Saturday, 21 September 2013

No more shoulds

Part of the reason for coming back to blogger is because it's where I started. My business seemed to happen to me without me having a plan and this is where I began to blog. I feel I am coming full circle a little wiser now and want to go deeper into what I want and what I need and what I can offer other people.

I don't want to worry about 'shoulds' and trying to seem bigger than I am. Thinking big is right for some people but that very term 'thinking big' perhaps is misleading. Thinking about what makes you happy is the right starting point for everyone: what suits you? Tempered with immediate needs of course and a little pinch of ambition or maybe a lot! The point is we aren't all the same and it's so easy to allow yourself to feel inadequate just because you want something a bit different from other people. Something smaller perhaps, something flexible, or something diverse or yes even something HUGE. Or even a halt. A complete change. It's all fine, it might not be immediate but identifying what you want, really, really want, is key.

It's also very hard to know what you want and feel trapped doing something else to pay the bills. If that's you - you will get out. I've been there and took a job as a product manager, gave myself 2 years and handed in my notice almost exactly 2 years later. I only had a months salary behind me when I left but I went out with my portfolio over London and I got work. I was determined and did well. In all honesty it's easier if you aren't a parent. After several years as a successful illustrator I had a baby, moved to the country and had another shortly after and let things fizzle out a bit - but something new blossomed. At least I've been able to just about manage as a freelancer for many years, but palpably, now there could be so much more.

Personally I'm not single minded and I enjoy working alone, which means I try things. Inevitably it means things take longer - especially with two children. It also means I have a great desire to connect with other people like me and perhaps help those who are at an earlier stage than even I am after all this time. I've had mini careers and I'm constantly evaluating where I am. Over the last couple of years I've seen that phrase 'portfolio' career many times - usually referring to one person doing a few quite unrelated things to earn a living. So why do artists - or is it just me? - berate themselves for not mastering just one discipline? No more. I'm just not going to do that.

I illustrate and I know I haven't done my best work yet. I paint and I know I haven't done my best yet.. really do you ever! I design wooden personalised decorations, this started for fun and thousands of people have bought them from me through the internet; I've been pondering on ways to diversify this area of my business and have a few ideas. Over the past year I've learned more about pattern design, taught myself the basics in Illustrator and learned to be more self reliant emotionally. There's SO much to learn and do. If I can make a better living for me and my family and keep learning all my life and have variety then that's my goal. I can look back and cringe at mistakes I've made but am starting to be kind to myself and live in the now.

I hope you are too.

We have one life (leave aside any reincarnation beliefs here) and it is scary to truly go for what you want; but if you are one of those lucky ones who really KNOWS what that is you have to do it! I'm not quite at the KNOWING stage but I am going to have a damn good messy creative time working it out.

If this raises anything for you please comment below or even if it doesn't - it would be lovely to know you are out there :)




6 comments:

  1. I had some lovely comments on this post when I had it set up with Google + but realised that only google people could comment! I've changed my settings now so that anyone can - apologies to those that already replied. You made my morning :)

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  2. I loved your Moyo page. I thought I knew what i was doing so i'm interested to see you working it out too :)

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    1. Hello Claire
      Thank you! I'd love to see what you do too.. let me know where I can see your work. Thanks very much for commenting :)

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  3. Totally know how you feel - still working it out. Definitely live in the now - we are all on different paths and we just have to keep moving forward and look towards that goal :)

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  4. Thank you for this inspiring post :)

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    1. You are very welcome :) and thank you to you - your comment made me read my own words again, which helps remind me of what I am doing!

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I love to have comments and read every one.. thank you!