I’m not like everyone else – do I still get to play?

April Book 22

You’ve read them.  I’ve read them.  We’ve all read them.  Those stories of being business-y or arty since they were 5 years old.  Of having everything just fall into place by serendipity.

But what if that’s not my story?

What if it’s not your story?

Do we still get to play?

When I’ve been to workshops or read the about pages of those big name websites, the stories are all the same.

Business-y stories of buying lollies at the shops then selling them for profit behind the bike shed at school so the tough cookie tuckshop ladies didn’t catch them.  Or getting neighbours to pay to watch a show with singing and dancing like a little Beyonce – would love to know how they pulled that one off!  I never had neighbours that would have even watched, let alone pay!  Who are these people?

Arty stories of creating an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower out of clag glue and paddle pop sticks for their grade 4 art project.  Of people posting a couple of paintings on Etsy just to see what it’s all about and selling out in a day and quitting their day job six weeks later and never looking back.  Oh, those stories hurt my heart.

I’m not either of those people.

I’m just a square bear that likes to get inky and painty.

I’ve spent most of my art life trying to figure out what my signature style is.  And how to get my artwork “there”.   “There” is of course, where my favourite artists are.  A style people recognize as soon as they turn the page of Somerset Studio – before they even see the by line.  Making a living doing that creative thing you do and being able to answer “I’m an artist” when people ask what I do.    That just sits so much better than “I do paperwork in a stark office where I arrive just as the sun begins to warm your skin and leave just as it disappears behind the buildings across the road”.  You get this, don’t you?  You feel it too.

So if my story isn’t a typical arty story, or a typical business-y story – do I still get to play?  Do I still get to dream big?  Do I still get to be the one a few years from now telling other people how I did it?  Will I still get the book deal or athe licensing agreement or the signature product line?

I think there is room for all of us.  And an audience for all of us.

Someone, somewhere will love your art.

Even if your story isn’t the same as everyone elses.

Maybe that’s exactly why they will love you.

Because you have a new story to tell.

Big hugs – Coral.  xo

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    6 Responses to I’m not like everyone else – do I still get to play?

    1. Renee Savoie says:

      There is room for all of us and we all have a story to tell, doesn’t matter how different or the same, it’s ours and worth sharing 🙂

      • Coral says:

        It’s so hard to remember this sometimes, isn’t it? We have such high expectations of ourselves and are our own worst critics. I think if we just play and find our own way, the right people find you and you meet the people you are meant to. Thank you for your beautiful words and encouragement Renee

    2. Dana Thompson says:

      Hey Coral!

      Saw your link over on Blacksburg Belle and followed it over. I love this post! I think we are in kind of the same boat…working a full time job while trying to create a business that will one day be our full time gig. So hard!

      The same thing often happens to me…I look at other web designers, sites and they talk about how they are a coding, graphic design, online marketing, social media, email marketing, branding, WordPress, eCommerce, content creating, SEO genius that coded their first site at age 8 and were making millions by the time they were 10 and I just get a little bit freaked out! LOL! And I think to myself “Wow, I’m not good enough to really make this work.” Or I see people like Laura Roeder who started out as a web designer and has a huge training business making lots of money and I think “I could never do that.”

      We just need to push those thoughts from our heads, celebrate every victory, every piece of art sold and every website launched as another small step towards our goals and to have faith that we ARE good enough, and talented enough and that our big break is just around the corner. They started out just like us. We can do it too! 🙂

      • Coral says:

        Hey Dana! So excited you came over from Blacksburg Belle – love April to bits.

        I am a big fan of celebrating the little victories and small steps forward too. The big picture can seem so far away especially when you are trying to do it in between a full time day job. There are days I am jealous of those girls who don’t have to work – so they can focus all their time on building their business. How nice would that be? But I also know if you strip back the to do list and focus on the most important things first you can still move forward.

        I have to remind myself that my SHeroes started out like me. Anahata Katkin started on her kitchen table. Kelly Rae was working when she started painting. Srinivas Rao lives with his parents as he builds his business.

        If we keep working on our big vision, we will wake up one day and realise we’ve made it.

    3. Dana Thompson says:

      I love April too! So glad to hear I am not the only one who is jealous of those who can work their business full time! I SO wish I was at that point right now. I know it would help me move leaps and bounds ahead in a short time, but you have to pay the bills every month right? I keep wishing for a 6 month bill hiatus! Haha!

      I can’t remember which interview it was on April’s blog, but the girl said something that really stuck with me. She said that the best advice she ever got for her business was someone telling her to “keep her eyes on her own paper”. Basically to avoid comparing herself to others in the same business and just concentrate on being the best she could be. I thought that was brilliant advice and often think of that when I start to feel those doubts creeping in.

      • Coral says:

        I have a friend who has talked me off the comparison cliff too – she told me “Don’t compare you every day with someone else’s highlight reel”. So true. One of the comments I get so often on this blog is that I share all of my adventure, not just the good bits. I share when it all goes sideways, when I have to start over, when it’s harder than I thought it would be. I think that’s because other people only show the good stuff. The book deal, the licensing contracts, the sold out workshops. No wonder we all have such high expectations of ourselves when this is the only part we see from other people.

        It can be so hard not to resent people who don’t have to go to a day job. It feels like they have such a big head start. But one of the things I have said the whole time I have been on this adventure is “Start where you are, with what you have”. So if you have a day job, or you have commitments to family or you are not a tech person – we just have to find a way to through. To find the path that’s right for you.

        Thank you so much for your gorgeous comments Dana – so happy to have you here to visit.

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