Following on from my last post I've been trying to put into words how I've been feeling recently, about my creativity and the direction in which I am heading (or not, as it seems, over the past few weeks!!). Whenever I have even had flicker of this 'feeling' in the past I always think it's a good idea to reflect, look back before you look forwards and you will sometime find your answers to your questions without even realising it.
The last couple of years have been an amazing journey, I'm over the moon with what I've achieved, and going back and reading my first blog, which I started in 2007, I realise how much my work and I have moved on and grown in the last 6 years, moving from a hobby or pastime into my very own creative business. I've also been reading blogs by other creative people I know and following their creative journeys, Helen Hallows, Gillian Lee Smith, Johanna Basford, Anna Simmonds, to name but a few. This has helped me to realise that my recent feelings of negativity and doubt are a completely natural part of 'being creative' and this realisation has actually helped my feel a lot better about things.
Taking part in creative business courses and working with a mentor from 2010 until 2012 has given me a fantastic vision of what my business can become and I have been storming ahead with my to-do lists and tasks which I have set myself. This has led to major developments for me, new product lines, new work and a major grande finale to 2013, a collaborative exhibition with two other artists. This has fulfilled a lot of my personal ambitions for myself and my business which is extremely satisfying.
But.... During the last few months of 2013 I started to notice how I was feeling, how my enthusiasm was waning, everything seemed to be getting on top of me, and I wasn't enjoying my creative business as much as usual. These feelings were most definitely unwelcome. I LOVE feeling positive, energised and happy, enthused about tackling the latest to-do list with vigour, excited about the possibilities and opportunities the world has to offer. I most certainly do not LOVE the 'unwelcome' feelings, of self-doubt, apathy, general 'pissed-off-ness' and demotivation.
Now before you start yelling at me, I know on the creative path I have chosen, there are always ups and downs, peaks and troughs, and periods of intense creativity and progress, followed by periods of quiet reflection, rest and replenishment. But after a few opportunities that's didn't go as well as expected and I was even considering packing this creativity lark in, I knew that this time it was a bit different, something needed to change. Questions needed to be asked and answers needed to be found.
Hence the creative break, the absence from blog land, the withdrawal from making new commitments and the hiatus in preparation of new website.....
So what now I hear you ask? Well.... all the thinking and reflection time has been a godsend. It was the break I needed to digest, dissect, examine and put back together my own thoughts on my creative journey, my unwelcome feelings of negativity, and the reasons I wanted to be 'creative' in the first place, where I want this creative journey to take me, what I want to achieve etc etc etc
I've found a few answers to the things that were bugging me, I now know why I ended up feeling so negative by the end of the year. It was a combination of over-committing myself, taking on too much, and saying yes to too many things, seizing the day at every opportunity, as I was scared that if I said no to something no other opportunities would come my way. Basically putting myself under too much pressure, plus other stuff going on at home and in my day job = me in a big huff with life, considering chucking in the towel and handing over the studio keys to someone who can be arsed with it!! Sounds dramatic I know, I think I'm over it now!!
I'm super conscious that this post is turning into a bit of a 'Gone with the Wind' blog post of epic proportions so I will bid you farewell, before I bore you to tears and will be back with more next time..... Answers to questions, solutions to problems, a course of action and a bit of a loose plan for 2014.... See you then!!