Taking Risks

In order to succeed as an artist or crafter one must take risks. It starts when you first start promoting your work... getting it out in the world for others to see. This step is huge and can be quite scary. Will your work be rejected, will people take you seriously, will you even give your self permission to live this dream of yours... to keep pushing forward no matter what happens? When the urge of following our heart to create overflows and we take on the first risk, of course some of the scary thoughts do happen. It's part of the reality of being an artist/crafter. Many people won't take you seriously. And no not everyone is going to like what you create, but on the flip side there is always someone who will like it. If you were to look in people's houses, in clinics and hospitals, how many rooms don't have some kind of art? Very few! So if you think of it that way, people need art. It can give a place personality, it can change a person's mood... how powerful is that!? That most definitely has to out weigh all the negativity one must go through on the way to living their dream. Stay focused on the positive no matter where your passion lies. Your given a talent and urge for a reason... don't ignore it!

Self promoting is key for creative souls. You can't sit back and just hope people find you. It can be a whole lot of work in its self to get your name out there... whether on-line, going to shows, or just letting people know about what you create around where you live. Word of mouth can certainly help your business. When people find out your creative it can lead to several different jobs. When you're asked if you can do certain jobs it is up to you to say yes or no... but if you are truly wanting to succeed and your at the beginning stages of your creative journey I highly suggest saying yes. It may not be exactly what you had in mind of wanting to do creatively, you may not even quite know what you're getting yourself into but the learning experience is like no other, you can add the job to your portfolio if you'd like and more people are likely to find out about you and your business.

Luckily since I have left my "secure" marketing job I have had the opportunity to do a wide variety of creative freelance jobs. I have to be honest, when some people first ask (like doing caricatures for high school seniors) my first thought is no, but then I quickly change my mind and say yes. What do I have to lose? And when you want to make a living from being creative a pay check is sure nice! But even if the pay isn't great it's a good starting point and who knows what will come out of it.

So here is one of my latest projects... that kept me real busy last week. A 4 foot by 8 foot sign for my hometown's new museum. At first the size didn't seem that large, until we layed it in our entry and I just had enough room to walk on 3 sides of it... then it was a bit overwhelming. I took on a new risk. I hadn't worked on something this large before, but I believed in myself that I could do it. Here are some pics:

The surface - thick mdf that I can't even pick up and carry by myself.

It was hard to start the sunset, but once I got going it was fun.

A few hours were spent on researching for appropriate silhouette scenery and placement. The windmill was that hardest to paint. Painting such narrow lines and keeping them straight is not an easy task. Then the words... they are painted on, five coats to cover the black paint!

The finished product:

Not an easy size to photograph. Didn't help that it was real windy out. My husband was holding the ladder and me while I was taking pictures. :)

Have you taken any creative risks lately? (Other than standing on ladders to photograph your creations? Ha!) I hope you all had a wonderful fourth! I'll have to share a few photos of Kaelyn from her eventful weekend soon.


Anonymous said...

That's absolutely beautiful and you did an amazing job! Wow...what talent. =)

I'm not big into promoting myself. It's just not me...I'm not outgoing and feel like I shouldn't push myself or my product on people. I've personally been blessed by "word of mouth" and people seeing my items. I know that promoting is important...and if I decide to do more in the future, I'll have to work better at it. =)

Jodi Ulschmid said...

Thank you!!!

I'm with you on the promoting part. I don't push my creations on others either. I'll do a show here and there and I've had more of an on-line presence lately and just hope people will make their way to my shop. :) Maybe some day I'll have the guts to talk more openly about my work with others. Word of mouth is wonderful!

Christie Cottage said...

It is beautiful!

Here's a suggestion, (I hope you don't mind), for a drop cloth, something thicker that I use for large projects is plastic tableclothes with the felt backing. I buy them when they are on clearance after Christmas and Thanksgiving. I buy the largest size. Place the plastic side down and keep the felt backed side up. It absorbs the paint also helps prevent you working piece from sliding around.

Thanks for your blog link!