It's been a short time since ending the corporate chapter of my life, yet it seems like forever ago that I took that final walk out the door. I am forever being asked “how is it going?” or “what are you doing” or my all time favorite “do you regret leaving” (I have to laugh at that one- sorry). It hasn't all been smooth sailing- there have been a few definite riffs along the way, but that is to be expected with any dramatic life change. I have no regrets. I am doing fine and it is going well. Shallow answers at best- except the “no regrets part”- that rings truth to its core. Not above showing the frailties of my human side, I sat down to reflect on what I have learned these past months. Things I was and was not prepared for and things I must remind myself of every day. Surprisingly, it all boils down to these few:
1.You can not schedule a time for a Muse to appear. They have a mind of their own, and appear when they want to. Often at inconvenient times. Usually after midnight. Make sure you have coffee- and they prefer scones over bagels.
2.I spend more time on a computer now than I ever did at the law office.
3.I am not just an artist. I am now an accountant, a data processor, a web designer, a sales(wo)man, an inventory clerk, a publicist, a printer, a promotions director, a mail clerk, an events coordinator, a maintenance worker, the cleaning crew, not to mention president, ceo and one bitchy boss.
4.Everything I ever needed to know about running an art business I already learned from Sesame Street: Share, add color, take naps, count often, smile, laugh, dance and sing whenever possible, being different is a good thing, connect with your neighborhood, plaids and stripes do make you happy and when in doubt- bring out the tiara.
5.Fretting about things only feeds them negative energy.
6.When you least expect it- something exciting always happens.
7.It is physically (not to mention spiritually) impossible to: do laundry, cook 3 meals, clean house, shop for groceries (haul and put away), tend to the yard, help with homework, update shops, package shipments, advertise, tweet, blog, facebook, AND be creative all in one day.
My father is a brilliant man. He told me “You can do anything- you just can't do everything”. Words I now live by- that and a good schedule.
8.Don't fight it. Stop and breathe.
9.Sleep is an option. Food is not.
10.Some days you just have to get out of the studio and go be with people.
11.Caffeine is the nectar of the gods. That, and a good bottle of wine.
12.Don't judge yourself so harshly. That is what other people are for- and them- you can ignore.
13.If you don't compare yourself to other people- Don't compare your work to others either.
14.Make it your own.
15.No matter what people may tell you, life will go on if you forget to blog, tweet and/or facebook every hour of every day.
16.While you are running around doing everything else- Do your best to remember your dreams.
I am still learning. I have so much more to learn, that I am sure my list will grow as the new year progresses. It's a lot tougher than it seems. But I figure, if it were easy- it would not be so much fun.
enjoy each other.