A lot of what I as a freelancer, designer and artist deal with on a daily basis is getting around the idea that I have to know everything about something before I'm able to do it, share it, offer it, implement it, be it. I feel like a lot of creatives go through this. We spend so much time honing our crafts, learning the next best thing - or the thing we may have skipped, if we're mostly self-taught in our chosen medium - and perfecting technique, that we can oftentimes let that constant education become the excuse for not simply getting out there and making work. "Start before your ready" is a phrase that Ramit Sethi uses a lot. And just this morning, I listened to an amazing interview between Debbie Millman and Seth Godin on Dancing with Fear. Godin says that as a designer (artist, entrepreneur, freelancer, self-employed person, person with any interest in working for herself), I can't wait for my environment to change in order to feel comfortable enough to do something I've never done before. I get to do that thing, in spite of the environment I'm already in.
I have a lot of practice in this concept. As a yoga teacher on the side, a lot of what I implore my students to explore is the notion that distractions, environment, even thoughts, aren't outside of the practice. Instead, they're part of the practice. They were always going to be there, so how can we cultivate what we want (our intention), knowing that they're always there. As an artist, it's the idea that fear is always right beside me - sometimes it's dormant, it's quiet, it's taking a nap in the sun like my kitty. But when it wakes up and starts gnawing on my ankles - that is the moment that tests my commitment to the life of a freelancer, or an artist. Godin says that when fear rears its head, his practice is to look it in the eyes and say, 'Thank you. Thank you for showing me the next place to go.' Or, essentially, when things get uncomfortable - that's where the learning is. That's where the new territory is. That's where your voice will be heard the loudest. And that's where the success is. Conquer each new moment of discomfort, and you're building a life of abundance. Imagine the collection of uncomfortable-moments-turned-conquests that you'd collect!
So in that vein, my whole intention for this year is to continue making work, regardless of who sees it, who buys it, what comes of it. And that means speaking my mind, stretching my skills, being authentic, and putting it out there even when it's not 'perfect'. Because it's time to eliminate the idea that someone else or something else determines whether you make the work you were always meant to make. I have always had the power. And so have you.
Click here for a free download of my newest piece on being weird and making the work you always wanted to be, and if you want a high-quality print of it, click here to purchase it on my Society6 page.
As always, go have an amazing weekend being whoever it is that you are. And if you liked this post, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Comment below on are what your tactics for conquering fear, or share the link and get the conversation going amongst your friends/colleagues/followers. Be sure to tag @jillyink so I can keep up with the banter, and thank you for reading!