Almost 2 years ago, I tried hand lettering. I’d done calligraphy before, so I was confident that I’d really enjoy brush lettering. But I sucked… when I say that I sucked, I should take a moment to clarify that I’m not the sort of person who needs consoled with a popsicle. I’m not being down on myself, or having a comparison pity party… it was just ragged.
But that’s not shocking, because I’d never used a brush pen before. As it turns out, I didn’t have the muscle control to move it fluidly yet, and I was using the wrong paper, so I was tearing up my pen too. But, based on that one half-crap attempt, I decided that it was proof I just wasn’t cut out for brush lettering.
Makes sense right? I tried it, I stunk, case closed. Boy, am I glad my parents didn’t have that attitude about me when I was born! “Well, she tried to stand, and she fell….. what a failure!”
Well now you’re just being silly Amanda! Yup. Sure am… and I was being silly when I bailed on a potential new skill, because I wasn’t mind-blowing on my first attempt.
So at the beginning of this year, I chose 3 skills to learn through the year: Doodling, hand lettering, and watercoloring. Why 3? I just can’t handle only picking one skill… and 3 sounded like a good number.
Why limit myself at all? I could give you some very schmancy responses about how historically limitations have prompted some of the most long lasting things like Picasso’s blue period, or Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, which arose from a challenge to write a book in 50 words or less.
I “could” give you that answer, but honestly it’s because I suffer from a crippling condition… FOMO. Yes ladies, get well cards can be sent to me at… okay seriously though… Fear Of Missing Out. It kills me to miss out on things, and I want to take *flinging confetti* all-the-classes!!! So I limited myself to 3 areas, so that if I saw a class and I really wanted to take, I could analyze it in the scope of those 3 skills, and determine if the class was a good fit.
And it worked.
I started off the year by creating a Pinterest board for 2017, and I dumped anything I could find… books, YouTube tutorials, blog posts, tools, classes… just to get my brain going.
I chose these 3 things on a whim. My whims are few and far between, so I usually follow them when they come along. I’m not a capricious person by nature. But this was definitely a whim. And I ran with it as hard as I could. What I didn’t realize, is that it would change everything. *dunh dunh da dunhhhhhh*
Phillip would come home, to a bed covered in lettering drills. Because once I started learning how to properly do it, I loved it. And I would do page after page of drills… waves, swirls, v’s, m’s, n’s, circles… anything to learn the motions and build that muscle control.
Slowly, I added in watercolors, and to my surprise I fell in love with that too. You see, what all 3 things had in common, was that I’d previously tried them, and decided they must not be “my” thing. Lettering was rough looking, watercoloring was difficult to control (and I love control), and doodling was too whimsical for me.
But slowly, all of them grew on me. And as I learned them, my art became more unique, and more interesting. Meanwhile, my writing on my blog was getting harder and harder. I had a chat with a friend about it one evening, and she said “is it possible, that you’re struggling because you’re writing about what you think people want you to write about, instead of what really excites you?”
Uhm. Yes. More than possible.
So basically over the weekend, everything changed. I updated my domain, my graphics, and everything… I had one more hiccup… turns out not everyone knows what a curmudgeon is ;), but I rallied and here I am.
Here I am, and it’s one year since I made that decision… and now I’m doing it again. Last year, it was a secret… only a handful of people had any clue what I was doing… my own personal safety net in case I got bored. But this time, I’m going public with it for a very special reason.
I want you to join me.
Don’t worry, I’m not pointing my finger at you like Uncle Sam, and I won’t draft you, or voluntell you. This is completely up to you, but the things is… a drive by yourself is nice, but a road trip with friends is fun! Are you game? Awesome!Join me and @amandasuehowell in choosing 3 creative skills to grow in 2018! Click To Tweet
Here’s how this works… you’ll pick 3 things. I’m picking 3 for personal, and 3 for business… that doesn’t mean that the personal won’t end up in my business, but for now, these are just being learned and explored. Anyway, you’ll pick 3 things, and revolve your world around them. Let them create a laser focus for the classes you take next year, the tutorials you watch, your tax time splurges… all of it.
At the end of each month, I’ll do an update post, and I’ll share what I’ve been up to (although odds are, you’ll see glimpses on my Instagram, and possibly YouTube), and what classes I’ve been taking… what skill got the majority of my attention that month, and what my progress is.
I totally want to hear from you in the comments of those posts… link to your own update post if you choose to go that route! Share an Instagram photo that shows what you’ve created so far! Update us with what class you loved the most… invite us into your world.
Without further ado, here are my 3 personal focuses for 2018:
Acrylic painting – I explored watercolors this year, so next year I’m playing in a different medium.
Makeup – I have always adored makeup, and I’d love to really learn some new fun looks, and learn how to do them quickly… I’m just not a 4 hour contour kinda girl.
Music – Another longstanding interest of mine… I’ve been dying to learn how to play several instruments, and really sharpen up my singing.
Now it’s your turn! What focuses are you choosing for 2018? Will you be making a Pinterest board too?
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