Over the holiday break, I had time to take a long look at my life. The holiday art show season completely wiped me out. Last quarter I had no time for myself, little time for seeing friends, and I had to cram school work into every second I had left after working at the shows and my part-time job. I was stressed out and miserable. And confused.
I mean, wasn't getting into art shows supposed to be a fabulous thing? Wasn't that what I was striving for?
It might have been what I was striving for in September when I started signing up for all those fairs. And it still might have been what I was striving for in October when I had my first taste of doing a fair and kind of liked it because I saw that I could make money doing them. But by the end of the season, I was completely dead. I didn't even make it to my last show, and that was a hard decision to make. I started to feel that all-to-familiar feeling of failure creeping in. But I also saw how much I had run myself into the ground and I knew I needed a break.
So I took time to really think about what I wanted in my life and where I want to go with my artwork. And the answer was surprising...and completely obvious.
I want to be a writer, a photographer, and a mixed-media artist. I want to create books that combine these three things. I want to inspire, to show others the beauty and wisdom I find in nature. I want to do all of this in the most authentic, "me" way possible. And I want to start now.
None of that has anything to do with going to art fairs or trying to get more sales on Etsy. It really has nothing to do with making money or "turning my art into a viable business" or getting retail sales. The bottom line is, this is not about money. It's about making a difference, bringing an important message to the world, and being my authentic self without holding back.
So, I'm doing it. I'm jumping into this adventure with both feet. And I've made what for me is a terribly difficult but exciting decision, and it has several parts:
1. I am not going to do more than two fairs this year, and maybe none. (gulp)
2. I am going to write more on this blog in order to exercise my writing muscle, because
3. I am going to start writing a book.
Yes, you read right. I'm getting back into the writing world. Even though I have a lot of trauma related to the children's book I published, I am going to get back on that horse. And I am going to ride that horse into a glorious sunset with fairies and birds flying around me and sparkles and rainbows. Oh yes.
This decision makes my Should, that unbearable task-master side of myself, squirm in desperation. She can see she's losing the battle this time. I can no longer listen to her demands, because the demands of my soul are so much louder now. And I know I have the strength now to listen to my soul.
So, all of this means I am going to spend more time meditating, walking and sitting in nature, painting, and writing than prepping for art shows and updating my Etsy shop and trying to market myself. I never liked any of that anyway. It feels good to declare that!
I hope you will all come along for the ride. It's going to be a magical adventure.