Today, we present the views of several local creatives on what the year 2022 meant for them in terms of their craft. Amongst others, we asked about their highlights and accomplishments, who or what made their year, and lessons learned as well as their thoughts on mental health.
This is what they had to say:
Fashion Designer: Leah Misika
How have you stayed afloat with your mental health this year?
Making a conscious decision to de-centralise two years ago has been amazing for my mental health. Most creatives require a lot of alone time to sort through their thoughts and ideas. That is not something I could do in Windhoek because too many people had access to me. Giving myself time to refocus was the best thing I have ever gifted myself, and my mental state is highly rewarded for it.
What were your highlights of the year or the industry you create in?
Being a part of Worldskills Africa. Being in a skills-based industry, I was proud to represent the industry in a World Skills competition as a workshop manager. Not only did I have the opportunity to share my knowledge of industry standards, but I also got the opportunity to learn from other international industry professionals and network with skilled professionals outside of the fashion industry. There is so much going on in Namibia’s skills sector, and it is not highlighted enough.
What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
I am proud of the steps my company is taking to grow. Beginning our journey to “mass” production. Mass is in quotation marks because we produce limited and/or garments per collection, but we are just happy to be moving away from private client business so we can service the masses.
What event or person made your year?
The opening of the Namibian Fashion Museum. I know it has been a long time coming, so I am happy to see it happen and the strides it is making. Shout out to the Museum Association of Namibia.
What was the biggest lesson (s) you learned this year?
Everything has its timing. Everything is happening for me; therefore, there is no real reason to worry.
What was your word/saying for the year?
‘Soft, slow and steady’.
What was your favourite creative piece/project this year?
Namibia hosting World Skills Africa.
What changes did you make this year in support of your creativity?
Minimising my time on social media. I think over-consumption of other people’s content leaves very little time for you to analyse what you are consuming – and very soon you cannot differentiate between your thoughts and ideas from what you are getting from social media. That can be a really creative killer. To be creative and stay creative, you have to stay in your own mind.
What project have you put off that you really want to do?
I have a long list of these. But my biggest dream now is to work with the young and disadvantaged girls in the Zambezi region. Living in my hometown has inspired new ideas, and I want to give back.
What do you wish you knew before getting into the industry?
Not everyone in the industry wants to grow it for the greater good of everyone involved and that is ok. It really is not anyone single person’s job. I think you do what you can, contribute what you can and move on to achieve your own greatness. The industry is not everything; it is just a community you wish functioned better.