So this is a follow up to the newsletter that I sent out on Monday. (oh wait, you didn't get that? sign up here!)
It's important to know why I'm doing this. After 393 days of it, sometimes I wonder why I chose it! On that note, let's walk down memory lane...
In December 2013, there was this huge pile of papers on our dining room table. I was sorting through them, recycling, filing, etc. The biggest pile was my daughter's artwork. She was four years old at the time and would make several things every single day. It was starting to really pile up. Some of it I loved and wanted to keep; other pieces we decided to recycle. The keeper pile was small but amazing!
Ok, hold up, we need to go back even further. That year I was doing a lot of freelance design work. I liked it but at times it was stressful. One of my clients had recently emailed me and asked "what's coming up next for you?" It was like she thought I was SO creative and must have a ton of ideas for projects. Spoiler alert: I didn't. The only creative work I was doing were those freelance projects.
So combine that little email nudge with me sitting at the dining room table with a stack of my daughter's artwork. I thought, you know she makes hundreds of things in a month and about a dozen of them are REALLY good. What if I made a bunch of things? I bet some of them would be pretty good. As a former math teacher, it seemed liked the probability of that happening was favorable.
So there you have the beginnings of a year of creative habits. Why do I make stuff? Because it's in my bones; it's in in my DNA. I have been arranging and rearranging stuff since I was a goofy, little girl. And over time, somehow I'd stopped. I'd gotten away from all that. I could use lots of excuses like kids or housework or work that brings in $$ but the real reason is that I just didn't see it as important anymore.
And when you don't make stuff on a consistent basis, the quality of your work plummets. I hadn't drawn or painted anything in so long that I knew it'd be terrible. So in January 2014, I decided to change that. What would happen if I did a little something each day?
I did and I photographed it and I wrote about the experience every single day in 2014. And now it's important to me again.
So that's why I chose it but why do I stick with it? Because it's changed my life.
When I'm painting each morning, I'm in another world. Music or a podcast can be playing but I don't hear it. It's just me and the colors and the paint smooshing around. It's my meditation. (Speaking of that, my upcoming gallery show is called morning meditations.)
As I go into this second year of creative habits, I'm excited. It's not just about me anymore. Others have joined in and we have this incredible community of creatives. We support each other. We challenge each other. We freely share what we've learned along the way.
I'm excited that this creative work means I'm freelancing less and beginning to sell some of my art. I'm getting out into the 'real' world and introducing myself as an artist. I'm owning it. I'm telling others about my story and the exciting part is that they get it. They want to see it, hear about it, join in. That's my why.