It's an interesting thing, this exploration of art and life.
I am not a typical artist (is there such a thing?) I do not have a fine arts degree... I do not have a background in fine arts nor did I grow up in a culturally rich environment.
I DID grow up in a very creative family... my father was an incredibly talented and probably frustrated artist. He could draw anything and one of my favorite memories is the mural he drew on the kitchen wall in oils depicting a winter snow scene. And my mom... well she could whip up curtains, coverlet and pillows in an afternoon without aid of a pattern (she did this on occasion.)
So the creative blood flows through these veins for sure..... and I'm so happy that I have found myself navigating this path. I learn something new, fresh, and amazing daily. One thing that I wasn't prepared for, though, was this idea of the starving artist. I mean, yes, I'd heard that phrase... but, I really had no idea how much this idea permeated our own culture.
I am feeling a little more fired up than usual about this topic because of an online group I belong to. A question was posed by a disappointed artist who had signed up for yet another course promising to teach how to not only make a living but become rich by selling your artwork. She felt scammed because the content was not focused on how to go about building an art business, rather it was about how to host webinars much like the one she was attending. It was rather like the old ads in the newspapers claiming to teach you how to make a million dollars, just send $1 in a stamped self-address envelope and the advice was 'place an ad in the newspaper.......'
I wasn't fired up about her disappointment or the fact that she was trying to discover how to create a business for herself... I was more taken aback by the group's host response. She said that (true) artists are not in it for the money... they are in it to create beauty in the world or to tell a story visually.
And granted, these things can definitely be true. HOWEVER, that does NOT mean we can't build a business or aspire to live abundantly or successfully (however we define this for ourselves) through our art. It's a crazy notion. And even more than that, it's a harmful one. We are being taught that somehow the desire to earn money makes us less than.
I'm calling Bullshit. Stop this insanity. Artists who follow their passions deserve support.... not disdain simply because they are trying to make money.
The world of art is definitely changing because of the internet. No longer is there one clear definition about what success looks like. And now more than ever it has become very accessible to the many. And more art in the world? Can that really be a bad thing?
Art heals. Art transforms.
Stepping down now, from my soapbox.
It will come as no surprise to many of you that I love me some good visioning. It is a technique that I have used to great success for most of my life... from a wee sporty and competitive girl to ambitious woman and all the stages in between, it not only helps me focus, but more importantly it lays the foundation of BELIEVING that I can and WILL achieve what I set out to do.
I have found that often times the thing we want the most is, for whatever reason, the thing we think we can't have.... and that sets in motion a whole lotta challenges that frankly, you just don't need.
A powerful way to turn those self-limiting beliefs around is to engage in some visualization. You have the power within you to create the life you truly desire.
Start at the END... what does your future you look like... what are you doing... how are you living... and what does that feel like? Once you have created a powerful mind-picture (Vision) for yourself, you can work backwards and create goals to help you bring to life this clear vision.
Working one on one with folks to help them map our their course is something I love doing. Seeing you achieve your true desires brings me great joy. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Theodore Roosevelt is: Believe you can and your halfway there.
What vision are you working on bringing to life?
During this time of year it is only natural to think about making shifts... changes... new beginnings. It is also quite natural to be impacted by the energy of change that is in the air. And it's a great motivator to commit.
Typically we don't have trouble jumping in and starting. The real challenge is in sustaining the momentum.
Change can be difficult. Even when it's a change we WANT. So... to help you sustain the the effort and changes, I offer a few easy steps:
1- Partner with a friend. It can be reinforcing to have someone who knows what you are working towards. She can help cheer you on and keep you on track. Just be sure to understand what your motivators are. Do you like being held accountable? Gentle support? Tough love? Whatever your preferences, have a conversation up front with your partner so you can agree on how best to support each other.
2- Build in reflection time. Often we are so focused on the main goal and outcome that we neglect the effort and changes that are happening along the way. True change doesn't happen overnight. Your willingness to continue the path is worth celebrating. Take time to take stock of not only where you are headed, but where you began. Note the shifts. Celebrate the wins... even if, or especially if you feel there have been detours along the way. Remember, it's not how much we fall down that matters, but how often we get back up.
3- Chart your course for change incrementally. Small steps are easier to incorporate into your life. Let's say you want to wake up an hour earlier each morning. Instead of flipping the switch and setting the alarm to shock your system by an hour in the morning, choose a smaller increment. Maybe 15 minutes earlier. Or 10. Or how about just 5. It won't be so jarring and you'll be able to sustain the changes more easily. Just keep making the small incremental movements until you reach the goal. And then celebrate the hell out of it!
What is a goal you are going after this year? How can I help you get there?
It finally happened. It is rare. I don't always handle it well. But, I DROPPED the damn ball.
You know what that's like, right? I pride myself on follow-through. On getting things done. Of making things happen.
But. I had one too many balls in the air. I didn't have a great system in place to track everything going on or all my obligations.
So, I reacted first by beating myself up a little. Shared the story with a couple friends (I chose wisely here... I didn't need anyone else beating me up or admonishing me.) And then, I. Let. It. Go.
None of this is about perfection. I am perfectly flawed and human. Truly two of my best traits.
So I write my words of gratitude. I focus on what went right instead of wrong. I look around this magical space and get excited about the possibilities. And I remember: I believe I can so I will.
(This artwork is by our friends at Wildwood Creative and available in my shop.)
So now your turn, tell me, what do you do to get through dropping a ball?
there are so many things to do and be done. I'm trying not to freak out. I am a list maker. It is something that brings a sense of calm to my life. But in the course of trying to make a switch from paper and pen list making to making lists on my iPad, I have found myself to be in a state of limbo as I try to find just the right app to take the place of my lovely paper and pen.
This has proved to be a challenge, however. As nothing really seems to be working the way I'd like it to, I find that I can't quite commit to any particular app. And since I, the queen of leading folks through change, know that it is important to stick with something at first to get through that initial level of discomfort, I haven't been using paper and pen. But I haven't been using my iPad either.
For any of you who ARE list makers, you can imagine that about now I'm ready to pull out my hair. I need to have a list for everything at work needing to doing, at home, as well as for The Collage Cafe. So I've decided for the sake of my own sanity that I will be spending some time tonight, creating my list.
Lists help me keep on track... help me think through things I might be forgetting, make connections across all areas of my life.... plus, there is definitely a sense of satisfaction when I get to cross something off that list.
At the top of the list for the collage cafe is 'create website' (photo above.... and so here we go.....! It's going to be an incredible ride.
Living a joy*filled life is a top priority. Here I will share what I learn along the way.