Saturday, April 30, 2011

Break on through to the other side

It's been forever since I've said hello on my blog. Or said anything for that matter. I can't count the number of post ideas I've composed in my head the last few months only to decide a minute later that nobody would want to read about that. I know it's a waste of precious time to doubt yourself but I also know it's a common thought pattern with artists at times. And bloggers, at least with bloggers who struggle with confidence. I've been in a serious confidence-lacking dungeon. It's a dark place, smells musty and there aren't any windows. Why I've stayed in that place for this long is a mystery to me. The longer I stayed the darker it became. I wondered if I was depressed? Stressed out? Having a midlife crisis? Probably a combination, I decided, of these and a half dozen other factors.

I finally realized I was missing the light. So I climbed out. And here I am. I'm feeling pretty stoked about being above ground again emotionally. My journal needs dusting off. And my sewing machine yearns to have the presser foot pushed flat. There's an empty space where newly made things will perch and items for my etsy shop will sit briefly before being whisked off to some far away place where the new owner lives. My brand new wacom tablet is waiting to be played with and understood.

I'm feeling a real sense of clarity about some things that I've been feeling pent up about for years. Like my website. A real honest-to-goodness website where my design portfolio will live. A place where I can confidently start to sell my services as a designer again. It feels really good to say that.

Seeing the light again is bringing about a flood of realizations. I realize that I need to shed some things. Do I really need a bricks and mortar antique booth and an etsy shop? Do I need to be in the vintage business at all? I'm realizing that my time management skills need a major tune-up too. I need to manage and manage well my current day job while building up my design business. And homeschooling. I've got nothing but improvements to make there.

I'm realizing that I have a passion for illustration. I always have. I'm giving myself permission to think of myself as an illustrator, to open myself up to opportunities to use that talent and passion.

I'm realizing that I've let myself take a big back seat to the people closest to me in my life. As a mother I think that's so innate. It's a good thing, in the right proportion. But I think mine has gone a little twisty at the ends. I've let myself go. I used to be incredibly fit. Not anymore. My clothing size has grown from single digits to double. I suddenly see very clearly that all these things have contributed to that dark little hole I'd crawled into.

So here I am. I'm singling out all the things that have contributed to the mess and cleaning them up. In some cases ridding myself of them entirely. If it was part of the problem then it's not part of the solution. I recognize that I've always righted-myself when life's knocked me over. But this time I feel like I need help. And no, I don't mean meds.

I need someone to help me redefine my focus and reset my goals. A coach perhaps? Maybe an organized way of connecting with others that share similar struggles? But what does that look like? Who is that coach? I started searching and about 10 minutes later I found Tara Gentile. You might know her as scoutiegirl. Her Art of Action program appears to have my name written all over it. I could probably be the poster child for it. I'm thrilled to say that I just signed up.

You've got to pop over and check it out. Her video intro is great. If you are struggling at all with who you are as an artist, where you want to go with your art or craft or feeling like you've gotten stuck in your own dark dungeon I recommend joining me in the Art of Action. I am excited about all the amazingly creative people that I'm going to meet and the breakthroughs that will be had. But most of all, I'm feeling grateful that God has helped me to see the light again.
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