Connect
To Top

NIKKI NEWMAN : FACING THE FASHIONISTAS

I have exciting news regarding Good Enough Mother! As you may have noticed we love to hear from all of you out there via our Guest Postings submissions – thanks to everyone who has written for us so far (and if you’d like to see yourself on the site please just check out the Guest Posting button on the left).

Well one fabulous lady who’s been writing for us is Nikki Newman, a Brit girl now living in the Middle East who authored two fabulous pieces – Middle East Mom and Play Your Own Way – which generated a BIG response!

I love Nikki’s style and take and think she completely encapsulates the Good Enough Mother ethos – so we’ve invited her to write a regular column for us here at GEM (Nikki will be writing for us bi-weekly on Thursdays). I think you’re going to love what Nikki has to say – and to officially welcome her to the family – check out her first piece, which I think is going to really resonate with a lot of you…


Hi everyone – Rene here!

I have exciting news regarding Good Enough Mother! As you may have noticed we love to hear from all of you out there via our Guest Postings submissions – thanks to everyone who has written for us so far (and if you’d like to see yourself on the site please just check out the Guest Posting button on the left).

Well one fabulous lady who’s been writing for us is Nikki Newman, a Brit girl now living in the Middle East who authored two fabulous pieces – Middle East Mom and Play Your Own Way – which generated a BIG response!

I love Nikki’s style and take and think she completely encapsulates the Good Enough Mother ethos – so we’ve invited her to write a regular column for us here at GEM (Nikki will be writing for us bi-weekly on Thursdays). I think you’re going to love what Nikki has to say – and to officially welcome her to the family – check out her first piece, which I think is going to really resonate with a lot of you…

Thanks Nikki – and can’t wait to read more of your future columns…

Love

Rene x

FACING THE FASHIONISTAS


When I was 12 years old, I got into fashion. In fact, I think the seeds were sown earlier than that, with my sister, making stuff out of scraps of fabric, dressing up our dolls.  But aged 12, I would spend hours with my artist pencils designing entire fashion lines.  These designs spoke of the era – the 80s – and all the hallmarks of 80s pop and TV culture were there: shoulder-pads, lace gloves, garish colours, angular hair, bold stripes, leg-warmers, studs and chains…I kept them all as a record of that time and because it just made me so happy doing them.

Creative stuff was what I did pretty much all the time, with my sister by my side.  But somewhere along the line, I talked myself out of taking any of these things further into the cold, hard light of adulthood.  A combination of off-putting comments by careers teachers, the belief system that something creative cannot lead to a real job, plus my own lack of self-confidence meant that the closer I got to choosing my college course, the further I swerved from my true course.

As far as fashion college was concerned, all I could envisage was a room full of intimidating, achingly stylish and deeply opinionated people who would most probably find my ideas very foolish.  The same went for art college. I never even made it through the front door of one of these places for an open-day visit, let alone actually apply for a course. And it’s something that’s tugged and nagged at me ever since.

In recent years I’ve begun to prioritise my creativity again, and it’s starting to pay off; the place it holds in my heart is beginning to be reflected in the place it holds in my day-to-day life.  That’s very exciting.  But what I wanted to write about here goes back to those fashion drawing days.  Earlier this summer, I saw a fashion illustration competition advertised in a world-renowned fashion magazine, and feeling full of bravery having just uprooted and moved to a new continent, I decided to ‘sod it’, as we say in England, and enter the thing.

I set about doing my fashion illustration.  Always at the back of my mind, the gremlins: ‘what am I doing? I have no training. My wardrobe’s full of bargain purchases from high-street brands… I’m an imposter! What right do I have to do this?’  But I worked hard to banish those thoughts and remind myself of the hours I’d spent age 12 doing my own thing, the joy I felt doing it and the course my life had taken away from it.  I owed myself this, even if I got nowhere in the competition, just the act of doing this was another good step down the right road for me.

Weeks then months passed, I wouldn’t say I put it out of my mind, but I filed it in ‘pending’ and got on with my day-to-day; always though, there was a chink of hope.

Two weeks ago, I was in the middle of running my new Monday morning art class at home (ok, I have one student and the class was her idea – but it’s a start!) when my phone rang: an unknown number.  I answered.  It was the magazine…  I’d made the Top Ten finalist list!  Suddenly, my voice went high-pitched and I was reeling off the lines I’d heard spoken on a hundred reality shows where a prize is at stake:  ‘OMG! OMG! I need to sit down. I don’t believe it! Really? Really?!’ Cue crazy laughter.  Pull yourself together!  ‘Congratulations’ the magazine lady said.  ‘Thank you’ I managed to reply.

I jumped around the room like a 12 year old.  I told my student who was waiting, paused with her pencil in her hand, studying the still-life arrangement of fruit I’d left her to sketch at the dining room table.  She was happy for me. Unfortunately, though, I lost the ability to teach any more art for that day.

Let me just say now, I am not for one minute expecting to win this; I’m honoured, stunned and thrilled to have got this far. Next week, the winner will be announced and it’s hello gremlins time again!  I’m attending an event for the final…and here I am, worrying about those same things that bugged me in my teens: am I good enough? Is it beyond me? Will I stick out, the girl from the slow rural village where the closest thing to fashion back in the day was a basket of neon coloured leg-warmers on sale at the local store?  Will they see I am an imposter, not even wearing one single item of designer clothing? And perhaps most importantly, what the hell do I wear?! Contrary to popular belief, living in the oil-rich Middle East does not instantly equip you with wealth and a Louis Vuitton handbag – there’s rent, school fees and groceries to pay for… I’m going to have to see what I can pull together with what I’ve got.

I am, however, taking with me the knowledge that I’ve carried this thing in my heart for most of my life.  Shoulders back, I’ll try to walk my own walk, not break any heels in the process, and get through those doors to face the fashionistas this time round. I’m banking on them being just really nice folk doing something they love. I’ll let you know how I get on.

But what about you? Is there anything you loved to do when you were younger but lost sight of as you got older? Why did you end up going down a different path? Perhaps there’s something you’d love to reconnect with or you’re already starting down that road?  We’d love to hear your stories…

Nikki Newman, 36, from England, currently lives in Qatar, where she moved this year due to her husband’s work. A former teacher and proud mother of 7-year-old Oliver, she’s currently focusing on settling her family into their new lives, while also pursuing her passion for painting. To see Nikki’s work please go to: www.nikkinewmanart.com


12 Comments

  1. sam

    October 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Awesome story
    My typical story always wanted to be a model and in a way I am I am a role model to my two amazing girls…but I started thinking as they get older I want to look into modeling again sure enough last year I started again and now i shoot every two weeks and have just been given the amazing opportunity to shoot with a well known photographer
    So right now its perfect

  2. Rene Syler

    October 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    OMG GREAT! Go after it and don’t look back!!

  3. Rene Syler

    October 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Nikki: thank you so much for sharing this with us. I literally was grinning from ear to ear upon hearing the great news. You are so super talented and cannot wait for the piece you write upon WINNING !

  4. Auntie Lisa

    October 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Very inspiring!

    re: “Is there anything you loved to do when you were younger but lost sight of as you got older?”

    My original dream involved starring in Broadway musicals. I did it a LOT on a non-to-semi-professional basis. I wouldn’t say I’ve “lost sight” of it, but rather that it has been transformed by God’s leading in my life. The skill set I came away with has been marvelously reworked by God into what I do now, which involves writing and editing videos for the online children’s ministry my husband founded. I’ve also done some coaching of kids for audio recording projects.

    It’s what I love, radically transformed and ELEVATED because it’s not about me getting applause, but about those to whom we minister. It’s all about the kids!

  5. sam

    October 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Rene…no looking back regardless of what people say got to live your dream sometime….just like one day we will see you on dwts ..lol

  6. Rene Syler

    October 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I hope so 🙂

  7. Susan Devey

    October 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Fantastic article Nikki! I’m so proud of you and I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

  8. Carolyn

    October 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I gave up the violin at age 20, after playing for 10 years. However, I am now an active volunteer, and self-mitting “crazy opera fan”. I never knew what all those years of classical music training would lead to, but I am so grateful now. Thanks to my mom for letting me go to the symphony w/ her when I was a brand-new violinist at age 10.

  9. Pingback: Tweets that mention NIKKI NEWMAN : FACING THE FASHIONISTAS -- Topsy.com

  10. Nikki Newman

    October 22, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Hi all! Thanks so much for your comments! Sam, that’s just fantastic! Well done you for picking up on the dreams you had and allowing yourself to give it a go – so pleased it’s working out (modelling was one of my pulls too as a girl, being tall and awkward had to have some advantages! So I get where you’re coming from, plus that’s a great idea that you’re a role-model for your girls too, sounds like you’ve got it all in really great balance 🙂 Auntie Lisa and Carolyn, I love your stories! It’s true that our dreams/ideas evolve and adapt, their relevance becomes clear over time and we learn to value them in a whole new light. I really think that things become ‘unlocked’ to us when the time’s right. Lisa, sounds like great work you’re doing – all the best with that – and Carolyn, so wonderful that your mom took you to such an inspiring place and it stuck with you and enriches your life now :-).

    Thanks for your wishes, Rene and Susan! x

  11. Pingback: NIKKI NEWMAN: LOSING IN STYLE

  12. Pingback: Nikki Newman: The Side-Track Trap

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Guest Postings

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

Copyright © 2017 Good Enough Mother® Designed By ABlackWebDesign

Click to access the login or register cheese