I am an Artist.
I am an Artist.
I knew I was an artist as a child.
I knew I was an artist in the only honors class I ever took (or qualified for) in High-school.
I forgot I was an artist in college.
I forgot I was an artist in my early career days in a cubical. Where others got promoted and I shriveled up behind the paper pushing, agendas, and meetings I didn't connect with.
As a young mom, I began to remember I used to love art. I began to create stuff to decorate my home. I incorporated art into our days as I gave my children their own sketchbooks to record our outings or discover their own self expression through writing, graffiti, drawing, or doodling.
I opened an Etsy shop and made a few dollars drawing portraits in graphite. I added painted (pre-made) ceramic pieces, and jewelry to that shop. I started a photography business and taught myself to crochet and knit for my baby clients and added baby hats and flower pins to that shop. I added some of my favorite photography prints and greeting cards to the same Etsy shop.
I painted in secret.
I made an art desk area for myself in our living space. Mostly that desk space just gave the appearance that I was an artist with my brushes, colored pencils, and graphite collected in carefully chosen vessels. I didn't spend a lot of time actually making art there as a young, busy mom. I continued to create but fit it in around other "more important" tasks. Sometimes I sat at my art desk to pay bills, sign permission slips, or address Christmas cards. But making Art was always on the back burner. Always 2nd ... or 3rd ... or last ... to more reasonable or more financially secure tasks. I never realized I was the only one who could give myself permission to make it a place of priority.
I left my day job one year ago to go out on my own and put into practice all of the experiences, gifts, talents, and skills I've developed over the years. I call myself a marketing coach. I do that well -- I make marketing a practice that is fun, practical, unique to each business, and effective at connecting with the right people. I'm good at inspiring entrepreneurs with the skills they need to market well in this new social media age.
I also left my day job one year ago to free up my speaking calendar and to invest in my personal growth as a seasoned speaker, inspiring women to do life intentionally and business with purpose.
But I've only recently realized that I was putting those first two "more practical" things ahead of my art ... yet again.
I was feeling frustrated about the coaching side of my business recently after January and February got slow. My friend reminded me that it takes 3 years for a business to really become viable -- I teach this too but forgot this truth for myself.
And so, I've decided -- in the spirit of living intentionally and as though my days are numbered -- if I give myself 3 years to "make it" -- I want to give those years the core of me. I want to claim them as the three years I invested in that inner artist who was always on the back burner, and I want to use my art to make a difference while also providing an income. While I will continue to be passionate and connected with inspiring my business audience, I intend to put Art first & Coach second. I have always been an Artist. The time is now for Art to get a front burner and see where the journey takes me.
(More details about this campaign to come in next week's blog post!)