For me there are only 3 ways of reaching a decision:
- Mark Vaux
This day last year I popped up from behind the colors and shapes and posted a picture of my face and told you a little about me. I asked you if you would join me as I entered the world of blogging, which is really just a generic way of saying, "I am going to share a big part of me online, right out in the open. I am about to get really vulnerable in this space... will you stick around for it? Will you read it? Will you like it? Will you love it? Will you share it? Will you buy it?" That last part makes me a little queasy. Yeah, the buying part. I think that woozy feeling just means that I need to practice that part a lot more. I did not retire from earning a living when I committed to sticking with a vision and building this brand. ART CAMP is a business. A business built on a deep, deep love and passion for art and creative expression, and a 'feel it in my bones' belief that creativity is a pathway to connection and connection is something this world needs more of as we all transition to living big parts of this 21st century life behind screens. This thing I am doing is not one year in the making. I did not just decide to do the thing on a whim on 11/28/16. It has been with me, slowly building and taking form over the last 39 years. Those years I have spent as little human, student, artist, teacher, mother, art academy director, daughter, sister, and friend. This anniversary marks the day that I decided I was going to go all in and pour everything I had into a vision I had been living with for a very long time. It is the day I committed. I am sharing that to inspire you. It is okay if you are still in the mulling phase. I do think great things take time, but when the day comes and the universe says, "What are you waiting for?!" and all of your excuses don’t hold up, set the fear to the side and... Do. The. Damn. Thing. Do it with your whole heart and everything you've got and next thing you know that vision baby that you held so closely to your heart will be all grown up and out in the world. There will be moments when you find yourself scrolling for jobs... your fear tells you that you are more “suited" for jobs that come with benefits and hours that end at 5:00. I say, have a scroll. When that scroll leads to heartache, put the mouse down and go back to the work that you HAVE to do. My only regret is that I wish I had made the decision sooner. You know what kept me from making the decision? I was holding out for perfect. "What if I put something out before it’s ready... before it’s perfect?" The best piece of wisdom I received at the beginning of this year was: it’s never going to be perfect. It is always a work in progress, constantly being tweaked and refined. Don’t wait for perfect. I took those words and tattooed them to the insides of my eyelids... not literally... I am not that brave, but metaphorically they are there and every time that 'P' word pops up, I close my eyes and put the work out anyway.
This Ira Glass quote is one of the best things I have ever read, so I am going to share it with you before I sink back into my world of colors, shapes, hard work, and grit...
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”