Vunerability, experimenting and wasting time

Today’s video feels self indulgent, it’s about letting go of some preconceived notions about myself and my own creativity.  I guess I should let the self indulgent thoughts go too. I don’t know at what point in the last 2 years painting and illustration became something I “got to do” instead of “had to do.” I suppose it is when I took earning out of the equation. You see, I pretty much have always done art for money. You hire me, I create it, you pay me. Along with that came promoting and marketing my “skills.” Now as  Smart Creative Women and Smart Creative Style have become robust and healthy, I have had a desire to pick up my brushes again and “create”. But I am stuck, hesitant, scared…not sure. I want it to feel different. Maybe I want it to be for MY pleasure instead of someone else’s pleasure and doesn’t that feel the MOST self indulgent of all?? When did I become such a Puritan? And I know, I know, it can be BOTH for my pleasure and  for people’s pleasure too.

What if I create for myself  and it doesn’t feel different?  What if it doesn’t feel as robust and healthy as Smart Creative Women? I have gotten myself in a quandary and it is time to put a stop to the silly voices in my head. I know very well that the voices in there are NOT always on my side and I usually have a handle on them. Apparently around  my  actual painting they have come back to roost. What I realized this morning, when I watched my own video, is that I am assuming what I have done with Smart Creative Women and Smart Creative Style does NOT fall into the creative category. Bad girl! I had a complete BLAST creating the video content inside the Smart Creative Style course.  The constant stream of content for this site  I have been creating  the last 2 years at some point has taken a dose of creativity! See what I mean about “preconceived notions?” So today I am giving myself a bit of a “loving smack down.” ha-ha! I imagine there are a few more to come! Thanks for putting up with me on this. Do you have preconceived notions about what it means to “create?” Do you need to give yourself permission to grow?
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  • Your brain craves the new-the push, push, push! Just DO Monica and don’t read in to it! ( like I do) It’s FUN. Take workshops-paint with your eyes closed-etc. Here’s another-interview the artists that are not in the spotlight. Show their studios- show there styles….oops getting off the subject here and my pedestal. sorry. In other words as before-Just DO!
    xxx Laura.

    • I do think ,y brain craves new…new from me anyway! You are right!

  • Oh wow, totally connected with your statement about being online and sometimes it being difficult to admit that we are working through things. It’s this thing about being an authority… but at the same time living and growing – because we all change over time!

    So I totally relate coming from a graphic design background… most everything I do is a request… so it’s actually a challenge to be completely “free” – it’s like too much freedom to create! Hah! Imagine that!

    • Art directing yourself and your time without a deadline sometimes means it flat doesn’t get done. I know myself well enough to know I have to schedule time!

  • Sue Allemand

    It’s really not “wasting” time Monica — think of it as “self-care” time (which is NEVER wasted time!) — you need that creative part of you in order to be fully YOU! 🙂 I’ve disconnected myself from creating what is immediately profitable (or racing to meet deadlines) – or what agents, publishers, editors, manufacturers, etc. want – earlier this year… and it’s wonderful!! I create what I want to create – I play – and you know what…. that is what people are coming to buy!! They’re drawn to the feeling in the paintings – the joy and peace used to create them. So in “giving myself permission” to create without fear…to experiment — it took my creating and my business to a whole other level! 🙂 Have FUN girl!! Oh – and another thing happened – life slowed down a bit! No more working 7 – 9 months ahead… painting Christmas in May, Halloween in January…. I actually get to enjoy the holidays when they’re here — not always reaching for the next one! 🙂 Life is Happy! And I am extremely grateful!

  • betz

    I keep thinking about experimenting and stop myself short for the same reasons. I want to know what the end is! But I think you are right. We need to make time for “personal work”. It’s hard to separate that from the other “work” since it is all personal to an extent. When you have an entrepreneurial mind it’s hard not to convert everything into a buck before you even get started. There are so many ideas that I have for my business that I don’t have time for, I can’t see when I’ll have time to try any ideas that are “not for business”. I’ve been threatening to get out the knitting machine that I bought and learned to use in college…I need to make that a goal!

    • Get out the knitting machine, she says gleefully!!! Sometimes we need to give our sense something else to focus on, which in the big picture I guess mine have been focusing on technology for the past 2 years! Ack!

  • michmcfad

    I can totally relate to the fear thing. I have so much fear around this whole notion of “success” and think to myself, “what does success really mean?” I still get excited and anxious when I make a lot of sales because I wonder at times if I can handle it all.

    I’m sort of opposite of you, Monica, in that I don’t always think of my work in terms of marketability or profitability. I love to experiment, but need to allow myself to fathom the possibility of my dreams actually coming true! Why is that so hard to do?? 🙂

  • Taylor Ridling

    I can absolutely relate to this! I am always working on commercializing every idea AND I think everything to death, leaving nothing to show for what I feel has been hard work. Ultimately, I end up in the same place whether I brainstorm and research all day or just enjoy the day and let thoughts and plans shape more organically.

  • Lynnea Washburn

    Thank you Monica, for putting a voice to something so many of us deal with. Now if I can just get you to sign this permission slip…

  • Jen

    I need to give myself permission to fail.

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