Your kids are down for a nap, and you’re ready to get some work done… but where to start? Your workspace is weighed down by post-its, envelopes, scraps of paper… all covered in random flashes of brilliance. You have ideas in spades, and if you could ever make them all happen, your world would change.
But instead you’re staring at a to-do list that stretches into next year. Your coffee is sitting there… cold, because you’ve forgotten about it. You’re struggling to come up with the motivation, but you just feel burnt out.
And you know in your heart of hearts that you’re so close…
>> so close to feeling satisfied by your business
>> so close to being able to pay off your debt
>> you can almost taste it, but the anxiety of it being out of reach is crushing you.
What if it didn’t have to feel this way?
Let’s start by giving a big ole ka-POW to whoever came up with the “starving artist” idea. Starving is stinky, and noodle cups get really old. And thrift store scores are bomb, but so is a brand new pair of boots (or a bookstore raid!).
Let me be very clear, you absolutely deserve to make a living from your art.
And when I say living, I don’t mean barely squeaking by, and I don’t mean enough that you can “splurge” on a Redbox movie (been there!).
I mean the kind of life you picture, when you close your eyes.
>> The life you tell your kids you’ll have some day.
>> The life you write down, any time anyone asks you to do one of those “picture your ultimate day” exercises.
A “house on the beach, taking your family on vacation, not waiting until your kid’s birthdays to treat them” life.
But how can you get there?
#1 - By bucking the “riches are in the niches” crowd, and embracing all of the things that make you magical…
#2 - By channelling your inner Da Vinci and learning whatever sparks your fancy, to become an even more unique artist...
#3 -By focusing on what really lights you up, and letting someone else handle the things that really hold you back…
#4 -By making your creative explorations a priority… stop focusing on being as good as so-and-so… focus on being better than you were yesterday...
I know this because I've been there...
I haven't been painting since I was 2. I'm not a prodigy, and I'm not "naturally gifted". Up until October of last year, I was a Virtual Assistant, and had been one since a month after separating from the military.
That's right. I was in the military... not only was I there, but I was a fitness instructor. Drop and give me 20.
But at the beginning of 2017, I chose 3 thing to grow my creative toolbox...
I picked these 3 specifically, because they were all things I had tried at some point in the past, and hated. I hated watercolors, because I'm kind of a control freak. I hated brush lettering, because the letters looked awful the first time I tried. And I hated doodling, because I've always wanted to be able to draw hyper realistically. And that's just about as opposite as it gets.
But I figured, I'd give them the whole year... and if by the end of the year, I still hated them, then at least I'd given them a fair shot. And so I dove in, with all of my heart.
In January, my husband came home to dozens of calligraphy drills all over the bed.
In February, CreativeBug hosted a watercolor challenge with Yao Cheng... I was doing it, my friends were doing it, and it was such a thrill to see CreativeBug like my photos on Instagram.
By September, I teamed up with a watercoloring artist I'm friends with, and we hosted 30 day challenges... live. 30 days of going live on Facebook, which in retrospect was insane. But we both had a blast... she did 30 days of watercolors, I did 30 days of lettering, and by the end of it, I didn't want to talk about being a VA on my blog anymore.
Over the weekend, I changed everything.
My website name... my brand colors... my logo. All of it.
Here's the thing about me... I'm not a spontaneous person, but when I decide that something makes sense, it's done. I don't need to debate, or think about it... it's a done deal, as of yesterday.
And that made sense to me, because I knew, more than anything else, that I wanted to make a living as an artist.
That brings us to the present.
As it stands, I still need to learn a lot to make my dream come true. And that's okay... anything worth having, requires some effort. I know that it's in the realm of fantasy art, but that's all I know for sure.
At this moment, I don't even know what medium I'll be working in, so I'm learning a little bit of everything...
>> Acrylic paint
>> Digital art on iPad Pro
>> Digital lettering on iPad Pro
And who knows what I'll be picking up next? See, I didn't just pick 3 things last year... I picked 3 things this year too. Acrylic paint, makeup, and music. I chose acrylics, because last year got watercolors. I chose makeup, because I'd love to learn how to do theatrical makeup. And I chose music, because I've always been musical, but I've never taken classes.
So that was this year... but I'll be doing it again next year. And just like this year, I'll be inviting you along for the ride. A journey is always more fun when you have a friend along for the ride, which is why I turned it into a challenge this year. I didn't want to continue growing my skills in secret.... I knew that there were others out there, who were convinced that they needed to have been born with "the thing" they could do artistically.
Perish the thought. I'm not gifted... I'm obsessive. I will spend my Netflix time in the evenings learning new skills... drawing, doodling, and doing calligraphy drills. If my husband watches the kiddos for an afternoon, I spend that time painting. Sometimes I'll take a class and paint the same thing again, and again until I like how it looks.
Will you join me for this adventure?
I post a little bit about what I'm up to on Instagram... but sometimes I get a little shy, especially if I don't feel like a skills is quite "there" yet. But you know where I do talk about it? In groups I feel very, very comfortable in. There's a few of them... those little Facebook communities that feel like a chat with your sister?
That's why I created one... a place for sassy, creative beings like you... a place where you can share your works in progress, or your dreams for a new creation. A place where you can share the ugly beginnings, so we can marvel at your magnificent finishes. A place where we can sympathize with a project that didn't go as planned.