Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Learning how to Play

Recently I was asked how did I know that I wanted to take my art from a hobby to earning a few dollars from it. Honestly, I'm not sure how that evolved, probably with friends and family encouraging me to sell at shows and then people suggesting I teach classes. However, I do remember saying that I hope it never gets to a point where it was no longer fun. That's the pitfalls of taking your hobby to the next level. Besides creating the art, there is the whole business end of it: promoting, blogging, social networking, submissions, deadlines, teaching, traveling and more. It can be extremely rewarding and you meet many amazing people. And no doubt, it is always a thrill to have someone say, "oh, I know you from your blog" or a stranger shares with you that she "just loves my jewelry".

Maybe after such a long winter, but I'm feeling sort of challenged in my direction. Where am I headed with all this? Am I getting anywhere? Am I just spinning my wheels? Granted, I've got some new changes coming up in the next year (Dillon leaves for college and Tucker leaves the school system and enters the world of the "adult program") I don't like change and I'm not ready to send my little baby boy off to school as I will miss him terribly. These are factors that I incorporate when trying to understand, why the melancholy feeling?

It's also not uncommon for other women my age to feel this way, so I know I am not alone with these feelings. We give so much of ourselves as wives and mothers, that we lose a bit ourselves and I think we start to get this stirring feeling as we approach the time our kids are growing up and leaving the nest. We begin to question, "who am I", or "where is the girl I use to be?" I'm still here, I just need to bring her to the surface again.

I'm not saying I'm not having fun anymore, but where I use to have so much time to sit and play, now it's deadlines and more. I'm spending so much time getting ready for the next thing I have to do (the future), that I'm missing out on present. A lot of it is self induced, I like things organized and planned out. You want your classes to be a positive experience for your students, so you try to get everything perfect. Well, we all know what happens when we try to make things perfect! Perfectionism gets in the way and causes a lot of stress!

The other thing I wanted to add is that in these days and times, we women need to be supporting each other. I've seen alot of what I like to refer to as "the dark side of art" lately; just nastiness, pettiness, jealousy, betrayals and more and it's draining. I don't like that sort of stuff, I can't stand drama and I feel there is no place for it in the art realm. It's taking the beauty away from creating and replacing it with shallowness. I don't need to be a rock star or someone famous and I don't want to have to "watch my back". I don't have those sort of goals. I just want to create, educate and have fun.
We need to be reaching out to each other; keep an eye on one another. We all could use a guardian angel looking after us. Wouldn't it be nice to see our forces as nurturing and caring women come together in a positive way? I was so taken back by all the internet art drama lately, that I had to visually put something in words:

A friend recently professed frustration that certain art girls seem to get all the attention, have successful art careers, while others seem to languish in the background, unappreciated and unnoticed. I'm not sure why this is. Being in the right place at the time? Do they have more finances to back themselves? Luck? Good old fashioned hard work? I try not to get caught up comparing myself to others. It is self defeating and I'll never accomplish anything if I am a green eyed monster! Sometimes, monetarily, I feel I can't accomplish things I'd like to do or give back. But what I can offer, FOR FREE, is encouragement, support and loyalty. I think this is a better gift than money any day.

So my point, (yes, there is one!) is that all the feelings are being stirred and after reading a post by my friend, Kristen Robinson, about playing- it hit me. I'm just not playing enough anymore. I need to get back to the main reason that I started creating things and that was, for fun, for me. If something good comes out of it in the meantime, that's great; but otherwise, I'm removing the pressure I place on myself.

So with that said, I wanted to share with you, Kristen's new online class, "Project Play". I'm here to offer my support and encouragements of her endeavors and I'm sure in the meantime, there is much I can learn. Stop by and take a peek. Maybe you could use a play date as well?

I leave you with one of my most favorite quotes, from "Kung Fu Panda". I just love it. It always makes me reflect:

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.


  1. Thank you. Words well said and words well needed to be heard by my ears.
    Hugs, and thanks again
    Jean Peter

  2. Well Said Kecia ... Do what you Love,
    Create things that make you Smile, Give from the Hart and most of all Keep on Playing !! peace and Love Heather.

  3. Thank you for this post Kecia. I'm sorry you are experiencing some negativity and drama. It takes all kinds. Some people are totally oblivious to how they come across. Project Play sounds like exactly what I need. I just signed up. I hope yu'll be able to play too. Rediscover the magic in what you do. Big hug,Patty D

  4. Again I want to thank you Kecia for your words of inspiration and encouragement. Like I stated before, I am very new to all of this and am still learning and it is so nice to know there are people out there like you that are willing to help the newbies like us. I so enjoy what I do, but have been very discouraged lately as I feel I am going nowhere and hopefully someday this will all change. Keep up the great encouragement.!
    Thanks, Francine

  5. I really enjoyed your post. Like I said to you once before, those who need to stir up drama do it because they don't know what REAL drama is. People need to be concerned about what is going on in their own "house", not what others are doing, saying or creating. Money will only take you so far; in the end you can't buy talent, friends or self-respect.

  6. Well put Kecia! I am one of those 'behind the scenes' artist who is often asked "Why aren't you teaching? Why don't you expand your art business? Why haven't you (insert-anything-here) yet? And your post is the reason why...

    I worked 20 years as a designer for the pharmaceutical industry designing everything from tool & die to labels & packaging - very high stress and dog-eat-dog. I used to love graphic design until it became work (and I made a very good living at it). These days I have to be chained to my computer to do graphic design and web development(I also designed and maintained parts of the corporate website during those 20 years)...and so today I protect my art very carefully. I don't want my first love to become work, as graphic design became. So I go along at a slower pace and sell a bit here and really enjoy the art process. I am blessed with not having to support myself with my art anymore. If I had to, I know I could do it again. And unless that day should ever arrive, I will continue to keep it as it is...

    Also- my dad once told me this: "Do what you really LOVE and the money will follow"...and he is correct!

    I have seen some of the 'mean girls' in the art world and I steer clear of them and their agenda.
    I love your 'no drama in Art' statement!

    hope this doesn't sound too preachy!

  7. I just heard this song, then read your post,....could there be a message here?
    "In room with some lace and paper
    flowers....Back to the gypsy that
    I was....to the gypsy that I was!"
    I always try to remember where my passion comes from and try not to loose sight of that little light that drove me here in the first place....your post reminded me of that little light...thanks Kecia!

  8. Great post - I needed to read this. I am trying to make decisions as to where I am going with my hobby.
    Enjoy your evening.

  9. Kecia,
    What a very moving, heartfelt, and motivating post...
    Being still very new to the art world... for the last year, I have found myself with lots of ups and downs... some good times, and some major dissappointments. I actually had started to write a blog talking about my inner struggles over the last year. I have been trying to find my place, see where I fit in this community. And even thought I so want to be apart of it, I have questioned whether the dissapointments (drama) outweighs, the good moments, and have been very close to just giving up and crawling back in my shell..
    Your post has given me some hope!! I have to keep reminding myself, that I am doing this for me... and there are still some people out there who do this for the pure joy of it and that there is not some alternative motive. So Thank You and if it is ok with you, I would be proud to wear your button on my blog page.

  10. Sweetpea, you and I know that the moment the fun goes out the problems begin.

    I moved away from all the drama some years ago, I stopped some relationships I felt were damaging because of the "rules of the game". I love what I do and I have been very fortunate to be able to do it. I don't know how to have drama because it is tiresome, exhausting, it robs you of your ability to create and in the end everyone loses.

    When I taught I was very fortunate, my students were normal people with a desire to learn. Not too long ago we bumped into a former student who told B.Loved, "I used to drive 18 miles in each direction to her classes and it was worth every single mile and I would have probably driven farther if necessary". It was the most rewarding thing I got out of all my teaching.

    So keep on marching to your own drum. The ones who need to be divas will usually do it at any cost and at any price. But sooner or later the real people will see through it and they will vanish, like so many before them in the recesses of the shadows that "me first" seem to create.

    You hold the right key, don't lose it. Much love and we both miss you around.

  11. I so agree with you on all counts. Thank you for a lovely post and the peace of mind that someone is thinking along the same lines!
    Totally love Kung Fu Panda and that quote! I was just watching it again the other day!

  12. You articulate what so many of us feel. Sometime those well meaning "supporters" push us where we really do not want/need to go. They have no understanding of the true amount of time and energy making art for $ really takes.

    So, for the present, I allow myself just to make art for my escape and peace of mind.

    ENJOY your playtime!

  13. i too seem to always be planning for the future...and i have tried very hard to live in the moment, but it is a constan effort...if you figure it out...let me know...:)

  14. Oh Kecia - what a beautiful post! It is indeed ever so important to create room for creative play. It's because of this that I backed off doing so many shows! All about finding the balance I guess. I do so hope that we get to see each other in April. Isn't thrifting a sort of creative play as well? =)


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