I recently had a fellow artist ask me to share my story, looking for guidance on how to start a business and work as an artist.
It made my heart warm because I instantly recognized myself in the message.
It was not so long ago that I was sending these sorts of messages to artists seeking guidance and advice.
Maybe I was looking for some clarity on how to make my dreams come true.
Maybe I was looking for the answer to making a business out of what you love.
Maybe I was looking for the tricks of the trade.
I immediately knew that the reply to the message wasn’t a quick email back but a detailed, real and honest reflection on my experience of it all.
I am still living the experience of it all.
That’s what’s funny about it, looking back at me sending those messages and me recieving them now.
It’s funny because, although I am actually creating art, although I am actually teaching yoga and doing the things I love, it may appear as though I have some answers. It may seem like I am ‘successful’ it may look as though I know the tricks of the trade.
But if there is one thing that I am sure of, from my own experience and floating through the experiences of friends and colleagues, no one has the answer.
There is no right or wrong way to do things.
You just have to do it.
Do something, anything.
JUST DO NOT STOP.
For a long time I was creating, and all of my creations were shoved under my bed, hidden.
They were saved on my hard drive, never to be seen.
Until one point I realized that, if this is what makes me happy, drawing, painting, writing, teaching, creating! Then I need to put it into the world.
I need to be brave and drop all limiting beliefs about myself and my abilities and just DO SOMETHING.
This is a scary thought on may levels.
I was told when I was young that art was a waste of time. Jumping over that hurdle of a belief was step one.
The art poured out of me but then I came across another hurdle.
‘I’m not an artist’
‘Is my stuff even good?!’
Even now, when someone refers to me as an artist it sends a shiver up my spine.
It made me uncomfortable, exposed and vulnerable.
In school I was thought to be quite dumb, my spelling skills are questionable, the word dyslexic was thrown around, my confidence in my academic abilities was uh, zero.
How could I be a writer!?
I was painfully shy as a child, I made a firm decision that I was not going to be that way sometime in my youth but, the fact remained, I hated being center of attention, I hate people looking at me, I could never speak in public.
How could I ever be a yoga teacher?!
I lingered in this space of self don’t for quite some time.
This is when the need to advice or reassurance kicked in.
This was when I would spiral round and round because I had so much bottled up inside me that wasnt being expressed.
This was when I was sad, and desperate and unfulfilled.
I was depressive.
It took this low for me to gain the courage to do something.
Instead of searching for the ‘answer’ or the ‘right time’ I put myself out there.
I advertised a free mural. Someone wanted one. So I painted one.
Then I built my website, I got prints of my art work and walked around town looking for places they could be sold.
Someone had seen my work and wanted something in there home, another mural, commissions, greeting cards, blogs and blogs and blogs. Yoga classes, manuscrpts, illustrations, art, writing, studying, workshops all leading me to now.
I had no idea what to do, so I just did something.
Met with other artist, made connections, learned and worked and never stopped doing what I loved. And now, I am lucky enough to have all of these aspects of me and my soul be apart of my everyday reality.
There are still so many questions and so many dreams I am yet to fulfill, so much that I want to do.
It seems just as I finish one thing I am already into the other.
It can be overwhelming and frantic and exhausting, but mostly it is uplifting, exiting, inspiring and furfilling.
I still work five days a week as a Children’s Librarian, luckily enough this job flows and intertwines with my other loves and passions and enables me to fulfill them.
It still weighs on me that my soul work isn’t my only work, my ‘job’, but the panic of that doesn’t take over me these days as it used to.
I have this deep intrinsic trust that it will be because it can’t not be.
So to answer the original question and message, and to hold the hand of this part of my past and future self.
Whatever you are doing, keep doing it.
There is no end to the work of your soul.
There is no ‘making it’.
There is no easy route.
In my oppinion, we are all winging it!
Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesnt. We are all jus trying.
When you know that you will do your work, that you will fulfill your dreams because you simply can’t not do it.
This is when the trust comes.
Let go of the doubt.
Of course you will do it, of course I will do it.
What else am I here to do?!
Believe in yourself and the rest will follow.