My name is Nanette (also known as Miraculous Mosquito). I was born in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and also lived for a long time in Australia. Since 2009 I have been sharing my artwork on the internet in order to connect with other arty and creative people, to keep my enthusiasm and skills alive while staying at home, and homeschooling my three children. I was trained as a high school art teacher, and loved working as a teacher for over 10 years in Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand. When I started a family, I wanted a way to continue to inspire others as well as gain inspiration for my own art. Creating art and learning new things still keeps me motivated every day, and I want those that view my videos to feel that same happiness and contentment. Being creative can help you out of the most difficult of times, because there is always some new idea we can try, right?
Taking the Alternative Route...
My life has become pretty unconventional to the people who live around me, in many ways. I create art, which many people believe is only good for a hobby, and not really a practical, worthwhile contribution to society (well just lock me up and throw away the key), and on top of that I gave up a very safe, salary job as a public school teacher, to ... gasp ... homeschool! (Insert here a long pause for those who would like to stare at me in a confused manner...nothing new I see that look every time I tell someone what I do). But those of you who understand that stubborn feeling that you don't want to do the same thing as everyone else, will understand me. You want to be original. To break free, do things your way, be yourself, and perhaps also let your kids have the freedom to be themselves too. We are all different and unique...just take a look at your own beautifully designed fingerprints, which no one else in the world owns but you!
Doing What I Love...
So that is the state of mind I am coming from. I have never been good with other humans telling me what to do (believe me this has made my life pretty difficult sometimes!) and I am always much more productive when I have thought of an idea on my own. I want to show other people, starting with my own three children, that you can use your skills and talents to design your own way of earning a living, as well as being able to incorporate those skills into taking care of your family responsibilities. Working for someone else is all fine and good, and maybe it gives a feeling of safety, but you have to give up time with your family, and neglect the special abilities that you have been gifted with, just to earn money. Why not use what you are good at, and incorporate it into your daily life, as well as inspiring your family to do the same? Don't you reckon we were given our special talents for a reason?
It's My Cake And Yes I'm Gonna Eat It...
My friend once said to me that I was trying to 'have my cake and eat it too'. Sometimes the pressure from others to just go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing can be really overwhelming. More than a few times I have thought seriously about giving up and joining the crowd. Wouldn't things be so much easier? But I don't think so. I'm happy teaching my kids and making my art, and teaching my family to be creative thinkers. I don't want to give up now, I have come this far. Things can get pretty tough, though, especially when you are relying on one income (and sometimes no income when things get really tricky). My husband has a lot of pressure to support our family. But NOT ONCE has he ever said I should go back to work as a teacher, or put the kids in school. All he ever does is encourage me. He fixes my computer, buys art materials for me and the kids, and shares my artwork with family and friends. I would like to be able to take some of the pressure off him financially. Even though my art videos have always been (and always will be) free for people to watch, it would be nice to be able to say 'Hey honey, here's some money to help with the rent, or the food, or whatever'. I don't want to have my cake and throw it out the window, if you know what I mean!
I Can't Do This On My Own...
Which is where Patreon comes in. Here I can connect with like-minded people who appreciate the hard work that goes into creating art. With your support and encouragement through Patreon, I can free up more of my time to create cool stuff for you, and perhaps not have to worry so much about the financial side of things. I know I have the ideas, I know I can do it, I just need your help to bring these ideas to life, and use my artwork to inspire everyone who comes into contact with it. But I want to do so much more. Here are some of my (perhaps a little over ambitious) goals:
- Gain the time to learn better skills, and purchase better equipment and materials for making my videos really awesome!
- Make more videos, and improve my videos to make them clearer, more professional, and easier to follow.
- Branch out into different media, and also into 3D work and learn to animate my drawings and paintings and bring them to life.
- Earn enough to allow my very supportive and hard working husband to spend more time with our homeschooling family so that we can work together more as a team/family venture, instead of all the financial pressure being just on him. I teach the kids at home, I'm not a school teacher any more, so all this pressure falls on him. Actually at this very moment he is in a different country looking for a job, living in one room with only enough room for a bed, just so he can find work to support us. He is just as creative as me (He is Moroccan, and loves to landscape garden, grow his own food, cook and create new recipes) and is also a great dad, teacher, people person and manager. Our family could use his skills on our side instead of him wasting his talents working for someone else!
- Make my videos and tutorials more accessible for different language groups, as well as people who are hearing impaired.
- Start a regular vlog so that you can know more about me and understand my artwork, as well as be able to share my everyday ups and downs, travel adventures and art discoveries in different places.
- Perhaps hire someone to help me film and edit the videos so that I have more time to make art and bring new ideas to life. Videos would then be much more professional, and I could learn some new video skills along the way.
- My videos are mostly aimed at adults, but I would also like to make videos and art books, which are aimed towards kids, schools, homeschoolers etc. I was trained as a high school teacher, after all, and I really miss teaching these kids, who are full of energy and enthusiasm. I would also like to collaborate with some teachers around the world, and their students to help inspire them, as well as allow them to inspire me.
- Travel and gain more inspiration for my artwork and yours, from other cultures and artists in other countries, as well as meeting my viewers and conducting inspirational art workshops (some countries I would like to travel to: Morocco, South Korea, USA, UK, South America, everywhere, really...as well as travel around my home country and meet artists and show you how New Zealand people and environment has inspired me.)
- Interview other artists and creative people, starting in New Zealand and working my way out to THE WORLD!
- Start an online art school...and maybe even a real-life one!
- Move into a proper studio/art space so that I have more room to produce art, videos and art educational material. I also want my artworks to get BIGGER - literally!! At the moment I live in a 2-bedroom apartment and my ‘studio’ is a corner of our very small living room. I want to narrate my videos but there is nowhere quiet to do it, because of interruptions every 30 seconds (not an exaggeration!). At night I can’t speak too loud because I will wake everyone up, or annoy the neighbours. I can’t even do art activities with my own children at the moment, for fear of ruining the landlord’s carpet!)
- Get fit and healthy so that I can have more energy to produce more art for you! When I see that people are keen for me to do more of my thing, that gives me so much energy and motivation.
- Make heaps of ‘how to’ tutorial and inspirational art books, and online courses.
- I would love to collaborate with other creative YouTubers to bring you some really cool stuff.
- Find creative new and better ways to inspire my viewers. I want you to love art as much as I do, and help you be confident , find your own unique style, and bring out the best in your artwork.
- Make this my FULL TIME JOB! This would allow me to continue teaching my kids at home as well as have an income doing what I am good at...I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too...well yes, I admit it!