I’m stripping out, but not stripping off… because no-one needs to see that

DarkestI’m stripping out, but not stripping off (because no-one needs to see that).  Errr, what??

On the house side, I’ve caught up on the housework that annoys the crap out of me every time I walk past it but never get around to doing (that’s a never ending to do list, isn’t it?)  I’ve had another ruthless clean out of the art room.  I’ve tossed clothes over my shoulder as I strip out my wardrobe.  And you know that third draw in the kitchen full of mysterious utensils, take away menus and warranty books for a food processor that broke 2 years ago?  It’s next on the hit list.

On the business side, I’m cleaning out my Twitter feed like a mad woman – so I am left with only the people I love, love, not all the people I followed cause I was supposed to.  Because they were the gurus I was ‘meant’ to follow even though they grated on my nerves like fingernails on a blackboard.  I’m unsubscribing from newsletters that I signed up for because I was worried I would miss out on the ‘secret ingredient’.  That one snippet of wisdom that would be the difference between having my dream life or staying in That Day Job forever.   And those blog bookmarks that get in the way of finding the ones I really want are gone too.   I’m wondering why I even felt the need to bookmark most of them in the first place.

On the me side, I’ve tried to live my Words of the Year – Being selfish (in a good way) and having fun.  I’ve been eating so many veges I’m surprised I haven’t turned green.  I’m surprised at the difference it has made – I’m feeling more energetic and happier (not the fake happy you get after eating ice cream.  I mean the happy that you feel all day because you ate all the veges on your plate the night before).  And my life has become about home and art, instead of giving everything to That Day Job and my home life only getting what was left.  I’m kinda wondering how I got myself into that rhythm in the first place and how I lived like that for so long.  No wonder my mid-life major re-assessment started so early.

As that has all come together, I’m feeling stronger.  Stronger to start again.  Finding the courage beyond all the feelings from my first set of stamps.  Finding the courage to do it my way and ignoring all the ‘ooh, I just started something by accident and now I’m a millionaire’ stories.

Because sometimes those stories are inspiring and courage boosting.  And sometimes they just shit you to tears and make you hate the world because it’s not happening for you like that.

When the clutter is gone, you can see more clearly.  You can find your way without wading through the nothingness and unimportant.

I’m not in love with my first set of stamps anymore.  Okay, I got that.  But what I am in love with?  What designs would I use over and over until the stamp was completely worn out?  Or do I focus on my getting better at art and somehow transform that into a product?  Selling prints?  Transforming elements of my art into stamps?

Was I designing stamps hoping my art would get better?  Should I have gotten better at my art to make stamps?

The clutter is gone, but the questions come in their place.

The surprising challenge in amongst all the questions, is not being led by other artists.  Being inspired but not being drawn into their style too much.  That part is actually much harder than it looks.

And I don’t want to fall out of love with the second set because I change what I love by the time they get manufactured.  I’m not a scattered person at all – I’m a slow and steady wins the race kinda girl.   But I’m also learning so much and discovering so many new things – I’m like a kid in a candy shop.  And what I loved last week changes as I discover new teachers, have new ideas and as I go exploring.

No-one is the artist they were a year ago.

I need to find a way to make what I want to make but leave room for my art, my business and myself to grow.  This could get interesting…..

Coral.  xo

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14 Responses to I’m stripping out, but not stripping off… because no-one needs to see that

  1. Keery Sinigaglia says:

    Well said Coral. I have these same thoughts. You worded it perfectly and I know you’re heading in the right direction. Now I need to get in and clean out that ‘third draw’ too. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Coral says:

      Hehe – I think we all have a third drawer ;) Sometimes I think you just gotta clear the decks to get some clarity. Clear the way for what you need to show up. I’ve even done more clearing the clutter tonight!

  2. Patricia says:

    Hi Coral,

    I do that too, the Twitter thing in particular – but sifting and clearing is what I lean into whenever I’m feeling stuck about anything. Your post reminds me that I haven’t culled my Twitter in forever though, and maybe that needs to be a priority for me now that we’re in a new year. I was literally a different person when I opened it ;)

    • Coral says:

      Love the idea of doing this every time you feel stuck or lost. I was so different when I first went on Twitter too. I’ve followed and unfollowed along the way but this unfollow has been ruthless. I’m a fan of a ruthless clean out. Now, I’m only following a small group that is a perfect fit. I think when you surround yourself with only the things that are a perfect fit, you discover the thing you are meant to do, what path you are meant to follow. And you feel wonderful while it happens.

  3. Dawn Petrill says:

    I hear you, Sista! Hi! It’s been awhile since we’ve talked! This totally resonated with me because I find myself on a similar journey to develop myself as an artist. Some websites and resources that I once thought I couldn’t live without are becoming more background noise as I find a few other, more meaningful resources, and maybe even *gulp* listen to myself! It’s a sign of growth!
    Go, Coral! You seem to be charging forth in some very positive ways and learning much about yourself. Keep going and doing the wonderful work you do!:)

    • Coral says:

      Hi Dawn – so good to see you here again. Thank you so much for your cheer leading. I love your idea of finding less but more meaningful resources. Oh yes! That’s it exactly. I’ve grown out of many of the blogs I follow too and I do think part of it is because it becomes part of the clutter. I’m discovering we definitely need inspiration in our world, but we also need space to grow.

  4. I think clearing the clutter is a great way to start the new year (okay I know, it’s February, but still…) and while you might find yourself with a lot of questions now, just go with the flow and do what feels natural… removing clutter just opens up new space in your life, something will find you. :)

    • Coral says:

      Hehe – yes, its February but I’m thinking this might be an all the time thing. Constantly clearing space, not allowing things to get cluttered again after the January clean out. Love love the idea of ‘something will find you’. Oh gosh, I love that!

  5. Dar A says:

    Coral, I love that you’re creating room for you. Room to grow. Room to matter. Room and space to become what you’re becoming. ;-)

    You are so right on: Slow and steady wins the race. Keep going. Keep expanding. Keep treating yourself kindly.

    Could get interesting? Oh, yeah! Can’t wait to see the wonderful things that await you… ;-)

    • Coral says:

      Love your idea of making room to matter… How beautiful. And I love that you said ‘could get interesting”… Oh yes please. Fabulously interesting would be awesome. Adventurously interesting. Happily interesting. Bring it on!

  6. Janet says:

    Hi Coral

    Clearing house in your business is a great way to find clarity. Its so easy to get use to stuff that’s really not needed. I so need to get in to my email and do some major DELETING lol.

    I like how you talked about not following artists for you start to absorb there style. That’s so true, you don’t think it at the time but you may come up with a idea later and think its unique. Only to find it stems from a design you saw from another artist, whose blog you were reading for hours.

    With the internet being so full of inspiration, it can also saturate the uniqueness of your own style and direction. Following yourself is much more fun than following other artists all the time.

    You look like your enjoying your adventures which is what its all about, while making your dreams happen..

    Blessings Janet

    • Coral says:

      Oh Janet – I hear you on the deleting emails… Think we all have that. Even after I think I’m done, I realise I can be even more ruthless. “Do you really need to keep that one?””well no, but….” Ahh – delete!

      Trying to be inspired and learn and grow without growing into someone else’s shoes instead of your own is such a challenge. I’m spending this weekend brainstorming about my own symbology and what I’m drawn to and how to translate that into my art. Expecting epiphanies – hmmmm not expecting much, am I?

      As the reigning Queen of Impatience, enjoying the adventure can be hard for me if it isn’t coupled with big leaps forward. But I’m learning so much not just about creative business but about myself and how the world works too. Lessons I need to learn, perhaps?

      Thanks for visiting Janet. Big hugs

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