Do Nothing Without Intension: Be Vulnerable & Put Yourself Out There

Hello friends and fellow curious creatives. Happy June!

It’s been a while since my last post on my self-compassion series and I can honestly say that I didn’t intend to be away for as long as I have. I originally planned to write weekly about the progress of the series and my editorial calendar was fully outlined with new content. Unfortunately, it quickly dawned on me how much I would be stretching myself thin to ensure everything was done in a timely manner, so I decided it was best to take a step back from the blog and direct my attention towards making new artwork to launch my online shop. During my time away I’ve been doing what most creatives do when in the midst of making a new body of work. I isolated myself in my studio spending long hours indoors, repeatedly drawing, painting, making mistakes and overthinking everything. I worked diligently day and night in hopes of getting one step closer to bringing ideas to life and starting this creative business of mine. In the end, I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to execute in this time and very happy to share with the world.

As you may know my online shop on Etsy is opening in 4 short days (June 15th to be exact) and I am extremely nervous and excited about all of this. After the meltdown on my 31st birthday and failing to actualize this goal 3 months ago I wasn’t entirely sure if I was capable of holding it together long enough to make this dream a possibility. But here we are, disrupting thy comfort zone, smiling uncomfortably through it and still as confused as ever before. It’s a bit surreal knowing that despite all my internal dialogue reminding me day in and day out how out of my league I am, I still managed to defy my own beliefs and do something that is painfully foreign to me. I am opening my own online business selling artwork that I created and you have no idea how nuts that sounds to me!

A year ago I couldn’t have fathomed being where I am today and reaching for the goals I’ve sought after so far this year. Truth be told, this whole experience scares the shit out of me and I feel very lost and confused in all of this. I don’t know what I’m doing or what I should be doing which I’m sure is a feeling many people pursuing creative endeavors experience at some point in their journey. A big part of the confusion is the overwhelming uncertainty of what I want out of a creative career. Though my business will officially kick off shortly, I’m unsure of my plans for it and what I want long term. Do I want to do client work or solely create products? What type of client work would I pursue?  What services will I provide? How do I start a creative business from the ground up with no formal industry experience and no portfolio? What does the future hold for me and For Tha Masses?

I may not know what I’m doing or what the future holds but launching this business is one of many first steps to getting answers and setting myself up for mistakes and greatness. Since graduating from university five years ago, my pursuit in building a creative career has been one big ball of confusion rolled into a cloud of fear. Instead of lounging around in the pool of turmoil, I decided to act now before it was too late. It gets tiring doubting yourself to the point that time is literally passing by before your eyes. Though I’m still in the midst of feeling incredibly lost, launching this business will give me a sense of direction while building the platform for my impending design studio to grow. It is one of the reasons why launching the store with my self-compassion series was so important. It was a step to acknowledging that I do create work that has meaning, it gave me personal validation, and serves as my redemption after failures and setbacks; giving me a first-hand lesson in vulnerability.

Once the store officially opens, I’m not sure what comes next. I suppose one would assume my focus would center on marketing my merchandise and dealing with everyday logistics of operating an Etsy shop but for now, that’s not entirely true. I still have this overwhelming feeling of uncertainty in the direction of my career and there’s a lot I want to learn. I’m in the realm of rediscovering myself through creative exploration and I want to honor this stage of life by being fully present, embracing all that life throw at me, and figuring out what For Tha Masses as a whole represents.

I want to be intentional about my work and create from a place of vulnerability as I continue to figure out this creative path of mine. It’s not that deep in the grand scheme of things but I truly believe that art can be used for more than outside validation and likes from strangers. It can start a conversation about difficult issues we all experience daily but also serve as comfort during times of need and celebration. I want to use my platform to talk about topics that I’m deeply passionate about such as mental health, environmental and social justice issues. My plan is to take the rest of the year to continue to figure things out, create some personal projects and use the blog as a journal of some sort to keep you up to date with life and provide valuable content.

I am grateful to those who have been a resounding voice of encouragement through this artist journey. You have been the angels I needed to lift me up through difficult times. Thank you for your love and support!

Cheers to the next chapter of For Tha Masses.

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