I have become
I began this year by asking my Instagram friends what their word for the year was, and then drawing an illustration of them with that word. I ran a contest, and whoever commented on the Instagram post, received an illustration with their featured word. This was before I opened my store, or even thought of selling my art. I did this as a way to hold myself accountable so that I would practice drawing. I knew that if I promised someone that I would create an illustration of them then I would have to do it. Also, I loved that the women I created the drawings for were so touched and inspired.
I also did a drawing of myself, and my word for 2019 was ‘Become’. The reason I picked that word was because I knew that was something in me that was changing and becoming something else, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I wanted to let myself unfold, and ‘become’ naturally.
The first step I did in becoming was take 3 days off work in January of this year, and focus on what I wanted the year to look like. I did exercises in my journal of what went right in 2018, and what went wrong. I really thought about what I wanted the year to look like, what I wanted to let go of and what I wanted to hold on to. I worked really hard on letting go of a lot of anger and resentment about past situations. I scheduled time on my calendar to listen to podcasts that would help me move forward. I looked for events, book readings, and MeetUps that would put me in touch with people that were on a similar journey as me. I scheduled time to write this blog every Saturday morning, and scheduled time in the evenings to work on my art. The most important thing I did this year was follow through and keep these appointments with myself. In doing that, I learned that the promises that I kept to myself created an automatic boundary in my life that helped me use my energy for things that made me feel good and confident, and this helped me to not waste my time in situations that brought me down and depleted my creative energy.
Also during those 3 days in January, I joined an Instagram Training class, and I opened my store. I didn’t have anything to sell in my store, but found a way to have a store on my website so I created it, and announced that it was opened. Within a week my friends that I had drawn with their word for the year wanted to buy their illustrations. I remember going home after work one night trying to figure out how to have my store accept credit cards, as I hadn’t thought anyone would want to buy anything that soon. And so, I began selling my art.
I signed up for the Instagram Training class to learn how to reach more women on Instagram that might be interested in what I had to offer. I felt like I had been spending a lot of time trying to get my message out, but not really seeing results, so I knew I needed help. The class I signed up for had a Facebook group, and some online training with very practical advice that helped me organize and automate my account. Then, they announced an in person training in May in Los Angeles, I signed up immediately. The class was held in the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles. I stayed in an AirBNB on Spring Street. Fast forward to 4 days ago when I went to visit the venue for my upcoming art show on Spring Street, exactly 3 blocks away from where I stayed in May! That very training class I took in May gave me the skills to allow me to be a part of RAW (natural born artists) Holiday show on December 18th, because they found me on Instagram and contacted me to be one of their featured artists at their event.
This year, all my energy has gone into me ‘becoming’ the artist and writer that has always been inside of me. That is the very core of my being. When I draw I am transported into an alternate universe where I am the transcriber of the image that comes out on the canvas. The image already exists, I am just making it visible to the human eye. The women I draw represent the feminine spirit and energy that has been so disregarded and taken for granted lately in our society. People see value in the feminine energy so they want to posses it, control it, capture and have it to themselves. But it is not possible. It is not a commodity. It is a fluid spirit that needs space, air, and freedom to replenish itself in order to survive.
My art is a small way to remind us about the feminine energy that is in all of us, men and women. This energy is powerful, and it is the energy that builds connections and heals. For me, tapping into this energy in myself adds a new level of meaning to my life.
As this year comes to a close, I am so grateful that the universe has blessed me with the courage to follow my creative dream. It is a very fulfilling path, but it is not an easy path. I have shed many tears, and had many days of self doubt and fear. My future is unknown as I don’t know where my creative path will take me next. It is exhilarating and scary both at the same time.
This year I have learned the importance of setting boundaries and keeping promises to myself. I have learned that if I don’t make myself my priority, how can I expect anyone else to make me a priority? I have learned that if I don’t see my own value, why do I expect others to value me? And if I don’t see the worth in my creativity and believe in it, then no one else will either. This year I have learned to believe in myself, and ‘become’ a better me.