Meet the Maker: Soul Stories

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Hi Tams, tell us about Soul Stories…

Soul Stories are insightful creations that capture the sensitive and vulnerable pieces of your soul. They are written and illustrated from the heart, allowing you to remember how every ingrained and forgotten moment can be turned into something beautiful to feel.

My sincere hope is that out of the hundreds of stories l have written, perhaps one will reach into your heart and give it a gentle squeeze – that just one will remind you how to feel, and open you up to some of the yummy stuff in life that is so easily forgotten.

When l write these Soul Stories, l honestly feel like l’m pulling out pieces of your essence, mixing them up with the real, the pretend and perhaps even a touch of my own heart and turning them into something beautiful for you to read.

l believe that a better, brighter future is made possible by becoming more aware of our hearts, our feelings and by understanding empathy & compassion. 

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Why and how did Soul Stories get started?

If I want to go back to the beginning of how Soul Stories was born, l guess l’ve always been fascinated by inspiring quotes. For a long time I used to write silly little things for myself, just heart warming lyrical words, until the first time my heart was really broken… l remember searching through a number of book stores to find the perfect words that my heart desperately needed to read and embrace – but believe it or not it was really hard to find, so the words my heart and hurt longed for seemed to write themselves and from those creations evolved Soul Stories.

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Soul Stories are very simple and concise expressions ~ and about eight years ago now I thought if l was ever going to illustrate them I had to really marry that concept. Sometimes my words can be a little bit broken and hard so l wanted these particular kinds of stories to be balanced with something softer ~ and after lots of research, smooth rounded swirls and lines mixed with bright colours felt completely right and natural for Soul Stories. It wasn’t long after playing around with my first packet of Soft Pastels that my Soul Stories figures came to life, which l guess, kind of represent the soul.

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How did you learn your craft?

All by heart ~ by being curios, paying attention to detail, listening, watching people, experimenting, pushing past fear and by following my gift of being able to express emotions/feelings through an art form. Whether it was through dance, writing or painting… Oh, and by all means that doesn’t mean I have stopped learning – every single day, there is always another feather to add to my cap.

How did you come up with your business name?

Hmmm… During a dancing contract on a cruise ship, I distinctly remember not being able to sleep one night, and started playing with words and names to call my small ‘stories’ that I had been writing about for several years – l had no idea back then about turning my creations into a business, but knew l just had to come up with a name to call my stories. I wasn’t illustrating back then either, just writing – so everything has come a long way since then.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

A professional ballet dancer. I didn’t end up being purely a ‘classical’ ballet dancer, but instead, enjoyed a wonderful career in every other style of dance. Classical dance gave me an incredible foundation to explore so many other possibilities that the dancing/entertainment world had to offer.

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What’s the hardest thing about running your creative business?

Remembering that you are capable of everything and believing you are enough. Financially, it can be a bit of a strain – but since my dance career, following my heart, the unknown, my passion no matter how hard it is ~ l’ve tasted the riches within my soul that no amount of money will ever replace and I’m willing to do what it takes to keep living that life in wonder, through my NEW passion, Soul Stories.

Who or what inspires Soul Stories?

Inspiration is drawn from everywhere…

Experiences and stories inside of my soul, outside, within you, my friends, a passing stranger, my mum, my family, loved ones, ridiculous amounts of music, an open heart, perhaps a little (sometimes a lot) of vino, all wrapped up with a little bit of magic and make believe. I just see it and feel it everywhere.

Everyone is responsible for Soul Stories ~ l’m just the lucky one who gets to turn it all into a few words to gently remind everyone how special we truly are.

Tell us about your work space…

My work space is such a dream to work in. I can spend days on end in there and often do. I am currently living out in Gippsland in the house I grew up in and have converted a third of it into what l call ‘my studio’. Surrounded by large windows to let the sunlight in and so much space to do EVERYTHING.

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I have several tables set up to create, sculpt, draw, paint (at a large scale) print, pack, cut and then promote it all. All of my equipment is laid out ready to go – as l like to bounce around and do at least 4 things at once! Ideally I would love to live in Melbourne, but how can I give up this incredible space? I just wouldn’t be able to afford anything like it at this stage – but perhaps one day…

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Where can we find your work, Tams?

Soul Stories is now dotted around Victoria, NSW and QLD (check out the stockists on my directory listing in the Makers Directory), but these boutiques/places normally have a select number of gift cards, prints, wall hangings and limited edition “I dream of jeanne” tote bags. There is soooo much more to Soul Stories than what l have listed, so all of my work can be found on my website here: www.soul-stories.com.  

Soul Stories can also be found at particular markets, pop ups, fundraisers and festivals etc… just check the EVENTS section on my website. Others tend to follow my journey on Facebook or Instagram. I always keep my tribe up to date as often as l can, which also continues to help, heal and inspire others along the way.

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What do you love about being part of The Make It Collective Community?

That we are all on the same page, but different journeys – following our creativity, which l believe plays a HUGE part in our happiness. Any community that encourages this deserves love and support for growth – it doesn’t matter which one you choose, just get onboard somewhere, somehow.

My path somehow stumbled across Kelli’s path, and from her vision, l’ve always felt so much openness, kindness and integrity from her, to connect likeminded creatives to help them flourish. You can only do so much alone – at the end of the day l believe we are all here to share our stories and experiences with others, if we didn’t, then who really cares? And what are we here for?

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Follow Soul Stories…

Website: www.soul-stories.com
Facebook: soulstoriesbytams
Twitter: @tamsoulstories
Instagram: @soul.stories

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