Okay, so I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Serious thinking about where I am in my life "creatively". This might sound like a silly thing to be thinking about, but if you know me at all, you know that my NEED to express myself creatively is one of the things that really drives my life and defines who I am. Without it, I am not me. And frankly, I am not happy with the place I am creatively. It has been gnawing at me for a while, and really hit home recently. I think I finally got a handle on it, and got to the heart of what is bothering me this week when I met my dear friend Nic for coffee. We really had a good chat, and it really got me thinking. (Thanks for listening Nic).
If you know me, you know that scrapbooking is my passion. Creating an artistic representation of the memories that are important to me - I NEED to do this. And yet I have found that in the last year, I have done virtually NO scrapbooking. I think about it, I want to do it, but I dont get to it. I am deeply saddened by this, and by the time that has been lost while I have been too busy to do what is really important to me. I am really busy, and this is not likely to change soon. And what creative time I have available to me, I spend planning workshops and preparing for classes, which brings me pleasure,, but keeps me from my TRUE love.
I love stamping - really I do. But I started stamping to supplement my scrapbooking - to add a little more to my pages. And somehow over the past few years, it has taken over. I love Stampin' Up, and think the products are fantastic, but being a demonstrator has put me in a place that makes me feel that all of my available "free money" should go to SU products, and this keeps me from truly expressing myself creatively - if I were true to my creativity, I would just buy what I liked, regardless of how it would affect my "business". I am not really sure how or why I have allowed "business" to affect my art, but it really has. I love card making - LOVE it. I love teaching classes, sharing what I love with others, and especially inspiring people to create. But the time that I spend thinking of class projects, preparing for classes, etc. keeps me from being able to really create for me, and I am feeling stifled, stuck, and I NEED to break out of this place and move my focus from "business" to creativity - and really focus on MY memories, MY scrapbook pages.
About 3 years ago I set a goal for myself that I wanted to be published before I was 40. Guess what. I am a week away from 39, and have progressed nowhere in those three years. I have not grown in my art. I have not produced the kind of amazing pages that I KNOW in my heart live inside my head - in fact I have produced relatively few pages at all! This is a goal that I want to accomplish - maybe not by 40 (since I waited so long) but someday. If I don't work, and don't try, it can't happen.
I want to work on a design team. I want my art to be an inspiration to others. But if it stays here in my head, it can't. And I can't enjoy it, and my children can't cherish it. I have to scrap it.
So what does this mean? Where is my rambling caffeine induced monologue taking us? I am not entirely sure. But I know that I have reached a point of change, and the direction that I go from here will define my creative future. I know that I need to step back from my "business" and not allow it to direct my creativity. I need to not have all of my creative time be spent on cards, workshops and classes - it is not enough for me. And the change needs to happen now, while I am motivated, inspired and driven.
My goals for NOW:
1. Buy what I like, and USE IT. Whether or not I can sell it or demonstrate it will NOT be what directs my art.
2. At least 50% of my creative time is for ME, and will be spent scrapbooking for me (the rest can be for classes, gift making, card making etc. )
3. Learn, grow and progress with my art - get out of the rut, think creatively, and do what I like, not what will sell.
4. Build confidence so that I will submit work for design teams, contests etc., and then SEND IT.
5. Learn how to say no - my time is important.
And why did I share all of this with you? Because if I write it down, and I put it out there, then I am accountable for it. I know that there are a few of you out there that will push me to meet my goals, and I need to be pushed. I need to be reminded of what art means to me. This is important to me. I will do this.