She is not only a well-known singer who released her brand new, catchy single, Weerloos, to much acclaim a couple of months ago, but as a talented visual artist specialising in ballpoint pen art, Lucinda Neethling continues to catch the eye. On top of this, she also produced her first advertisement earlier this year and thoroughly enjoys being a Basi-qualified Pilates instructor. Attributing much of her success to her entrepreneurial studies at UP, she is all set to take her career as an artist to the next level. Read more about her achievements, ‘golden guideline’ and career goals below.
Q: Briefly summarise your career since graduating from UP, with special mention of specific highlights/milestones.
Since graduating in 2011, I’ve been involved in various entrepreneurial ventures, mostly in the arts. I have done numerous shows with Die Melktert Kommissie,
a four-member Afrikaans music group that I have been part of since 2002; released singles and appeared on a number of TV programmes. I have also released an EP with Bouwer Bosch and recently my first solo single. For this song, called Weerloos,
I made my own animation music video during lockdown. (Visit www.iamlucinda.co.za
to see the video of this song.) For the latest single, I have also appeared on various TV and radio shows, talking about my video and music.
Apart from the music, I have been really busy with my ballpoint pen art. I have taken part in numerous art exhibitions, and during the past year, I’ve been focusing on doing commission drawings. Visit my website to see examples of my work.
In 2018, I opened my own little Pilates Studio called Pilates by Lucinda. I am Basi-qualified in comprehensive Pilates, which means I can teach mat work as well as equipment work. In 2019, I moved to Johannesburg and during lockdown I had the opportunity to start with online Pilates classes. I will continue with online classes until I find a suitable space for a studio. Of course the timing also has to be right.
At the end of July, I did my first advertisement (for Lekker Slaap), working as a set dresser for the advertising agency, Freckle. I designed and made a small house seen in the background.
Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?
A: After I matriculated in 2004, I sang in a band fulltime and toured with them up until 2009 when I started my BCom (Entrepreneurship) studies at UP. It opened up a whole new world for me...I cannot describe the meaning it brought to my life! I learnt to be tough; that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. After I got over the initial shock and decided to put everything into my studies, I not only excelled at them, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I applied my music to my entrepreneurship course and most of my projects revolved around music and art. It made the work even more valuable.
Q: What piqued your interest in entrepreneurship and do you consider yourself a ‘born entrepreneur’?
A: I wanted to do something that I could practically apply in the life I was living. Being in a band can be frustrating as the business side could be quite daunting. People don't expect you to be business savvy and it's frustrating to not always understand the legal jargon and the business side of things. I wanted to equip myself with knowledge as I knew I would probably always do something artistic in my life.
Q: What is the ‘golden guideline’ in your life that keeps you on track?
A: I try not to compare me and my journey with others, but only with me and my own experiences. GROWTH is the most important thing to me; small experiences or business moves that help me grow emotionally and financially. Instead of overwhelming myself, I focus on small steps. This not only makes me feel stronger and more confident; the longevity of everything I do, is also more secure.
Q: Given your academic experience and entrepreneurial studies at UP, what advice can you pass on to current students?
A: Find a balance that works for you; between your personal life and studies. Your work as a student is of the utmost importance: you are our country's future employers, and small businesses are the key to a stronger economy. Understand the things you study, ask questions and consider your time at UP as a career. This is paramount!
Q: What, in your opinion, is the foundation of a successful business/company/consultancy/organisation?
A: It is important to realise that your client is not an opportunity for a “quick buck”, especially in an artistic setting like mine. Right now, good service and focus on detail are paramount. People are inclined to share a bad experience with more people than they do a good experience. They see right through you, so be honest.
Q: Which business/trade-related publications (magazines/newspapers/blogs, etc.) do you enjoy reading?
A: I like to listen to podcasts by Brene Brown, Oprah and Krista Tippett while I draw.
Q: What really inspires and motivates you personally?
A: Growth. Emotional growth leads to confidence which, in turn, leads to better business choices. Learn to trust yourself and know your worth: this reflects in everything you do.
Q: If you could have a face-to-face meeting with an inspiring person – in any domain – who sets an example in transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same, who would it be and what would you like to discuss?
A: Brene Brown. I'd like to discuss creative courage. As an artist/singer songwriter it is so easy to get stuck in a loop of "what works". The problem with this is that things change very quickly nowadays - fads vs reality. I want to make art and music that move people, that bring feelings to the surface. I cannot achieve this without the courage to push myself creatively.
Q: Going forward, what would you still like to achieve in terms of personal and career goals?
A: Come October, I will be starting work on a solo exhibition for December. This will focus on everything that comes out of my pen: drawings, lyrics, stories and poetry. I will be releasing some music and will also be making another video for it, which I plan to release that evening. Thereafter, I want to force myself to take a short break...this year has been long and we all need time to recharge!