We live in amazing times.? Closed doors have been opened, the playing field has been leveled.
We live in a time when any creative person can turn their creative joy into their livelihood.
Maybe, technically, this was always true.? But not really.
When I graduated from university, with a degree in fashion design, I wanted to be an artist.
My fourth year of university had been a time of creative flourishing for me.? I was expanding creatively while exploring the world of textile art.? And my work showed a lot of promise.? I made the top 10 list for Designer of the Year.? And I remember my surface design teacher asking me to not give up, to find a way to keep doing the art I was doing.
And I told her I would.? And I did.? I mean, to the best of my ability.? And I’m only 39, but still – but still the world was very different than it is today.
To sell my work I had to approach galleries.? I had to spend hours and hours and hours preparing to present my work to each gallery.? And then, even when they did want to represent me – everything about it was entirely under their control, which meant my career was under their control.? As I kept showing my work I did start to build up a very small following, and was lucky enough to start to get some commissions but still, it was a long, hard road.
The traditional gallery system serves gallery owners far more than it serves artists.? This isn’t news.
The internet has changed that.? As creatives, we can market and promote ourselves, build our own audience and be empowered in our creative careers.
In fact, the internet has made it so easy that with $100 or less you can set yourself up to sell your art online.
This is good. And bad.
While there used to be too many barriers to entry, now there sometimes too few.
It’s MUCH easier to set up a blog and an etsy shop than it is to master your art.? This means it’s possible to set up your online art business before you’ve really developed your work.
Which means you put it out there too soon, before you really know what you’re saying as an artist.? And your potential customers don’t buy because they also don’t really know what you’re saying as an artist.? And you give up and decide that you’re not good enough.
But really, you just needed more time to find your creative voice.
It’s possible.? I promise.? But it may take more time than you want it to.
Spend more time creating.? Don’t start to sell your work because you want to start making money from it.? Start to sell your work because it really honestly truly feels like it’s time to share it.
And when it’s time, spend more time learning about business than you think you need to.? Remember that anyone can set up a blog and an etsy shop.? If you want to succeed you’ve got to go deeper.
And as I’ve already talked about, once you get the hang of marketing – bring your creative genius to it.? Play with it.? Have fun growing your business!
Learn from as many different people as you can.
I’ve had a lot of different business teachers/coaches.? It’s really helpful to get different perspectives and ideas.
That’s why I’m so happy about the Don’t Lost Your Shit sale.
$1500 worth of business products for $97?? This is what I mean about how it’s getting easier and easier to bring your creative business dream to life.? There is so much help available!
Most importantly: Don’t Give Up.
It doesn’t happen overnight.? But it will happen as long as you don’t give up.
It’s important to seek out different teachers and mentors to get different kinds of help.
And to create support systems for your dream.
Because it’s not going to be easy and you’re going to want to give up and it’s important that you don’t.
Why is this important?
All of my adult life I have felt driven to create a meaningful soulful creative life for myself.
I was never able to find a job that really fit that.
Some came close, but I needed the wild creative abandon that I can only get from being my own boss and crafting my own unique flavour of success.
It’s NOT about BUSINESS.
It’s about creating a life that is true to who you are.? And the simple reality that money has to come into play there somewhere and somehow.
While some time and energy are needed to figure things out and to create the structure of your business, ultimately you don’t have to spend any more time than you want to doing “business stuff”.
You can built it in a way that fits your skills and preferences.
You can leave out the parts you don’t like.
You can hire out the parts you don’t like.
There are a lot of options.
The main thing is to be true to yourself.
This is what I’m “working” on right now: DELIGHTING IN DOING THINGS MY WAY.
Even when, especially when, this is different from how “The Experts” say to do it.
And it feels GOOD.
I am so grateful that my life is so GREAT FULL!
And a huuuuuge piece of that is my work.
Getting to do the creative work that lights me up and feels congruent with my purpose and truth and soul.? Sharing my creative essence with the world.? Working with people that inspire me like crazy.
There were many many many many many many times along the way when I was sure I wouldn’t get here.
I am so grateful that I didn’t get up.