Gloria Green: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Gloria Green‘s dual professional roles allow her to pursue two passions within a 24-hour period: making a difference in children’s lives as a clinical dietitian at SickKids, and through her art, a piece of which is on display at the hospital’s Oncology Day Unit…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Day job: Clinical dietitian at SickKids; provide nutritional care/support for kids with cancer.

Night and weekends: Abstract artist. I create one-of-a-kind, large abstract paintings on canvas. All of my work is original; I never duplicate or reproduce my work. I work with acrylic paint, and mixed media.  

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Day job: I interned at SickKids and from that experience knew I wanted to specialize in paediatric nutrition. I didn’t want to work anywhere else. They have great educational opportunities as a teaching hospital and I love the family centred care philosophy of SickKids. There is great collaboration with great minds, and research. It is stimulating and stressful but rewarding and fulfilling.

Abstract artist: Several years I ago I started painting. It was a great release from the stress and emotions from my workday. I was hooked. I discovered I had this passion that was unleashed.  

I have always played the piano, since I was fours years old, and am passionate about music. But this was a new creative medium to explore. I drew inspiration from the emotions transpired from the day and transferred them onto canvas. It was very fulfilling to be able to create something tangible, and it also makes me feel good.    

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Day job: The best part is the children. I have the opportunity to make a difference with them. It’s also the most challenging part. It is difficult seeing how a family is affected by a child diagnosed with cancer. 

As an artist, the best part is always wanting to try new things, continuously experimenting and growing in my creativity. Finishing a piece and being pleased with it is a great sense of accomplishment – a piece that you really like can be really satisfying, and if others like it, I am very grateful. Sometimes a blank canvas can be daunting. Or if a painting isn’t going how you planned, this can be challenging.  Knowing when to step away from a piece is also a challenge. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My plan is to continue to grow as an artist, pursue my passion for art, and continue to develop my work. I am hoping to increase my exposure and be more involved in the art community and scene. I envision increased opportunities to share and display my work and having the chance to bring my art into peoples lives more regularly. I would like to see my paintings in House & Home magazine and gracing the walls of notables around the world.

What does success look like to you?
Success is the ability to choose to be creative and love what you are doing. To be able to paint and to inspire others through art. Success is also making a difference in peoples lives.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Day job: Defending my masters in science and having it accepted for publication. Any time I have seen kids who have been under my care and have recovered.

For my art, it was my first solo show and also donating a piece of my work to SickKids and having it accepted for display in the Oncology Day Unit (the piece was titled Waves of Hope). Hospitals have rigorous selection processes for works of art, so this was a real honour.  

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
It is ok to be lost, and not know which direction to pursue. Experiment and try new things. Eventually you will figure it out. Try to pursue what you’re passionate about. Think outside the box, and aim to make a difference. We all have a little bit of rebel in us, but sometimes truly listening to people you respect (parents, mentors, etc.) can be insightful and helpful. 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Breast Cancer research (my mom and sister-in-law are survivors). SickKids, Oncology, SickKids Research tower. I support other various charities. Children have a special place in my heart. 

What to you is notable?
Taking time to enjoy life and feeling something other than “work.” Even though there is so much going on in the world, and it is so busy and distracting, people still take the time to visit galleries and exhibits to experience art. Art enriches life and life enriches art. 

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Be sure to check out Gloria’s Street Noyz show on July 17th (6:30pm) at Rue Pigalle (927 Queen St. W) and follow her on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with her work.