|nearly finished spools of thread|
I'm thinking about that viewpoint and giggling all over again. You know, I didn't actually sign up for this. It just happened. It evolved (and is evolving still) out of a lifestyle and a passion for all things pretty: nature and color and texture. I did sign up for the Saskatoon Quilters' Guild four years ago. And now I'm signing up for an embroidery course. When does it all end? I've taught myself to knit and crochet. You know I have a loom gathering dust in the basement!? Oooh there's so many things I want to try. Fibre is soooo diverse.
So I've made three lists. The first is a list of everything I've accomplished.
- online store
- quilt entries
- photography competitions
- pattern writing
- selling art, patterns, kits, quilts
- magazine articles & features
- guild memberships
- public speaking
Then I made a second list which is everything I haven't tried yet, but would like to:
- teaching other topics
- traditional embroidery
- redwork patterns
- photography book
- publishing my own fibre art book
- really big and really small work
- learn traditional hand quilting
- having what I do in life help sustain me financially
From those 2 lists, I make a third list of where I'll go next. It will combine attainable goals from the second list with the most worthwhile accomplishments from the first. (I haven't done this yet). I need to begin by looking at that first list and deciding what is not worth my time and energy to repeat. What would you cross off your list? Input should not quadruple the outcome.
What is really worth repeating?
BLOGGING.Blogging has forced me to improve my camera skills. Blogging has brought my dream to create out of the closet. Blogging has helped me to overcome fears of rejection & all that other crappy self talk about not being good enough. (Leah Day talks a lot about this and it's true!). Blogging helps me to think before I speak. Blogging is a great form of networking. It does take a lot of time, so I may become more intermittent in my posting
EXHIBITS.Solo and group shows have been fabulous for me. Again, it has forced me to become public. It really transformed me. It was so good for my self esteem. I love to watch people investigate my work in real life. It's quite exhilarating. It also puts more food on the table than Etsy does for me.
COMMISSIONS.My favorite commissions were from Etsy. Commissions become personal interactions between the art and the buyer. They give me direction and lots to blog about. My favorite commissions were reworking some of my favorite pieces. I really excelled and learned from my mistakes. Commissions also bring in other commissions. It's all good. I still don't trust life though, so I don't take any money up front. Buyers pay only when they've approved the final result. If I did take money up front, I would spend it on groceries and then what happens if my machine breaks down? If the buyer doesn't want the piece in the end, that's okay. There's always lots of people watching my blog as I create it, and I can always find a new home for it.
PUBLIC SPEAKING.Did I say that!?? I'm surprised to admit that my most thoroughly rewarding accomplishment was the public speaking! Do you remember how sick I was before hand? Oh I was TERRIFIED. Now I actually crave to do it again. It was like blogging or exhibiting, but it was real time, and real life 'live in person'. There's no editing so you need to be prepared. It was so much more than putting up a pretty blogpost and then reading comments at the end of the day. I stood there being looked at by so many people and as I spoke I could watch their expressions as instant feedback. The hugs and the little reception afterwards was so gratifying and heartwarming. It was complete life-path confirmation and big-time human acceptance. I don't know if I'm making any sense, but that's the best way to describe it.
These are thought I have in mind as I move into September and into a new chapter of my life. And so little Arwen, I didn't sign up for this! lol I guess you never know until you try. As for those pricked fingers, I'm fine. : ) No regrets.