I have, for as long as I can remember, been of the mindset that more to do is better than less to do. In order to be successful, I thought, you must always be producing. I see now that this isn't really the case. It is hard to be "on" all the time and that isn't even accounting for all of the time that a person needs to spend marketing, promoting and building relationships with clients. There is too much other work to do to realistically work on your artwork all of the time, and yet, that is what I've often tried to do. It isn't terribly successful from a business perspective. I have, however, my craft has gotten a lot better than it was when I first started working.
Lately, with problems stemming from what I think I would sum up as maturation issues, I've been thinking about the steps that I've skipped. I can't go back and make myself not skip those steps. I can try to build a new foundation, working my way from the bottom again. This seems hard. Everything can seem hard. I've found, however, that there are several things that I've wanted to do in my life, that I haven't. There is no reason for this other than fear of failure and rejection. And so I have to ask myself if fear of failure and rejection is worth the price of never trying at all? I don't think that it is.
One of the things I've wanted to create is a podcast. I always wanted to start one, but never felt like I had anything to offer that wasn't already out there and if I did, then it wasn't really worth people listening to. My daily watercolors have given me a bit more confidence, as I realize that I've put in work that maybe other people haven't. I know a thing or two, even if it isn't, at times, the expected knowledge. Now I am beginning to think that maybe this different sort of knowledge may actually be a strength and not a weakness. Isn't that what individuality and creativity is all about anyway?
And so, I've started a podcast where I vocalize the thoughts in my head while I am creating my daily fish bug watercolor. It began as a way to try to get myself out there in a different way and now I am realizing that it helps me see the value in what I do, the methods that I am capable of, and that I am actually able to vocalize what it is that I know how to do. These three things seem to me like the root of the ability to sell oneself. So as my confidence grows in podcasting, I suspect my confidence will grow in speaking about my work. You can check out my podcast on itunes, under The Mighty Lark or on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/mighty_lark.
Here are some of the more recent bug illustrations that I have created after I started the podcast. I had to start a second book to house the second half of the year. These milestones feel so good right now.
I mentioned that I also had started to read a bit more again. Yesterday, I took an hour to myself, and went to the park to read a book. I intend to take some similar time today. I felt surprisingly more at peace just by allowing myself that time. I think that going forward the biggest key to being successful in my artwork is to allow myself to be successful in daily life, with my wife, my son, and myself.