The Declaration of You! Find Meaning in Success.

 I am excited and proud to write another blog post for The Declaration of You! BlogLovin' tour. I wrote this post in honor of Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift who were able to successfully give me a kick in the butt a few years ago with the amazing Declaration of You e-course. Now they have written and illustrated this amazing brand new book based on their life changing course. Thanks Michelle & Jessica, your success inspires mine!

This week's topic? Success.

The big question...What does success mean to you? I have been fighting with this question since I quit my dead end job three years ago. Was I more "successful" then when I had a pretty good salary and benefits but was miserable or now when I am barely scrapping by money wise but get really excited about what I am doing and hope to do in the future? I know what my heart feels about my success, I'm happier with my career now than ever before. Of course, society (and my dad) thinks I am a bit nuts. I've been trying to ignore them.

The truth is I always wanted to be a artist. I can't remember ever wanted to do anything else. I started painting when I was 12 an I never turned back. Subconsciously, I suppose, I designed my life/career with doing illustration in the back of my head. But some times years went by and I just worked and hardly made any dent as an artist.  My day jobs were alright, I tried to surround myself in the arts working in galleries and museums but they weren't really the types of jobs that pushed me up the ladder of creative success.

Finding my own ladder of success to climb...

Now I'm building out my own ladder of success, one little step at a time. It is not always easy and I think my ladder is a bit wonky but it still works. I'm trying to figure it out for myself. That's the freedom of working for yourself. As for success and stable income, I'm going to get there eventually, it might just take some time. You know, what one of my favorite truths about business and success, sometimes it takes years for success to happen. We live in a world where we expect things to happen so quickly, sometimes they don't, and that's OK. I'm not planning on giving up just yet, are you?

I must also say, I've been so lucky in my life, that I have been able to take the opportunities to work on this crazy dream of mine. I am also so thankful for an amazing husband that has been helping me out while I build this new world for myself. Damon you are the best!

 Day to day, it has been very hard road. There are days when I want to quit and just start looking for a more stable job. But I always go back and think maybe this one thing, this one thing I do today, that right person may notice. I just can't stop believing that this illustration thing will just happen. Am I crazy?

Here's a few of the rules that have made my strive for success easier:
  1. The more I try things the more the Universe seems to open up. Learn to say yes to the world.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people that support you and your work.
  3. Find your art heroes. Try to understand how they do what they do.
  4. Allow yourself to get a bit obsessed by what you love. It allows you to magically create new ideas.
  5. Get out of the house! Like a lot of creative folks, I work from home, and sometimes you just need to move around, maybe even talk to a few people to get the ideas flowing again. 
Hopefully some of these might help you out. I have to remind myself of my little rules sometimes but I'm learning new things everyday and taking chances. I'm also gaining much more confidence than I once had. Which as they say, confidence is key. It is so true. Confidence, a bit of talent, some hard work and a splash of good luck, and we can move mountains...

Oh, Ms. Success, we are so close to being friends. We just need to get to know each other a bit better. I could make you laugh, I could make you cry...and you can teach me about money. We could be good friends...BFF's. Just give me a chance.

As, I said earlier, I highly recommend checking out, "The Declaration of You" book. It will help you find your way to success. I helped me find my path. As for my own success, in the last few years, I finally opened my first Etsy shop, I am working on my first book and I even got in a gallery show or two. There is so much more is in the works too. Thank you all for being part of my journey. I wish you all much SUCCESS!

A few questions for you all: What are you doing to get closer to success? What is holding you back from feeling successful? Do really believe that your creative dreams are possible or just dreams? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

It's time for the July Meetup!

Girl Playing Via Nationaal Archief

Hey Everybody, hope you are enjoying your summer so far. Wow...I don't believe that it is already July. It has been a crazy month for me and I really need to refocus on my artwork. And find time for a little bit of fun too, no?

As you may know, I have been working at New Bohemia Signs for the last few months and and am very thankful for the work(mostly administrative stuff but I'm also learning some lettering). It's been great to be surrounded by such amazing  and inspiring artists and I have been loving watching them finally get the recognition they deserve. Way to go everybody!

Now that the craziness of me working full time at the sign shop and our gallery show almost over, it is time for me to get back to it my illustration work.

So what's a the Bluehour Studio plate for July?

  1. Redo the Blog! I need to get a new look that matches well with my website.
  2. Finish up the new website...It is not 100% done yet but I'm pretty happy with the results so far. You can take a peek here.
  3. Add artwork to my Etsy page. I have work to go up. I just need to figure out the descriptions for each of the pieces. I need to get this going already. Why am I so nervous about this? Damn you fear.
  4. Redo my business cards. I've never been totally happy with them, so a new design is in order. And I need to get in the habit of carrying them with me wherever I go. I need to really focus on becoming more business oriented.
  5. Create a mailing list and postcards to send out to potential clients.
  6. Get back to drawing everyday.
  7. Restart Morning Pages.
  8. Add more work to my portfolio section of my website.
  9. Actively search for new illustration jobs. 
  10. Get back to blogging more( at least 3x a week), updating Twitter and Facebook(both pages) and updating my other art sites more often ( Society 6 and Design Related)
  11. Bi-Monthly Illustration Friday drawings. This weeks topic, " Remedy". I love doing these because it gets you used to doing deadlines.
  12. Lose 10 pounds by my 40th birthday. This is coming up at the end of August. I'm pretty freaked out about it and I want to look my best. 
  13. Get on a better exercise routine.
  14. Add more paintings to the "Ladies & Gents" series
  15. Create painting for my Nursery Series AKA super cute birds and animal prints to sell on Etsy.
  16. Take as many mini-vacations as humanly is summer after all.
OK that's it for July. Hopefully I can get many of these things done this month.

Oh, yeah and it seems this is also my one year anniversary as a business. I've grown so much in the last 12 months. It has been exciting and difficult but I'm ready rearrange a few things, learn some new strategies and push forward...Here's to all of that!

What is the Meetup thing, you ask? It is a group of creatives that encourage each other each month to make and complete their goals. Join is an amazing to watch the progress of others and yourself...
Contact Liz for more info here.

Creating a website

Feeling a bit stretched...I've got a lot to do over the next few weeks. How about you?

 Ahhh...December. It is the crazyiest time of the year. The very, very end of the year where all big projects are to be completed and your year is to be  be summed up with a clear view of accomplishments done.  What is on my plate this year, you may ask? We'll,  I'm getting going on building my official bluehour studio illustration website. Finally, right?  Well, the huge task is at hand and I have a lot of work to do on it. Here's to hoping Adobe Creative Suite 4 will make it semi-easy... Right now I am designing a logo and trying to figure out just what I want to say about myself. Who knew that writing an "about" page would be so strange?  I must remember to keep it simple...

After that, I will be choosing what artwork I want to include in my portfolio and figuring out what artwork I need to create. It will be amazing to get this done. I can't wait.

During this time, I am trying my damnedest to stay focused and awake and not lose site of the where I'm going.  Here is a bit of music I've been listening to to keep my energy up:

Two newish songs by the fabulous Arcade Fire from the album, "The Suburbs"

I'm hoping the website will be up and finished by January 1st. Wish me luck!

Letting my heart grow.

Love the gleam in her eye...this via Ch. Chusseau-Flavins

Today is a good day. I just sent of a drawing for ScoutieGirl's new publishing adventure and I'm so psyched because Tara loved it. I'm so relieved. Doesn't it feel great when your artistic life feels like it is actually coming together. It has been 5 months and I am getting out there and I have to admit it feels really good.

I think with any big jump in life there is huge risks and you have to face them. I've been working on the fears that have been holding me back . But it is really hard. Nothing is instant and I think I am learning to see my steady growth. It is all about the learning. And I think it is also about self love and forgiveness.

I'm still expecting so much from myself. And am working on combating the dreaded procrastination but baby steps right? So what am I hoping for in the next 6 months?
  1. I will be making enough money that I will stop clearing out my savings.
  2. I will get myself out there. I want to be published in a new place each month.
  3. Start getting myself published in the offline world.
  4. Strengthen my sense of self.
  5. Strengthen the body and the mind.
  6. Take classes ( I want to always be learning).
  7. Finding better balance between work and family and friends.
  8. Find my voice and let it shout!
Maybe this won't be accomplished in the next 6 months, but I want it to be started at least... I am looking to create the ideal me. I want live my soul purpose. I feel that my artwork will push me in that direction. I always wanted to help people and I think I could do that with my artwork. How? I think good art and design makes people stop and notice things. It is the connector. It could connect people to causes. It could connect people to learning. It could connect people to others. I think that is really important. Don't you?

Do you think you've found your soul purpose? Are you working on your dreams? What steps are you taking?

Wanna share?

I'm making a few changes around here...

Just a little note. I've been researching a bit on readability of blogs...I decided to make everything more simple and get rid of the red background(which I loved) because it may be hard to read for some folks.  This is a bit of an experiment for now.  I might jazz it up a little latter in other ways but let's see how it goes for now.

For my readers who have been here before...what do you think?