In the whole wide world of blogging I only stumbled across one this week that spoke to me. Off Brand, by Sarah Bessey, gives us permission (not that we need it but it’s nice to hear someone else say “yes!!!”) to change the story.
I think we frequently fall into the trap of “this is what I do, this is what I am” and we stay there. We do what is expected of us, what our parents did before us, even if we have the feeling we might want to do something different. I know this has happened to me-in an odd twist on the traditional story, I felt pressured to continue homeschooling, be the SAHM, do the things our parents (and most of their friends) did because that was the best way for them. For some this is fine, it’s what they want-but I felt like my soul was dying. I was quickly losing any spark I had.
So I made a change. My origin story as an artist is somewhat fuzzy-I’m not sure what the exact catalyst was-but at some point last year I made the terrifying decision I was going to put my stuff up on Etsy. It was terrifying because until January ’15 I was convinced I could not draw. I was a calligrapher, I could make beautiful beaded creations, but the world of art was closed to me. Until I decided it wasn’t.
I now have a dream of doing the art fair rounds, selling online, and possibly even more. We’ve decided to keep homeschooling, for now anyway, because some of the art fairs are far enough away that we’ll need to leave during the week to get to them, and it’s just more convenient. I’m a WAHM, and I have no desire to re-enter the traditional workforce and routine of 9-5. But I had to decide that, I had to evaluate what I did and did not want.
And I’m still reevaluating. I draw mandalas and cute animals, but I don’t want to stay there. I have other fields I want to branch out into, and I try to give myself constant permission to change what I do if I need to. Even my dream of doing the art circuit is not set in stone-I have no idea how my business will evolve, where it might take me. I’m open to going with the flow (which is huge for me-I like having a plan).
I encourage you to also be open to evaluating your story, as a person and an artist. There are some things we cannot change, sure, rent must be paid and food must be bought, but there are usually things we can do to better point what is at what we want it to be. Your art also does not define you (although it seems like people want to put you into a category).My lack of art knowledge is handy here, because I can honestly tell people I’ve no idea what category I fall into. And that prevents me from categorizing myself (which I tend to do).
So on this glorious Friday (at least it’s glorious here), take a moment to evaluate. Make the small changes that might need to be made, or forgive yourself for steps that have already happened that proved to be discordant with your overall journey.
And as always, Art On, my friends:)