I hope you had a blissfull summer with some time off at home or travelling.
I went on my honeymoon (awww LOVE) and came back relaxed and full of new energy. While I was swimming in gorgeous Lac Leman in Switzerland and cruising for hours on the back of Freeks motorbike, I had an important insight.
I realised I have 3 problems:
Expectation is the root of all heartache- unknown
'Write blog post' has been on my TO DO list for weeks. I have not forgotten about you, my sweet little blog.
But sometimes writing a post feels like homework, as my expectations are so high to do some poetic writing here, share adventurous stories and links to amazing things. It puts the pressure on and takes away the fun. And the weird thing is: when adventurous and exciting things happen in my life, I'm busy and don't think of writing a blog. And when nothing really special happens, I don't feel the spirit to write about anything.
At this blog I want to take track of the tiny steps it takes to realise my dream to be a working artist and to document this journey. I share successes and challenges. In the posts from the last year you can see the many tiny baby steps I do in art business. As it is not only happy, easy business ownership, today I will share very honest thoughts with you.
Anyhow. While I spent 1 week in the French monastery Taizé, I was able to reflect on my life and my journey as a ZZPer so far. Questions came up like:
In a short summary my journey looks something like this:
Last year, in summer 2016 I came back from South America and started my art business in January 2017. Every month of 2017 I worked hard to make my art business flourish and get what I'm hoping for:
I hoped for enough work to have a fulltime art business.
I hoped for an inspiring network and a supporting community.
I hoped for a balanced cash flow to support my lifestyle.
And how do I feel?
I have high expectations from life and from myself and I believe strongly in achieving my goals. But I also realised in Taizé that I didn't reach my high expectations: after 9 month as a business owner, I have not a fulltime work situation, I often feel lonely working alone in my art studio missing (real life) community and as an artist entrepreneur, my business cash flow ebbs and flows. I can tell you, in the first month of my business it was mainly ebb (you can read it here). I'm careful to always maintain personal savings and I have the luxurious awesomeness of a supporting husband, but I want to contribute to our finances, I want to buy more painting material, to invest in my personal development and I want to build on my dream for an big atelier, where I can paint, sell paintings, hold workshops and lectures, have yoga lessons in the art studio and more amazing stuff. But reality often feels so far away from this dream.
Ready to give up
Reality hits hard when your inner critic is the judge. On a bad day, I feel like I am wasting my time, my money, my education - my life. I feel like I'm in trouble, not earning enough and doubt crawls up: I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not old/wise enough, not talented enough to make my dream come true. In a silent corner of my mind, a persistent voice calls me to give up my dream and search for a 'decent' job, as I can't reach my expectations.
What my impatient inner voice doesn't count is what actually DID happen in the last month. It doesn't take into account that in the meantime :
- I have illustrated my first book
- my instagram feed is growing
- I gave several painting workshops
- I experimented with art videos
- I created opportunities to teach ArtPub (see more below)
HEYO! All in all, this is pretty awesome. This is so much more than 9 month ago. Isn't it enough to see the growing progress?
I wonder, is it ever enough for our society of infinite growth?
When is it enough? - that's the key question that leads to satisfaction.
It's totally not worth it to give up what we are longing for. Killing our dreams because we're not reaching high expectations is sad! What we only should give up are our own high expectations.
I share my story to inspire you to do the same: What (high) expectations can you give up?
What's coming next?
There are more painting workshops coming soon to get your creativity flowing.
November 18th will be a workshop in Reeuwijk. More dates are coming soon!
Handlettering course at Volksuniversiteit Den Haag. This will be a very nice new course, a in-deept 10 week course where you will learn handlettering, the art of drawing beautiful letters in all forms and styles. Starting on Monday, 9th October.
Painting in a cozy Café with a nice drink - that idea sounds great to me! I got the pleasure to be the new ArtPub painting workshop teacher for Den Haag! ArtPub is an onganisation that provides easy-going painting workshops in the evenings in many different cities in The Netherlanders as 'a creative evening in the pub'.
I gave already some of these evenings and it is so much fun! It's great to see how everyone is having a good time.
The best thing is, that you don't have to be an experienced paintier- it's easy going and everybody goes home with a nice painting, I promise :)
The upcoming ArtPub-evenings are:
4 oktober 2017
19 oktober 2017
8 november 2017
26 november 2017
13 december 2017
Check it out at www.artpub.nl
On this blog I share the tiny steps it takes to realise a dream and to document the journey for myself. Maybe it is inspiring for you- I would love that and it is the reason why I share it with you.