Today I made soup, and stirred it with a real wooden spoon. Today I froze my fingers off walking in the freezing cold. I snuggled a baby who won’t be a baby much longer. Today I wondered at the snow and shared a big cozy blanket with two quickly growing girls. I baked cookies and I painted. Today I chose to see beauty in the mirror instead of the 30 extra pounds. Today I let myself be loved. Today I lived and I am full.
I wrote this a few weeks ago…
I want more of these kind of days. But today started in a blur. Before coffee I broke a half gallon glass milk jug. It wasn’t even opened yet so I am sure you can imagine the mess that ensued. And that was just before coffee. You better believe that I scraped some of that cream top still left on the broken jar into my cup of coffee. Shhhh!!! Don’t tell. It was a frantic blur of trying to get everyone clothed and fed and all bundled to get off to school. Some days I think it’s just a miracle that I even get the girls off to school. (And it took me all morning to clean up the shards of glass and sticky milk).
The truth is that with three small girls, the milk spillage is a better snapshot of what my days usually look like. Messy blurs with rushing and spinning and scraping by. The truth is that I sometimes struggle with being kind to myself. I battle self doubt and perfectionism. The truth is that I don’t feel beautiful and think about all the weight I need to lose. The truth is that I feel not enough on most days. I fight fear and unbelief.
But especially in this season… I want more days where I slow down. I want more days of staying present. I want to really open my eyes and see the beauty all around me. I want to let myself be loved. I want to let go of what I think things are supposed to look like. I want to breathe it all in. Even the messy sticky milk. Because one day it will pass… and I will wish I had cherished these days more. Life is beauty fleeting. AND it is messy. But I am tired of letting shame keep me from finding beauty.
And I know that sometimes beauty stings. When you are broken and you can’t find your own beauty. So this year, my wish for you… that you would find your own messy beauty. That you would let go of the shame and just let yourself be you. Because you are beautiful. That beauty would find it’s way to your heart and bring healing. Because it will if you let it.
And know… you are not alone.
1. Make art with purpose and with a specific market in mind. The kind of art that you make for a fabric line, will be totally different than the art you make for the Wall Art market. Keep that in mind while you are creating art.
2. People buy your joy. So do what you love doing. And when you get turned around with self doubt or comparison, go back to what brings you joy. )
3. Stop looking at other artists and comparing yourself. This is your journey. You journey is not going to look like someone else’s journey.
4. Keep making art.
5. Great art is the best advertisement. See number 4.
6. Your talent is not finite. Your talent will always keep growing if you let it. See number 4 (again).
7. Keep putting yourself out there. Over and over. Even when it’s hard. Because it will be.
8. Develop thick skin. It’s not personal. Really it’s not. Keep making art and keep following your joy.
9. Surround yourself with support. You will need it for where you are going. Find your tribe. The other people who are going where you are going.
10. See number 4 again. Yep. You guessed it. Keep making art.
Here are the rest of my MATS tribe mates involved in this blog tour. Go check them out!!!
Aisha Khan - http://www.aishaandherwork.blogspot.com/
Oh, my dear dear blog,
I hope you are not feeling like the neglected step child! I really must come visit more often. There is so much to share with you. I have been meaning to write for some time now, but have been majorly distracted with fun and exiting things as of late. Life has been full… including a full on walking baby. Besides the busyness that is this time of year, I wanted to let you know about my latest article that will be out in stores on December 15 in Sew Somerset. It would make a perfect stocking stuffer for the seamstress in your life.
There are a few new paintings I would like to share with all of you as well. After Make Art That Sells, I have been producing a lot of new work. This class was most certainly fuel for my fire to get producing. So I have some new paintings to share.
I have some digital pieces that I will share shortly as well, a collection that I have been hard at work on. I just want to leave you with this video I made for MATS. It’s pretty fun and I am really proud of how it turned out. It’s not letting me embed the video, so you will have to go here to watch it. Enjoy!
Just in time for Small Business Saturday!!! My 2014 Calendars… I know so many of you missed my calendar last year. So starting today through Monday, I am going to be offering them on sale. Instead of $25, they will be $20. So don’t miss out!!! Go to my shop now to get yours today.
There is a mixture between some of my older mixed media pieces and new digital pieces! Again, visit my etsy shop to get yours now.
All right. It’s post Make Art That Sells. And I realize that seems to be all that I am posting about right now. But seriously. I feel like my life and art has been seriously transformed. So I just wanted to give you a taste of how much I have learned in this class, a before and after of sorts. So I chose to go back and redo the piece that I did for the Global Talent Search. I feel like MATS gave me super powers… I learned so very much. Here is the before:
Now my icons really pop and there isn’t so much busy in the background. The after just flows better. I also toned down some of the colors to have a more vintage-y feel. That allows the brighter colors to really pop. And the grey background that has a chalkboard quality is my favorite. I also think the after feels warmer and happier, not so stark against the white.
And here is a mock up…
I honestly thought I would be exhausted after Make Art That Sells. But to tell the truth, I feel strangely energized. My mind is going crazy with creative ideas! I don’t want to go to sleep at night because there are so many projects I want to work on. And I cant remember the last time I have been so excited about my art and business. It almost feels like when I first started painting. So I have hit the ground running working on some new pieces. I thought I might share one of them with you today.
I am having fun using tons of details lately. So this piece is a little over the top, but I really love it! I am working on a collection like the piece I did last week. What do you think?
Whew!!! I made it through the most intense online class I have ever taken. Feels so amazing… Like I just ran a marathon, while on a roller coaster and juggling. I grew by leaps and bounds. I learned so very much, things that I think will be more and more evident in the weeks and months to come. I found more of myself in this process. I overcame some intense feelings of competition which led to comparison. It’s really hard to find your way back to you when you are in that place. I seriously had to step back and just focus on me and my art. I had to find what makes me unique. I had to find my joy. Sometimes it’s good to be in such a magnifying glass of competition because of all the things that rise to the surface. It’s so easy to feel that yucky feeling of not enoughness.
Because that is what it all comes down to… Am I enough? When I make my art, it’s a reflection of me. And when your art is not enough, it feels like you are not enough. That is why it’s so hard to put yourself out there.
There was something about this whole process that brought out my performance tendencies. This idea of being chosen by Lilla brought that out in me. Like I was somehow being rejected if she didn’t pick my piece. There was finally a turning point in the class, where I was talking to a friend about my emotional breakdown. Out of that conversation, I came to this place where I just realized that I need to make art just for me, not for Lilla, not for other people, not for a market… just me.
When I make art just for me, a magical thing happens. Joy oozes out everywhere and it’s evident in my piece. And like Lilla says, people buy your joy. I feel like this huge weight has been lifted. I feel like I have been given permission to just be me. Ya know?
So here is my last piece. I fell in love with this last assignment and feel like I seriously stepped into a new and different style, finding what is me. It’s what flows. I am going to now make some more pieces just like this one because I love it so. We made zipper bags. So much fun!!!