From Astro Physics and Biomedical Engineering. To illustrator, business owner and, more recently, Author. This story is about how an open mind and positive spirit can lead you to a world of fulfilment. Curating unique maps to help people uncover the very best of London. Cierra from ‘London. Block By Block’ reveals the story behind her journey thus far and just how following your own imagination can bring incredible results.
Whether you're a fan of the Royal family, the history, the diversity, the pace of life, the endless variety of food, fashion, art, books, gardens or the combination of it all?! There's no denying that the love for London is real. It’s certainly not hard to see why it became the centrepiece of Cierra’s business, London Block By Block.
Finding your place.
More often than not it’s only when going on an adventure or holiday that we busy go-go-go types afford ourselves the time to think, research and plan the things that we would like to include in our journey. The inclusions that we feel are going to help personalise the trip. To suit our passions, interests and ultimately leave us feeling like we were embedded in the experience. If you would categorise yourselves as a bit of a ‘planner’ then spending time on this aspect of your upcoming holiday is no doubt an enjoyable use of time. But to have a guide that feels like it's been written by your friend and with emotive, beautiful illustrations is a luscious way to digest some of the options available to you. That's exactly what Cierra has hoped to create with her new book. It’s also a way to indulge in your love of London from afar and partake in some nostalgia about good ol’landan!
Becoming an illustrator.
During my conversation with Cierra, she shared so many brilliant insights, but one of my favourites was her positivity about ‘pivots.’ In this case, a career pivot and their role in everyone’s journey. “No path is lineal!” Something that I couldn’t agree more with and something that is certainly true of my own professional pathway. For Cierra, this was a change from Astro Physics and Biomedical Engineering, to illustrator, business owner and, more recently, Author. A maternity project that grew thanks to Cierra's vision to create beautiful but functional maps of her beloved London. Designs that could be used to help others find their own adventures in London but presented as art that could be used as a gift for a loved one. And that is only the beginning of this delightfully uplifting conversation if you can believe it.
The term ‘growth-mindset’ is very much a buzzword of the times but call me old fashioned; I think there’s nothing new about it! Children have a hunger for growth that is unmatched for the most part. All we mere adults are trying to do is rediscover an innate characteristic that got us from crawling to walking, from observing to role-playing multi-person productions in our head. But with all that said and done, this type of creative freedom, experimenting with the invisible borders and pure enjoyment is fun to watch others enjoy at any age. This is what Cierra has been able to share with others. She tried something new, learnt and grew with the hurdles that popped up, and she has managed to share the joy it brings her with her ever-growing audience. All thanks to her can-do, ‘say yes, figure it out later,’ attitude. It’s wonderful to watch those around us who can do this with such gusto. I have nothing but admiration for what Cierra has created for herself and for the ‘anything is possible’ lesson that she is teaching her daughter first hand.
Looking for More?
I know it’s easy to say from my end, but if you’re looking for a good dollop of goodness to listen to, which is relatable on the one hand and beautifully inspiring on the other, Cierra’s chit-chat is all that and more. My greatest thanks to Cierra for sharing her time with me, and I have fingers and toes crossed that we can do a round two later down the track.