In this episode, I share my multi-passionate creative journey from photography and makeup artistry to arts & entertainment PR and personal brand coaching. You will hear about the creativity killers and moments of uncertainty along the way. And how I came to know that I am a multipotentialite. The show begins with how to know if you have multipotentiality and ends with celebrating your multipotentiality superpowers.
Multipotentiality & My Creative Journey
Hello and welcome to episode 86 of Multipassionate Artists. I’m going to do a solo show today and talk about all things multipotentiality, multi-passionate artists and tell you my story, tell you more about multi potentiality, and maybe you can recognize if you are one as well and join the community. It’s empowering once you realize it and accept it. So let’s start off with you may have multipotentiality and not even know it. So many of us did not know it and thought maybe there was something wrong with us.
And once you learn that multi potentiality is a thing, it’s pretty freeing. So here’s how you know. Do you have so many interests that it’s difficult to choose just one to focus on?
Do others think your multiple interests are unrelated, but you see how they’re connected? When you have a new interest, you get a little bit obsessive about learning everything you can about it as fast as you can because you’re so passionate to learn something new. Do you sometimes lose interest in something once your curiosity is satisfied?
Do your commitment, because you don’t want to be trapped in any one career or activity. Long term freedom is important to you. Freedom is one of your core values. Do you feel a sense of success from the challenges you’ve mastered, more so than status? And does the phrase jack of all trade, master of non make you anxious or angry?
If you answered yes to most of these, you probably have multipotentiality. And so what is that? multipotentiality is an educational and psychology term, and it refers to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual and artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields. There are many ways to describe it. I like multipassionate, multipotentialite, multitalented scanner, Renaissance soul, polymath, generalist, the list goes on.
But first, let’s start with a quote from Maya Angelo. Maya Angelo was definitely a multi passionate artist, and she said, I think we’ve done a real disservice to young people by telling them, oh, be careful, you’ll be a jack of all trades, master of none. And she says, It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I think you can be a jack of all trades and a mistress of all trades if you study it. You put reasonable intelligence and reasonable energy, reasonable electricity to it.
You can do it. You may not become Max Roach on the drums, but you can learn the drums. That is great inspiration from Maya Angelo, who was a poet, a singer, songwriter, composer, actor, dancer, speaker, professor, journalist, civil rights activist, speaker of six languages, an author, director, producer, screenwriter, playwright and cook. Now I will tell you my story, at least all the creative parts of my story. Starting when I was young.
I always loved arts and crafts. And I didn’t come from a creative family. I didn’t do well in school. I had some trauma in my childhood and I think because of that I was drawn to extroverts, which in my world I saw on television. I saw musicians and actors in movies and dancers and I was so enamored by all of that.
So that was my world and that becomes my why of why I do what I do today. Because artists change lives with their talent. And no matter what’s going on in the world, you can escape to the world that artists create for us. How many times do you’re going through something and you listen to music to get you through it? You watch movies to get into a better mindset.
So that’s where my story began, is like just arts and entertainment. Music centered my world. In high school when it came time to pick a career, my counselor was only interested in the really smart people going to university. So the rest of us, you didn’t care, hey, go be a secretary. Thanks.
I didn’t want to be secretary. And of all the jobs that were presented to us in current explorations, I was like, I don’t want to do any of these things. But then I was like, you know what, arts and entertainment? What can I do? There has to be something more.
And kind of out of a desperation, there has to be something more out there for me. I had a Pat Benatar tour book because my teenage years I went to a lot of concerts and it was the 80s, so it’s Pat Benatar. And I looked to the back and went through all the job titles and I either didn’t know what they meant or wasn’t my thing. And then near the end I saw a photographer. I was like, okay, that’s it.
I’m going to be a photographer. Other than taking pictures of my pets with a Polaroid as a kid, I never really picked up a camera. But I was going to be a photographer because that was my way to be around performers, be around musicians, be in the entertainment industry. So grade eleven and twelve you get to take a lot more electives. I took photography and publishing and finally started getting good grades.
So I was going to be a photographer in Vancouver. At that time there was only two options for postsecondary education in photography and one was a four year art college, which was Emily Carr. And the whole first year was all kinds of fine art, not photography. And I somehow didn’t take art in high school. I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t take art.
The other option was a two year intense technical school where you had to be good in physics, algebra and math to get into there. And my lovely counselor, I’m going to tell you a lot about the creativity killers along the way in my story, just so you can relate the struggles along the way. So he said, you’ll never get the grades you need in physics, algebra and chemistry to get into that school. So you should choose something else, like choose another career. Who says that?
Luckily, when I went home and told my mother what he said, she said, that’s ridiculous. If that’s what you want to do, you’ll do it. So I took a year off and went to night school and got chemistry, physics and algebra. Got pretty decent grades, actually. So I got in, and it was the hardest two years of my life.
It was so hard, so technical. They put you through it. And another creativity killer, the instructor of the photography school, always had to knock everything down. I was a rule follower, so I get that I was not that creative because you follow the rules. But he was mean, and I cried in the bathroom in between classes for the first semester.
So that’s another Creativity killer moment. He almost had me quitting, but I don’t quit, so I was still going to complete it. Even if I couldn’t make it as a photographer, I was still going to finish this program. And I was one of eight that did. We lost probably 18 students along the way that did quit.
So when you graduate and nothing really happens, then you’re like, now what? And someone else in the program took a makeup artistry program afterwards. And I thought, oh, that’s a good idea. Makeup. So you can do your own makeup for your own photography.
I’m like chance to learn something new. Great. I went to make up school and along the way also took fashion styling and be a fashion stylist and got a little distracted there, started doing fashion photography, and then I met a photographer, a fashion photographer, and I started assisting him. And it was fantastic experience because in the photography school, we learned the rules. And then you go to fashion photography and they throw out all the rules.
And that’s when creativity happens because you know why you’re breaking the rules. Fashion photography. And I was doing the model’s makeup, hair and makeup and styling and photography. But when I started working with a fashion photographer, he said, don’t do that or don’t do the hair and makeup. Get a hair and makeup artist and work with them.
And that way you concentrate on photography. Focus on one thing. One of the first examples of that, you can’t do all those things you need to do. This advice, which I followed and got a makeup artist to work with, which was good in another way, is like you have someone else to bounce ideas off of. So yeah, photography was my focus, but I always wanted to shoot fashion models and actors and musicians, but you couldn’t really make a living at that in Vancouver anyways.
At the time, there wasn’t a lot of entertainment industries. Most of the photographers I knew that did that, they also did weddings or portraits or all kinds of other types of photography to pay the bills, and I didn’t want to do that. So I thought to move to Toronto. I moved to Toronto with the intent to pursue photography and then I got a job at Mac Cosmetics and never picked up a camera again for another decade.
Then my life was I was a makeup artist. It was exciting being in Toronto and all of a sudden I felt I could do whatever I wanted. I felt like I could be myself or I think whoever maybe I wanted to be. So I was able to express myself and change my hair color and wear wigs and crazy makeup and clothes and got to experiment. And no matter what look I went for, it was embraced, which I loved because Toronto was full of all kinds of creative people.
I loved being a makeup artist, I loved the fashion industry, it was so exciting. But then I would still be doing music videos and photo shoots with bands and on film sets or commercial sets with actors and obviously the fashion world, I loved it. But I still needed that entertainment, I still needed to be around my musicians and actors and performers. Taking a risk and not having a full time study job was just not in my DNA at the time. And so I never really this is kind of where I started thinking that maybe I never really gave anything a shot because I always had some kind of secure job while pursuing the arts.
Oh, music journalism. My friend started a magazine and asked me to write for it and I thought, oh, journalism, I remember doing that, I like that. Of course I can’t just do something like that, I have to find a school program and take another get another diploma or something. So I took journalism program and did some journalism, mostly I guess on music and fashion and entertainment. I thought, yeah, finally, this is what I meant to do.
But very quickly I was like, that’s not it. Yeah, I don’t know. And it finally occurred to me that everything I’d done up to that point photography, makeup, fashion, styling, journalism, all of it was just to be around performers. That was the goal of all of it. It wasn’t necessarily the love of any of those arts, it’s my way to be around performers, especially the music industry.
Said I went to entertainment management school and learned everything to do with the music business and in the end I interned with a publicist. I just started my company publicity company started doing publicity for my friends, and that took off fairly quickly and exciting. And finally I know I’m going to say this a lot, but finally, this is what I was meant to do.
Have you said that a lot in your life, too? This is finally what I meant to do as a publicist. I had my company name skylar Entertainment. I was working with Canadian and international artists. I got to work with Perry Ferrell and the Parlotones and SassJordan jordan DOA dearly beloved brian Byrne And in 2008, two different music industry contacts asked me if I would be interested in doing film publicity.
One was for a film coming to Toronto International Film Festival, and then right after that, it was an actress that had a red carpet premiere in Hollywood. And so I laugh at these because they’re kind of go big or go home opportunities as your first film gig. And now is finally a music and film publicist, an actor publicist. And I started working with the Female Eye Film Festival, and through that got to work with a lot of famous actors. Mackenzie Phillips, Tyler Blackburn, Alanna Masterson, Robb Wells, and so many others along the way, and different films and film festivals.
I had a lot of amazing experience, but in the downtimes, it’s like a roller coaster of tons of work, then nothing, then tons of work. And in those nothing time, that thought always came of like, maybe it’s time to get a real job. As artists, we probably say that a lot, too. Trying to get a real job, I just kept going, kept going. And then it’s 2015, 16, I was just done.
Couldn’t do it anymore. As much as I wanted to continue, the industry had changed so much and it was just really hard to make a steady income. And for a year, I really worked at trying to get a real job. I took out every single book in the library about careers and how to apply for a job and how to do a resume and all that stuff I hadn’t done in like, 15 years. And I will say there is a moment here where sometimes a message is right in front of you, but you’re not ready to see it.
Among all those career books that I had from the library, I had Barbara Shers Refuse to choose in my Hands. And I started to read it, and at first it was like, oh, my God, this is me. She calls us scanners, and it’s the multipotentiality where we’re so passionate about this. And then once we kind of learn everything we can, we kind of get bored, and then we have a new discovery and dive head first. And by that time, I had set my mind up that I’m quitting and getting a real job.
So I didn’t finish reading it. I put it back and continued applying for jobs and some music industries. Some of them. I went back to fashion because I was like, money security.
That sounded really good to me at that time. And so I was going for corporate PR gigs at big cosmetic companies because I figured, why not use my cosmetic background? And I came close, I think, to getting a few things. Nothing really worked. And yes, to be honest, I didn’t want those jobs anyways, you know, I wouldn’t have been happy.
I’d been so long on my own, and there’s still so much more I thought I wanted to do, but I didn’t know what yet. I went back to publicity. And then 2017, I decided this is the beginning of my multi potentiality. 2017, I decided that I’m going to put everything I do on Dianefoy.com. I was doing photography again.
I loved it. I got the photography bug again, and I was doing a lot of different things. I had a mental health blog and photography website, and I always kept them separate because that’s what they tell you to do. You can’t put everything on one website. You’ll confuse your audience and blah, blah, blah.
So no one really knew I did any of it right, because publicity was always a focus, because that’s where I made my money. It’s a lot. This is where the main advice I give multi, passionate artists is, I am not a fan of separate websites and separate social media. It’s hard enough to get a following going and keeping up one website and one social media profile, you’re going to have three, five how many interests do we have? And have a separate one for all even, too.
It’s a lot. And so if you can combine them, do that, because that trying to separate wasn’t working for me. And so I just decided, I don’t know what I’m going to do. It was the first time I really didn’t know what was next. And maybe I would do photography again.
Maybe I’ll still do publicity. Maybe some other opportunity will come up, or some other interest, I don’t know. But I was like, I’m done with the separate lives. I was also a pet care specialist a long way too. And I actually am a pet care specialist, pet nutrition specialist.
So that is kind of another career I’ve had in the background for over a decade. Then again, nobody knows I do that. It’s a whole other part of my life. And I was like, I’m just going to put everything on Dianefoy.com and see what happens. And of course, everyone told me it was a horrible idea.
You’ll be called the jack of all trades, master of none. You’ll confuse your audience. Why would you give up your company name? Your PR company name is already well known, established, et cetera, et cetera.
Which is discouraging when everyone tells you you can’t do what you want to do. I know you can relate. If you’re listening, if you made it this far, listening I know you can relate. So a lifetime of being told you can’t do all that. You’re dreaming too big, you need to narrow down.
And so, I don’t know, I was like my gut said to do it anyway. My gut said that it is the future to do many things, and I’m just going to go for it. I put photography on. I put publicity on, and I was just kind of floating that year, doing whatever came up. And by the end of the year, I heard about a Branding for Artists workshop.
It was a day long, saying the government was putting it on, so it was free. Just like some reason, I was really drawn to it, even though I already know about it. I already knew about branding and for artists, but I don’t know, something said, go see how someone else teaches it or meet new people. Great. So I went, and one thing that came up was she asked, of all the many things that you want to do, and now this is the advice that I give you too, is when you want to do a lot of things, you can do it all.
You just can’t do it all at once. And so try to focus on what is the thing of all the things that you want to do and all the things you can do that you’re skilled at. What is the thing that you most love and that you can get paid doing? What is the thing that you’ll get paid the soonest that is the easiest to implement? And I thought about consulting because, well, that’s all my knowledge of photography and make up and fashion industry and journalism and publicity and music business and film business and actor business.
It’s like so much knowledge to share. And I thought consulting. But then she was a coach. But at the end of the day, I was like, I have coaching, you know, what? Multi potentialites.
I obsessed and searched and searched and searched everything I could find about coaching and coaching programs and how to learn to be a coach. And of course, no one coaching certification was right for me, so I had to take them all. And I kind of bought into the you need to be certified BS. There was the Certified Coaching Federation thing was coming up, so within a week, I was signed up for that. But also I discovered online courses in Udemy.
I took every course there is anything I was ever interested in, but they have some amazing programs. Life coaching, business coaching, entrepreneurship coaching, marketing coaching. I had to go to all, potentially. And then I was really drawn to creativity coaching. So I studied creativity coaching with the creator or founder of the term creativity coaching, eric Myzel, who’s written over 50 books on the subject.
And so it was 2018. All I did was study, basically 2019, I was doing publicity, got a little distracted, with publicity, but I was coaching as well. I started Coaching artists on personal branding. I was going to go all in on Coaching Covid Hit. That knocked me out for a bit, but I was kind of happy.
I’m an introvert. A year of staying at home and having the time to learn everything I still needed to learn about coaching and having a coaching business. So it was a great again, another year for the exploration. Also during this year of exploration, I discovered the Emily Wapnick Ted Talk. And again, I’ll put the link in the show notes.
If you’ve not seen this, it was like she was telling my story and her story, like the job titles were different, but the story was the same of how she was in a punk band. Then she wanted to be a lawyer, she went to law school, then she wanted to be a filmmaker. And each time she would dive right in, each time she had a new interest or passion, she would dive in, get lost in learning everything she could about it. And at some point, I get bored, lose interest, and when this happens over and over again, you start to think there’s something wrong with you. And that’s when she got me.
I’m like, yeah, I’ve had those thoughts. Why can’t I stick to anything? Everyone else seems to? The musicians are like life musicians. They started when they were eight playing guitar, and they’ve dedicated their life to it.
Even when I was in makeup, it seemed like all the other makeup artists, that’s all they ever want to do, dedicate their life to it. They didn’t get distracted, they didn’t get bored. I was like, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I stick to anything? Do I have a fear of success?
And this is some of the same things that Emily was saying in her Ted Talk. And then like, no, there’s not something wrong with you. You’re a multi potential. And she explained what that was. And then she went on to talk about what is wonderful about being a multi potential, like all your superpowers and why the specialists of the world should want to work with us because of what we can add to it.
We are fast learners. We are comfortable with risk and trying new things and all kinds of wonderful, wonderful superpowers. That Ted Talk reminded me of the barbershire book Refuse to choose. And then I also discovered The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobinstein. That’s another one.
So I feel like the Bibles of the multipotentiality is Barbara Sher refused to choose and Margaret Lobinstein through and Font soul. Both books give you lots of info of how to manage being multipotentialite. So, of course I wanted to be multipassionate coach for artists of all kinds. And when I was taking coaching programs, of course they tell you, even as a coach, you need to niche down. I’d be like, I want to approach all artists, artists and performers.
Well, you need to niche down more than that. And I’m like, okay performing artists. Which right away felt wrong because I’m not a performing artist. I am a visual artist, but most of my experience were with performers. That’s where my passion is.
So performing artists well, do they call themselves performing artists? No, they say they’re a musician or they’re an actor or they’re dancer. So why not use that? I niche down to musicians and actors. I wouldn’t go further than that, even though they wanted me to pick one or the other.
And most again, most coaches do because they do have that one passion. And I tried. I really focused on musicians and actors for a long time. In all, my messaging was musician and actors. And through coaching musicians and actors, I quickly realized that my favorite clients were multipassionate.
They’d come to me because their focus was on being a singer songwriter or being an actor. But then they’d also tell me that I also am an animator, filmmaker, or I’m an actor who’s also a photographer and a graphic designer and wants to produce their own films. Or you’re a singer songwriter and you’re a yoga instructor, sound healer. I’m like, I would get excited because I think that’s amazing. And I think they expected me to say, oh, you got a niche down, blah, blah, blah.
No. I’m like, yeah, let’s do it. Let’s figure it out. My podcast was Sing Dance act thrive, interviewing all kinds of amazing artists on the show, which is fantastic. But I noticed, like, last spring, I started slacking on releasing episodes.
I started slacking on posting on social media. I was kind of starting to get tired of telling the same stories over and over again, that boredom was coming in. And meanwhile, it’s like, but this is all I wanted to do, is to work with artists. But I just came to the conclusion that it’s time. Having the messaging of musicians and actors, it never felt right.
It felt like you have to be one or the other and that’s it. I can’t help you if you’re not one. So I decided to go all in on multipassionate. That’s what I am. My favorite clients are multipassionate.
And at first I thought I was going against the advice of the world, but really, I was niching down to multipassionate artists. That multipassionate artist might be a musician, might be an actor, might be a fashion designer, might be a painter, might be all of those, which would be very exciting. But I was like, I’m going to own it. And of course, once I decide something, I just jump in. So again, within a week, I had changed my podcast name, changed all my messaging.
I work with multi, passionate artists. I still feel I need to add musicians and actors just so those musicians and actors out there know that I’m for you. You all know that I know the industry that you’re in, and it’s been wonderful, because then it opens up that I can talk to painters and visual artists and talk about my own multi potential artistry and interest. And that’s where we are today. I’m all in on multipassionate artists.
I say that I empower multipassionate artists to connect to themselves and their purpose so that they can make an impact with their talents. Yes, I use personal branding and PR strategies, and I educate and support my clients as they attract the fans, media, and industry that allow them to live that purpose. I love coaching artists. Personal branding changes everything. So many of you tell me that, you know, social media is important, but you’re just not into it, or you don’t know what to post, or don’t really know how it works.
And you get frustrated that you post something, it gets no response, and I get that. Or you’re an artist that, again, skip that and wants to go hire a publicist. I was that publicist. I watched artists waste money on publicist because they were not ready. And I’ve said this many times on the podcast is that the whole reason I got into coaching was because artists would come to me, I need to hire a publicist.
But without a personal brand, without a story, why should media cover you? Why should industry hire you? Why should fans follow you? Because as talented as you are, people want to know you. They want to make that connection.
And if you think of your favorite artists, you probably love them for more than what they do before, more than their talent. It’s the way they dress, the way their personality is. Maybe you relate to their story, their upbringing, their purpose. And that’s what I coach artists through. It’s figuring out what you really want, why you want it, exploring your story.
What’s unique about you. Doing research, competitive edge research. Finding what sets you apart from others that do similar things to you, who are the fans that are most likely to appreciate you. And again, we go back to story. It’s all about your story and the many stories that you can tell.
There’s so many. We all have so many stories, but I don’t know about you, but I forget them. That’s why going through revisit your timeline, revisit your story, like my story that I just told you, that makes me unique. And until you stop and explore your story, what made you want to do what you’re doing? How many twists and turns did it take you to get there?
What challenges do you have along the way? The important part, what is your purpose? We all want to connect and make an impact on the world. And how are you going to do that if you don’t get the platform? Personal branding is what I focus on.
If we go through that, and I’m sure I’ve told you about my. Free resource, the fans, media and industry attraction playbook. It takes you through the steps that I coach artists through. And phase one is personal branding. Authentic personal branding.
Phase two content creation. Social media superfans. Phase three, media spotlight. And it has to go in that order for long term success. Once you figure out your personal brand, which is your story and what makes you unique and who your fans are, who’s most likely to appreciate that, then telling that story is where social media comes in.
You attract the fans, which the media and industry will follow. And so that is my process. That’s what I’ve created. And now you’ve heard my story of what makes you unique and why I’m so passionate about artists of all kinds. I focus on personal branding and PR because those are my skills and image.
Basically, my entire journey has led me to where I am now. I have all this knowledge and passion to share, and I want to help you live your purpose. My purpose is to help you live your purpose. And I want you to lead with your purpose. I want you to share your story and connect with others.
And the more you do that, the more people will appreciate your talents and the more you’re going to make an impact. And the income, the income will come from that as well. And as multi passionates, there’s also the challenge of how to focus and how to narrow down what you’re going to focus on right now without giving up the many things you want to do that’s other things that I coach on as well. So I will leave you with some multipotentiality superpowers. I started with you might be a multi potentialite and not even know it.
And now if you’ve made it this far, you know if you are one or not. Now own your superpowers. So, superpower number one, big picture thinking. Multipotentialites have the ability to grasp abstract concepts, ideas and possibilities to create an ambitious vision. Superpower number two, we’re risk takers.
Clarity and passion for the big picture drive us to take risks in order to achieve the vision. We embrace change and enter the unknown. Superpower number three accelerated development. We are fast learners because we’ve changed our interest so many times. And when we’re interested in something new, we dive in.
We develop skills, traits, abilities, faster and more effectively than should be possible. That’s a superpower. And we are infinitely resourceful. We love a challenge and face obstacles with creativity, persistence and innovation. Where there’s a will, there’s a way is our motto.
And last but not least, idea and human connector. Multipotentialites see the connections between two or more seemingly unrelated concepts. Our variety of knowledge and experiences also provide an ability to relate to many different people and cultures. And I’ll leave you with a quote. The one from Maya Angelo is so amazing.
So this one comes from Donald Glover. He is an actor, singer, rapper, musician, DJ, comedian, writer, director, producer, filmmaker. He’s a multi passionate artist. It’s Donald Glover, A-K-A childish gambino. He says, I kind of see them all as the same thing.
People are always asking, how do you separate them? How do you prioritize? And I sort of see them as all the same thing, which is kind of why I like stand up the most, because you can do all of that. And I think that’s what I just said. I think that’s why I like coaching the most, because I can do everything.
I can draw on all of my interests and knowledge and experience and share that with you. I’m getting passionate again.
So that is my story. I hope you found some inspiration and maybe thought about things another way or even if you just felt a little less alone. I’ve done my job here, and until next time, honestly, if you’ve made it this far, please connect with me. Please connect with me. I am Diane Foy, Arts on Instagram and pretty much all socials best thing to do is to download the free resource fans, media and industry attraction playbook and then you can get on my list and we will keep in contact.