I have read and watched a few inspiring books and videos recently that have really helped. Especially with my focus. Just little things from each of them pop into my head every now and again and remind me where my focus needs to be. For example I used to get this feeling whenever I saw some crafty item or arty thing where I would think "ooh I could make that, that would be a real money spinner" and I would start to think about making that thing myself and selling it in my Etsy shop. Sometimes I would get as far as buying materials and making one of them. Then my motivation and energy for the idea would fizzle out and I would lose interest and move onto the next money making idea. This would happen again and again, and I would even get jealous of other people succeeding at projects that I "could" do, but wasn't. I would end up feeling fed up and just do nothing.
Through reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert I realised that I need to focus on doing the thing I really love rather than trying to do things that will make money. Because, firstly, those things probably wouldn't ever make me money any way because my heart wouldn't really be in them (and people would see that) and secondly because although I might not ever make money doing what I love, at least I can die a happy woman knowing I squeezed every drop of my passion from me into something I love. So whenever I get that silly feeling like "Oh I could make tea cup candles or doily lamp shades or scrabble tile art," I stop and think to myself "Helen, let someone else do those, you can't do everything. You love painting, that's what your heart is calling you to do. Do that" And I feel much better.
Holy Humming Bird
I recently watched a TED Talk video on You Tube about how you attract buyers, not by WHAT you sell but by WHY you are selling it. I found it really helpful and inspiring, a strong reminder that people aren't just interested in my art, but they are interested in me and what motivates me, what inspires me, what calls to my soul.
I am currently taking the Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons Ecourse which reinforces this message. I have been following Artist Kelly Rae Roberts for years (since 2009 in fact) and have really enjoyed watching her journey unfold. She produced this ecourse back in 2012 I think so I have known about it for a while, but it wasn't until recently that I was ready to invest in myself and take the course. (Leonie Dawson says you get $10 back for every dollar you invest in yourself) It's really exciting and has helped me massively with my focus and how to run a creative business. She talks a lot about being yourself and letting people see the real YOU. So I am working on this and making it more of a focus for my blog.
As for my art, well I can't get enough time for it!! I just want to do it all the time now and am really enjoying working in water colour, which isn't a medium I used that much in the past. It's a wonderful feeling to finally be developing my own ideas in a natural, organic way.
Of course I am faced with the daily challenge of balancing parenting my two gorgeous boys with this strong desire to create, I desperately want to me the "perfect" parent and do everything right, but I am learning to let go a little, to realise that I can't ever be (no one is) perfect, but managing the guilt is hard, always feeling like I fall short is hard. But I know I can't ignore the whispers of my heart to create these paintings or else a part of me dies, and a half dead mother is no good to anyone.
I don't know where all this is going to take me, all this muddling through parenting and snatching minutes here and there to paint, I am hoping eventually I will be able to sell something! (Maybe one day I can even bring in an income through it. Shhhh don't say that too loud, I don't want to scare the idea off) But at the moment it's bringing me joy, and for now that's enough.