our first client. My wife and I used to live upstairs and there was no facility for toilet or kitchen down here. People had to come up to use the facilities. At the time, we just had our first boy. Our client was a Jamaican Rastafarian Band. There were lots of them and they were big guys. One of them came in and said to my wife: I need a knife, the sharpest one that you’ve got. She was terrified. And then he continued: I want to cut…my … Read More
I was working in banking at the time. It was very stressful. I remember when I was studying in the university, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. But I was under pressure. There were lots of career fairs, services, deadlines, but hardly anything on unconventional paths. Everyone was heading towards banking or consultancy. Because it was so competitive, you felt like you should also be part of it. Later on, I spent nearly two years exploring different career options, jobs in non-financial sectors, online retail, entrepreneurship…but everything I pursued just faded away. The only thing left was … Read More
I was always searching. I wanted to know who I am, why I was born, what I am here for.
I was once an English teacher, but my heart told me that this was not the thing for me.
When I was a kid, I drew everyday, on the street, at home, inside my mom’s closet drawers…wherever I could find a space. At the age of seven, I did one drawing of everyone putting their faces into the watermelon in the summer, and I got the prize.
I realised that I had to go back to the field of creativity.… Read More