It occurred to me this morning that I haven't written anything on the ol'l blog in over a month. The reason (not the excuse) is that I've been busy 'filling the gap with a labour of love.'
It's not clear when it happened, or how or why, but at some point in the past two months I decided to dive, head and heart first, into my dream. For months, I was working at what felt like a snail's pace of kind-of-doing-something-that-maybe-looked-like-it-might-have-been-a-creative-pursuit but really there was little zeal or zest to what and how I was producing. Nothing felt pinned down or concrete, creativity was dripping a slow-drip out of my heart, passing through my hands and drooling onto the page and I was living in a haze of mediocre contentedness. I blame Panama. Or should I be thanking Panama?
As some of you know (or have read), my experience in Panama left me feeling bruised, defeated, dubious about my chosen path. Coming home was sweet and sour all at once (like those little fuckers you bought for a quarter when you were a kid, nursing on them until your tongue started to bleed) and getting back to the drawing table (literally) was an amibitious pursuit. But rather than drown myself in tears and guilt, I decided to let myself go through it, pass through the discomfort and familiar malaise until I didn't feel it anymore.
Allowing myself to simply be was the best thing I could do. There was no space to drown in guilt or fear because I was still on land, staring the jerk in the face (maybe with tears in my eyes, but whatever) and standing my ground, knowing I could win. And I did. In a big fucking way.
Slowly, the drawing became purposeful, the painting became exciting, the learning adventurous, the discipline welcome and the passion reignited. And the dream started to form again. I saw the edges become clear, sharper focus on my goal and the road ahead was unpaved but begging to be carved out. And so I began.
With a weekly design schedule and a monthly timeline to the end of the year as my guides, I got to work.
As I worked through my own deadlines and, without thinking about it, challenged myself to create new images in new mediums I realized that I have been stuck in the gap'. My fear of moving forward has always been that I wasn't good enough or creative enough or skilled enough. Even though I knew I had good taste, I didn't think I could ever reproduce what was inside. But then, as the creative process took shape and a flow of inspiration took hold, I knew I was onto something. I knew that I had to keep working if i ever wanted to reach my full creative potential.
So that, my dear friends, is just what I've been doing. Working. Working. Working. It's been an incredible challenge in creativity and discipline but I am proud of how far I've come. I have produced the best work that I can with the skills that I have, edging a little closer to filling the gap. Love Like Red wasn't even a twinkle in my eye only one year ago. Today, it lives and breathes within me and I am working, in a deep labour of love, to give it life out in the world.
The challenges of not knowing a fucking thing(!) about the business of stationery, paper, printing, ink, wholesale, retail, web design, graphic design, ledgers, accounting, branding and every minute detail in between have been gut wrenching and have, on occassion, driven me to the edge of the 'I-QUIT-CLIFF'...
Not enough to make me jump ship.
What I realized this summer is that I am too curious about what this could become to quit. I want to know where I could take this, how I can grow as an artist and entrepreneur, who I can reach with my pretty little notes. My big dream (watch out Martha Stewart) is about one thing: do I have it in me to take this all the way?
Yes. I want to see what life looks like on the other side of fear.
And really, what the fuck else would I be doing?
With love and honesty,