Today is a post from talented artist Corrie Wessman from CW Drawings. She has been an utter delight to work with via Smart Creative Style and one on one!
Are you familiar with the word perfectionism? Neither am I. At least, I didn’t think I was. It wasn’t until I started working on more client work last year when I took my business full time that I began to see a pattern. I was having a lot of anxiety with my projects! With the anxiety also came discontent, feeling stressed out, and really questioning if running my own art business was something that was going to work out. I let those thoughts linger in my mind for a while until I decided it was time to dig a little deeper. There was something under the anxiety I didn’t quite understand, at least not yet.
There’s a phrase that has really defined this past year for me: “lean in”. Lean in to the questions. Lean in to the fears. Lean in when it seems hard. Life brings us lessons all the time, and sometimes they’re hard and not fun, but when we don’t lean in the lessons linger and our growth can be delayed. I didn’t (and don’t) want to stop growing, so as I leaned in to the anxiety I was feeling, a lot was revealed to me! Remember the perfectionism I was telling you about? I realized that I was expecting perfection from myself in my work and was subconsciously marketing and selling myself to create the perfect piece of art for my customers. I was essentially telling people to expect something from me that I could not possibly deliver. I was putting so much pressure on myself and was suffering big time because of it!
After a much needed conversation with a wise mentor (Monica!) I was challenged to introduce a touch of surrealism to my creative work. From there, I produced my first surreal portrait (pictured in this post: deer in shirt) and felt an unbelievable new sense of freedom! After drawing a few more animals all dressed up, I felt this momentum/excitement growing inside of me. With my new animal drawings and custom pet portraits, the creation process gives me so much more freedom to be creative that I find myself just smiling about it all the time! Whether it’s while drawing, putting on the finishing touches, or just thinking about new projects. Every step holds so much more excitement for me because I took the pressure off of myself to be perfect!
Funny thing is, I’m learning that growing a business isn’t only about growing a business. It’s just as much about growing personally as it is growing professionally. It has caught me off guard how connected the two are! As I share this chapter of my story, I wonder how many other women have had hesitation to start something because of the fear of not measuring up to their own standards. I’ve learned the best way for me grow and move beyond my fears is to lean in and just keep going! Oh, and cutting ourselves some slack sometimes is not a bad idea either.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson