MY CULTURAL STORY BEHIND MY PERSONAL BRANDING
2017 saw the beginning of my creative, spiritual coaching journey. I started really looking for ways I could be fully invested in music, art and creativity, combined with my passion to make change through art, but was unsure of how to tie it all together. It was a bit of a trying time for me (for reasons I'll discuss in another post), so I kinda just floated into space a little and ran on autopilot. Not a healthy thing I'd recommend, but I'm on the mend.
2018 was the beginning of me letting go of negative energy, personal development, purging unnecessary things (physical items and toxic people included) and really wrapping my head around this creative mentoring, personal branding and online identity. And behold, my logo was born.
I contacted my good friend Samantha Clark. Sam, along with her fiancé Ben, are exceptional human beings and have taught me so much about life, business 'n' other stuff (another blog post). Sam is an artist, creative and all around awesome lady, I told her my vision and the background story to help make the logo. She immediately understood!
The treble clef symbol representing the 'S' of my last name is really a no-brainer. Music is my first love. Always has been and always will be. The cockatoo that sits above the 'M' is in honour of my Great-Great-Great Grandmother, Emily Clark. Aboriginal people have a totem; natural object, plant or animal. It is inherited by family members as a spiritual emblem, defining your role, responsibilities with your family and creation (https://www.australianstogether.org.au/discover/indigenous-culture/aboriginal-spirituality).
The Black Cockatoo was my Granny Emily's totem. It was the bird that used to sing out when flying over my Granny Kitty and her daughter Flora when they were far away from their tribal lands. They would look to the skies and there it was - a sign that Granny Emily was watching them and looking out for them. The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo is a bird native to Australia. Beautiful birds in flight, you cannot miss them. Black all over, with scarlet windows on their tails. I have a print of one hanging on my wall I bought at the local K Mart store. This watches over me; the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I look at when I go to sleep at night. I sing a song about the Black Cockatoo in my show, Little Birung and what it meant to the Granny Kitty - a time when she was away from her family and her traditional homelands and the hardship she had to endure.
I have since discovered the Black Cockatoo represents the power of spirit coming into your life. It is the strengthing of one's own soul and spirit, representing empowerment, happiness, stability and contentment. Creativity is the key word here; new ways of doing, being and knowing and taking time to truly nourish your mind, body and spirit. The past year has definitely been that for me, my journey to walking a new path after a harrowing couple of years. I went to Townsville in June 2017 and was walking along The Strand and the birds were there, singing out and following me. It appeared at a time when I needed it the most. Good spirits were there to guide me back from the dark.
The page on my website Little Birung, is a description of a musical theatre piece I wrote about my Great-Grandmother, Flora Hoolihan, and the creative process and journey I undertook when writing this work. Songs were gathered from oral storytelling, structured into a show. I paid tribute to my ancestors and shared my cultural background. It is a part of me. It is ingrained. Stories and song will be carried with me everywhere I go. No one can take this away from me. And how fortunate I was to have someone who shared this story with me. Thank you Granny Flora.