First there was Donna Downey with a journal class.
Then Chrissy Foreman Cranitch helping me paint big on canvas.
And the delicious experience of a big journal with Jane Davenport over two whole days.
I learned lots (of course). And had amazing fun (of course). But other stuff happens too. Things you don’t expect. And you don’t know it’s going to happen. You don’t know it’s gonna be a part of it when you sign up.
I’ve grown and changed so much because of these workshops and now…..
It doesn’t feel like my stamps fit anymore.
That wasn’t meant to happen.
Or was it?
I had stepped away from the art world for a while. Because things got clique-y with the art people I knew. I was tired of fighting with my art, trying desperately to find ‘my style’, the way my SHeroes had. It just all got too hard and wasn’t fun. At all.
But even then, the dream never went away.
The whispers were always there.
Then I had my mid life major re-assessment. If you’ve been visiting here for a while, you’ll know I call it that instead of a mid life crisis because I wasn’t in crisis, I was just re-assessing. It sounds so much better, doesn’t it?
And so, after getting a glimpse of how I could turn at 13 year dream into reality, I was on a mission. And my first step was a blogging course. Then I started working with designers. Because of that path, combined with being away from the art world for so long, the stamps were influenced more by graphic design – divine logos and gorgeous websites – so my stamps came out kinda like that.
It wasn’t until part way through the design process that I got up the courage to start getting inky and painty in the art room again. Plus I figured I kinda oughta since I was making arty products. And when I went in there, I was a little directionless. Just throwing stuff around. Lost but trying. Any courses I did were business courses. Most of the blogs I read were about blogging, not art. It’s no wonder the stamps came out how they did.
When the stamps arrived from the manufacturer, it was a huge milestone for me. (You can watch the short video here - there’s even tears). After (by this stage) 14 years of dreaming about having my own range of stamps, they were finally in my hands. They looked so perfect – even more beautiful than I had pictured for all those years. Truly a milestone moment in my life. And a major signpost on this big wild crazy adventure. I don’t want to take anything away from that.
But, after jumping into the art room much more this year and stepping away from the business learning side of things, my art has become much more the focus. And after doing those 3 workshops in the last 6 weeks, things have changed so much. Yes, in just 6 weeks.
I feel like my art style has taken a huge leap forward. And it means my stamps don’t really fit anymore. If they ever truly did. The thought behind them was always that they would be used in art journals. But somehow, they just came out as pretty images.
Because I let the designers talk me into things instead of staying true to what I pictured in my head. It was their interpretation from a digital design perspective, not from an art journaler perspective who constantly has ink and paint and glue on their hands – because at the time, I wasn’t inky or painty. Because what I thought was pretty in their portfolio was what I ended up with. I let myself be swept up and swayed by them. By the graphic design world.
So now what?
Some of the arty girls I’m channeling started off in one direction. They have grown as business women and artists. They have developed their range and changed direction as they did it. Sometimes they changed direction more than once. In the scope of things – my starting place is pretty damn awesome. But that’s just it. It’s a starting place. So I have an Etsy shop full of stamps that I don’t connect with any more. They cost a small fortune to get developed. And there were lots of cranky dances in the lounge room and ugly, snotty tears to get to this point.
Was it all for nothing?
And am I brave enough to start over?
I’m kind of at a cross roads. I need to keep selling the stamps I have as well as figuring out what I want next. I’ve got lots of post its and scraps of paper with ideas on it. So why aren’t I jumping in? Why am I holding back?
Maybe I feel like the first set, with so much frustration and tears and work and time and… were a waste which doesn’t sit too well. Maybe I’ve got a thing around the money side of it because I feel guilty I haven’t made back the money I spent on the first set (let alone that magical word profit). Do I feel like this was kinda sorta a failure and I don’t want to fail again? Cause none of us want to stick our hand up and wave it around saying
saying ‘guess what, I failed’.
But my big wild crazy dream is not gonna happen if I don’t have another go. If I don’t find the courage to try again.
And a do over isn’t so bad, is it?