i don’t scratch the surface too much in my posts. It’s usually pretty light and breezy, posts about fun art projects. But the more i read and the more i connect with my facebook followers and customers and fellow artists, the more i feel like i should talk a little more about my experiences. As i read blogs by artists i admire, i often find that the most compelling and humanizing and relatable posts are the ones that don’t sugar coat the truth. It’s the ones that share real-world fear and uncertainty that stick with me.
So i’ll tell you what’s been consuming my brain for at least a year now, since the very moment i decided on my exit strategy for my freelance graphic design business. Fear.
i took the leap (officially, just on monday, but the past couple months have been winding down) and am happy for it….but man, i’ve lost my horizon. You know, your horizon? That point you can focus on to steady yourself when you feel like you’ll fall down any second? Yeah. i’m pretty sure i’ve misplaced it.
While, i truly believe this feeling is temporary, here’s the thing; right this second, it’s kinda paralyzing. When i had my freelance work as a safety net, i could be relaxed in the knowledge that checks would be arriving in the mail a few times each week, and that if i had a slow period on the art-biz side, it was no big deal. Ummm, now it’s a big deal. My fear is up and it’s keeping me from the happy productiveness i was after int he first place. On a daily basis, my thoughts toggle from: man, i love an inbox that doesn’t fill me with dread…..to…..man, why isn’t my inbox more full!?….to….i love reading storybooks to these kiddos in the middle of the day!….to……should i be worried that nothing productive came out of the studio today? It’s Captain In-sane-o! i am NOT a moody person at all, but lately? hmm…Maybe this is what folks refer to as “transition.”
Putting yourself out there – to sink or to swim – is scary. No doubt.
I am actually pretty annoyed by my lack of self-confidence in this moment of my life! But i’m human, and if i’m being completely honest with myself….yep…these are the feelings. oh well : )
Aaaaanyway…..i share this with you because i know it has helped me to read about the occasional self-doubt from artists i adore. It made me feel a certain solidarity and helped me believe that all things are possible. i’d be a punk not to fess up, myself, right?
So, my plan is to allow the fears to surface, acknowledge them, and then get over it already!!! i mean, the world has bigger fish to fry, eh?!
i will just get on with the blessing that is making new art and new connections. In fact, i’m about to take a class to learn about all the different potential markets for my artwork as i move my little business forward. It starts Monday. i’ve got the requisite butterflies. But i am also stoked to continue learning and improving. The goal is to arrive at a place where i answer confidently when someone asks what i do. i want to be able to say, “i’m an artist.” No disclaimers. No self-deprecation. And if i keep saying it enough times, maybe i’ll start believing it’s true.