Hi there. How are you?
This may be a long rambling post. Lots to tell. Much to process. Read on......
I got some good news last week.
This piece was accepted into the Rockford Midwestern Biennial, a juried survey of contemporary art made by artists in the Midwest. This is a prestigious show at my hometown museum. I've applied in the past, but this is the first time my work has been accepted. Very exciting!
It was just what I needed.
As any creative will tell you, this being an artist thing is hard work. So hard sometimes, that I contemplate giving it up. I've been feeling that way lately, so getting my work into the Midwestern was a much needed creative boost. Let me explain.
One Year Itch?
I've been feeling restless in my artmaking lately. Unsatisfied with my work. I've been unsure of what to do next. As I look back, I've been feeling much like I did last year at this time. (I wrote all about it HERE.) Maybe this artistic restlessness is a spring thing for me? Or maybe it's time for another change?
This "itch" really made itself known with the launch of my latest coloring book. Sales have been pretty lackluster, and it's hard not to take that to heart. Yes, I know I launched my first coloring book at the beginning of holiday shopping season, so that contributed to its crazy good sales. Any maybe some people are still coloring my first book. Whatever it is, the poor sales have been disheartening and disappointing.
But it got me thinking....
I like making coloring pages, but is that all I want to do? Nope. I really like drawing in my sketchbook. I often find myself drawing patterns, but do I want to be a surface pattern designer, and license my work for fabric and other commercial uses? Nope, doesn't sound appealing to me.
What I do want to do is draw, paint, and make.
I want to make original works. Yes, I know I stopped making originals around this time last year because they weren't selling. Alas, the urge to make original pieces still remains. I want to work abstractly and intuitively, and with confidence. I want to make for me, and not necessarily to sell. (But selling and making money would sure be nice!)
The universe is talking to me.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, read a lot of blogs, and am on entirely too many mailing lists of other artists and creators. Last week, it felt like everyone was talking directly to me.
In one of her most recent podcast episodes, Danielle Krysa told me to do something I love, instead of trying to do something that I think people want. On her blog, Alisa Burke told me to get off of the computer, stop comparing myself to others and just start making. Crystal Moody told me that "things change, don't fight it, roll with it."
The universe is telling me that it's time for a change. It's time to be true to myself as an artist. I want to branch out from the more commercial and illustrative things I've been doing. I'm not going to give those things up entirely, but I don't want to "put all of my eggs in that basket." I keep feeling like I'm trying too hard to be something I'm not, following the trends and styles I see as I scroll through Instagram or Pinterest. I spend entirely too much time comparing myself and my work to others. It's time for that to stop and for me to trust my gut.
Let's call it a pivot
So, I'm not going to reinvent myself again as an artist, but I'm just going to switch things up a bit. A slight pivot in my artistic course. And all I know is that writing this post, organizing my thoughts, and getting it out there has been terribly therapeutic. Enjoyable even. It's helped me to process how I've been feeling and to set a course for the future. Expect to see more writing and more making here soon. (But not next week......I'm going on vacation!)
I appreciate that you've taken time to read this post and welcome your feedback.
See you back here in 2 weeks. Ciao!
P.S. If you enjoy my work, please share this post or some of my artwork with your friends! Thank you.