Living like a 5-year-old

When I was five years old, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have stated, very specifically, that I was going to be a pony rider in the circus. Apparently, riding horseback in a tutu with a tent full of people watching was my greatest aspiration. Nowadays, you’ll find me working odd jobs waiting tables, organizing office files, and ringing up sale items to pay my rent, but in my heart, I’m still a performer. True, my dreams have moved beyond the circus saddle to in front of a movie camera, but actresses love their audience too. There are those who find my aspirations foolish, childish, and unrealistic; naysayers who feel it’s time for me to grow up and settle for something more sensible. So far, I’ve refused.

Why is it that we are expected, even encouraged, to have ridiculous ambitions in childhood, but realistic goals as adults? Let’s find ways to keep the magic within us alive even as we grow older. To find out how, I set out to discover what we can learn from the dream jobs of our five-year old selves. Through discussions with friends and family, I’ve compiled a few themes within common childhood dreams and ways to never let go of them.

Art/Entertainment

Creativity is important to us as children. We want to color. We want to create. We want to let our imaginations run wild. Perhaps that’s why the vast majority of the people I asked remembered wanting to do something artistic or entertaining when they grew up. If we’d all had our way, today’s world would be filled with ballerinas, writers, artists, movie stars, and even a few ‘In Living Color’ Fly Girls. Maybe it was the glamour that attracted some, but I think most of us just wanted to express ourselves. That instinct doesn’t have to die with age. Ballerinas and fly girls can take a dance class or volunteer to teach dance to children. Writers can still express themselves in blogs or webzines dedicated to their subject of choice. As for the movie stars, there’s actually a lot more local film opportunity than you might know, find your way in and you can ham it up on your weekends off.

Caring/Helping

As selfish as some children may seem, there are quite a few of us that still care about the rest of the world, even at a young age. A large majority of former five-year olds that I talked to wanted to be veterinarians. As children, we sense the importance of having furry friends in our lives and want nothing more than to help them. Oftentimes this dream falls to the wayside later in life when the reality of a long veterinary education sets in. But fret not; you can still have a taste of your Dr. Doolittle dreams by volunteering at local shelters or adopting your own menagerie of pets. After all, adults need furry friends too.

Inspirational

For every dream that’s set aside, there’s another dream fulfilled. While my research revealed that perhaps superheroes and cowboys are aspirations best left in childhood, there are still several inspirational stories of those who are making their dreams a reality: lawyers just graduating from law school, writers working nightly on their novels, and animal lovers plugging through pre-vet exams. Anything is possible, if it’s what your heart truly wants.

Quick Tips for Making your Dreams a Reality

Be realistic about why you want what you want. Do you want the reality of your dream or the fantasy?
Don’t let television dictate what you think is real. Find out what the job is really like before deciding it’s your ideal.
Start small. No one makes a career happen overnight. Find ways to participate in your dream field, even if they’re not bringing in the big bucks.
Surround yourself with people that understand. You need support to follow your dreams. Nothing picks you up after failure like the voices of those who believe in you completely.
Never stop dreaming. Make a list of new and exciting dreams annually and don’t be afraid if your goals change, just always be honest about what you truly want. Follow your heart and you can do no wrong.

Finding Amber Renee, Miseducated Herself

A few years ago Amber and I met online, she emailed me as soon as she saw my cartoon pop on tv. She wrote me to tell me she liked the fun and cuteness of my animation. We realized we like very similar things and quickly became good friends! She also sent me a link to this amazing community site she was working on called “Miseducated”. When I saw it I loved the design and colors soo much! It looks so delicious that I want to eat it. I began to find myself going there when I wanted to see something pretty, or learn about a cute Japanese fad. This site has a sprinkle of everything I love!!!! I knew I had to find out about the girl behind this amazing portal of cuteness……..

I love Miseducated.net. It’s like the stylish 1960’s blended with Japanese cuteness!! What inspired you to start this?
Well once upon a time in 1996 I decided I just had to make a website or I would burst.. I studied web design, learned html and used MS Paint to create the first version of Miseducated. Since then it got sillier and sillier, more whimsy nonsense and inspiration by the gallon! It seemed only natural to share it with other artists and produce a collected blogzine of deliciousness on this world wide web.

How did you get into graphic design?
Oh.. I’d say it happened when I was a young girl who sketched doodles all day, I could never stop creating these whimsical worlds on paper!

Not only are you a designer but you are also an illustrator! What do you look for, for inspiration when drawing?
Vintage children’s books and Japan of course! I’m always obsessing over something… whether it psychedelic 60s art or 1750s French decor. I’m inspired by the world around me and the people I meet everyday — most of my art is based on icing explosions from my brain.

What are your favorite subjects to Illustrate?
Anything cute, psychadelic, fantasy or covered in sugar!

As a professional designer what kinds of jobs do you normally do?
All sorts of jobs. I dabble in everything so I often get asked to do nearly everything. In college I specialized in print design, magazine layout design and photography, today I usually bring in the bucks with web design and illustration. I sell my original artworks as well when I’m not moving across the country.

You have a very definitive style. What are your biggest inspirations?
Sweets, animals and wonderland! I’ve got this little world I’ve created in my mind which I’m always trying to translate onto paper.

Who is your favorite Japanese character? Why?
MOMO BEAR. A pink bear by Sony. Next to Hello Kitty of course. I grew up watching vintage Sanrio movies so nothing really surpases the magic, wonder and happiness that Sanrio provides.

I have to ask, What was your favorite cartoon show growing up?
Minnie Mouse! When I was really young, I often tried to dress like her and even made ears out of paper plates — haha. You can’t imagine my delight when I found gemed & decorated decora-style Minnie ear headband in Tokyo’s Disneyland! I felt like a new woman. haha

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Daquiri Ice from Baskin Robbins! Or Lollipop Candy from Baskin Robbins in Japan. :9

I know you love Japan. What other cities do you love to visit?
I’ve lived near Chicago my whole life so that’s a big one, I haven’t been to NYC since the black out (ha!), I’ve only been to Paris in the winter but still fell in love, Toronto is one of my favorite cities ever and I adore exploring L.A. with my very best friend and partner in crime. I love cities so I’d love to visit absolutely any city — they’re generally stuffed with art, culture and delicious food. I think the view of city lights at night is one of the most beautiful sites to be seen, it’s a nature that we built with designs made by women and men.

Your fashion sense is also super cute! How would you describe it?
How funny! and my father always commented ‘I don’t think that matches..’ I always mixed and matched everything I liked, colors, styles, decades and cultures — I wear whatever I like and it’s OFTEN a joke with my friends that I always find the ugliest thing in the store! However when I put it together I feel it’s an artwork on my body — it just seems to come together!

If you are not designing, making content for Miseducated or taking great photos on the Amcam, what else are you passionate about?
Traveling, combing thrift stores and boutiques for amazing things that I cannot live without, relaxing with my husband, diy-ing and having fun with the people I love. I adore dressing up and going out, perhaps a little too much.

If you could make any dessert what would it be?
Creme Brulee because it is the best dessert ever and I do actually own a little torch for desserts — haha.

If you ever feel blue, what’s the first thing you do to get you back on track to your sunny self?
I battle the blues quite often! I just try to see it as a problem that I need to sort out.. the anxiety might be coming from an unsuspecting source and rather than surpress it I like to realize it and move on to focus on my work, family and friends.

Favorite music and why?
Dance music; although I generally just listen to my favorites David Bowie, Veruca Salt, No Doubt and Kissy Sell Out.

If you could have a pet that is a mythical creature what would you have?
This has been my dream forever, a Mogwai (aka Gizmo from Gremlins) — haha.

In the future what do you think is in store for Miseducated?
To be honest, I’m really excited that it’s growing more everyday and I adore all of the amazing people I meet because of it — I see very great things happening as more and more get on board with the Miseducated way of life! I cannot thank everyone who visits, comments, emails us — every single word is appreciated and adored! Live inspired.