Where Have You Been?
Ok, ok...I suppose the more appropriate question is where have I been? Well, I've been rather busy just like the rest of us. Not that I wasn't busy before, it's just a different kind of busy. A 40 + hour a week job kind of busy. That's right, after six months in classrooms, and seven months "wondering" around with my art, I went back into the world of 9 to 5 work. I feel very fortunate to have a job. I also feel fortunate that since developing my art business, new doors have opened up that I never would have imagined.
Last year, I knew two things:
Art is like air for me - I need it
I don't take the time for it
I was also very, very, very shy about it. Insecure about it, really. Didn't want anyone to know that I truly LOVE words, and well-formulated sentences, and good books, and color, and shape, and texture, and form, and movement, and singing and dancing, and the look of black pen on a white piece of paper, and art of all kinds. I still had (have) those ancient voices haunting me; "it's not practical," "artists are (insert any degrading adjective here)" So many stupid messages. Is it not the things that we love the most, that cause us the most anguish? Because we care so very much? I was in anguish about this love affair I had with art; unrequited love.
I knew I needed to create a foundation; an accountability system. I knew I needed to build my confidence. I knew I had to call myself an artist, to say it out loud, and believe it, and to try to not discount it anymore.
So I practiced. I tested out new waters. I shared my art with others. I wrote down their feedback. I created a website. I ordered business cards. I talked with people about it. I gave them my business cards. I responded to their emails. I created a mailing list. I sent out newsletters. I wrote a blog, I asked shop owners if they would sell my work....at each different step...I was pretty terrified. Scared of looking like an idiot. Scared of doing it "wrong" as if there was one "right" way. Scared of sharing something so personal to me. What am I so scared of? What are we so scared of? I once had a close friend tell me, "Katie, you just like to be uncomfortable." I'd rather see it as - I like to challenge myself. I like to push through self-imposed fears. I like to try new things, and see what happens. I like to stay curious. I don't always do it 100%. But I try to do the best I can with what I've got at the moment.
Someone asked me last week how my business is going. I told him that it was serving the purpose it was intended to serve. It has given me the confidence to communicate my passion. It has led me into opportunities I never would have had without the courage it has provided. I don't have to seek out the opportunities all the time now; sometimes they come to me.
So that's where I've been. As we started...where have you been? What does your journey look like? What have you done lately to pursue what you love? What have you done lately to even identify what it is that you love? Sometimes it's just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, and being open to what comes your way.
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I love words. I love art. I love the combination of words and art...