26 June 2023

Heart to Art Part Five - Hopping the Fence

The world is a wild place, ya'll.  I've grown so much in the last four years.  The on the fence off the fence battle that's been going on in my head for over a year has finally ended, and I've finally hopped the fence.  

If you're new here and you haven't read the other articles in the Heart to Art series, let's take a brief trip back in time.  Remember when I shared my story here, and I talked a little about wrestling a two-headed dragon?  Then in part two, I talked a bit about that dragon.  I walked you into part three, talking about what was next, and then into part four, where I talked about sustainability and creating more than cards.  After I wrote part four, I let the guilt talk me into staying with card making and continuing to buy everything to make the cards.  Ya'll, I've been creating cards on and off for nearly 30 years.  It's comfortable and a known quantity.  The switch to making my own art is scary and unnerving, but we all know the magic happens on the other side of that fear.

I've battled through some guilt.  If I'm honest, I'm still battling guilt.  The guilt of feeling selfish in the desire to pursue creativity for the sake of creating.  Feeling guilty that I'll disappoint my best friend, who's also a cardmaker.  Guilt for having a strong urge to shut down a side hustle so many others have come to know and love.  

I've had these feelings in my head and heart for a long time now, and I can no longer ignore my desire to make more art.  I've tried squishing small works on card fronts, but the truth is I don't love that.  I love the cards.  I know you love the cards, but I want more.  I have a longing to create for the sake of creating, to make for the sake of making.

For far too many years, I have tried to leverage my creativity as a means to an end.  An end to the need for a "day job."  In doing this, I lost my reason for being creative.  I lost my desire to create for the sake of creating.  As some of my newsletter followers know, I took a new job in January.  The feeling that I had to force my creativity to provide income has dissipated.  I've found a job that gives me the flexibility I've chased for so many years.  

I've regained my why.  In the last month, it became very when I created art to put hope in the hearts of those I love and smiles on the faces that needed a reason to smile.  It's not about making money.  It's about making art.  It's about creating for the sake of creating.  I've spent a bit of time waiting for permission, feeling like I had to have permission.  Feeling like I needed to be told it was okay to let go of making cards.  Feeling like I'd be letting all my faithful card followers down, but here's the thing I'm the one who's been in my own way.  Not the cards, not the followers, not anyone but me.  

I feel as though I've outgrown the card industry.  I love the passionate makers, but I crave something more.  I desire more from my own creativity.  I want something that isn't just another sale pitch for the latest release of products.  

I've finally given myself the permission I've been waiting for.  I've reopened my sketchbooks, subscribed to a couple of monthly curated art boxes, and started just making for the sake of making.  

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