Right now my mind could be equally split into two parts; ‘oh, shit!’ and ‘hell yeah!’, because of the place I am in right now. It’s been two years of gradual changes to lead to this bigger shift, and the last six months have been particularly significant to get to this point. The first half of 2015 I was still primarily spending my time working with design clients and projects, but I stopped booking in any new projects to get me to this point right here and now. The place that I have really felt was the right next step for me, but also a leap of faith, as I focus on creating and making a living with my artwork and my own creative projects.
I absolutely love working on developing my craft and creating offerings that align with that. For a while I have wanted to be able to spend most of time doing that, while letting go of a bit of financial security that came with constant client work and income. With this new side of my business some things haven’t worked so far, some things are growing very slowly, so there’s some fear around letting go of the certainty. There’s a point where you have to make a decision between what you really want to do and follow your intuition, as opposed to keeping super busy and occasionally satisfied. You realise how much that joy is worth to you (hopefully priceless), and what you are happy to compromise on, maybe for a short time, perhaps longer, in order to follow that desire.
It’s true that running your own business requires a certain amount of self motivation and drive, and having clients meant that I really was held accountable to getting the work done. Even in the last couple of weeks of having a different dynamic in my work, in that I’m not as accountable to other people, I had found it more difficult to focus on different tasks that I’d like to do, and choosing between so many different ideas of things I’d love to create. On the other hand, I’m relishing in this space of actually allowing myself to slow down and do things that aren’t necessarily ‘productive’ but enjoyable, but it’s really hard to get out of the mindset that it’s wasting time.
Intrinsically I know that looking after yourself, spending time on learning, discovering, pondering and pampering should be non-negotiable, but I still feel a bit of that underlying anxiety that I should always be doing something to earn money. I’m sure it’s just a simple mindset that I grew up with, working (in the traditional sense) means surviving and keeping busy and not working means falling behind and struggling. But in an artist’s world, it’s such a different dynamic. You want to create what you feel pulled to create and have the freedom to experiment without needing to have a perfectly finished artwork that you can sell or reproduce and so on.
For the last six months I’ve had the words ‘create space’ on a huge chalkboard in my living room (made from an old door). I wasn’t sure if I would get there, but now I find myself here. Space to breathe, space to think, space to create. I think part of KV’S recent Full Moon reading on Aquarius Nation expresses this perfectly:
There is something you are working on now that is going to be quite epic! You are working on a creative project, or projects, or something that is in the works that deals with your creative gifts. There is something with uncovering too, so it may be that new gifts are coming to you, or better uses of what you have always been good at. You are owning a particular power with your creativity and this has you feeling very connected and kind of excited. You also are working to create more self care time as you are feeling that your roots need some love and support to be able to fully anchor the power of what you ARE going to do in this world. This also feels like you are very busy on the home front with many ideas and are working to create the space so that you can develop more genius ideas that will allow you more down time. With all the down time you create in your life, you will have more space to create more ideas that create more stability. It is this cycle you are on and each one feeds the other.
I’m excited to see how things unfold over the remaining half of the year, and I hope you’ll follow me along the way!
Artwork available as a print on Society6.