Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do Your Own Thing with Integrity: A Special Artist's Quote + Silencing Your Inner Critic


There's truth to the tortured artist facade, creators experience crippling self-doubt. I live to encourage freelancers, but no one sees my self-critic. She's a bitch, that one. She nags about every. little. thing. I. do. I'm sick of her shit, honestly. I didn't work and innovate to my full potential last year (haha, there she goes again), so I've turned up the heat on my work load. It's hard, but quotes, books, and recordings from creators I respect inspires me when it gets rough. I really love this one:
"Try to remember that being an artist doesn’t mean you’re in a great big art contest.  In specific instances, you might have competitors for jobs and opportunities, but on the whole it’s not a zero sum game.  You’re only losing the game if you think of it that way, so don’t conjure up a paralytic sense of failure by worrying about what everyone else is doing.  Just do your thing.  Do it well and with integrity, and know that’s a measure of success."      -Tracy ButlerLackadaisy Cats (My favorite webcomic!)

I think of that last line all the time while I'm working. My current focus is improving the hell out of quality to make the best brand I can. I'm not looking at what everyone else is doing for ideas. In the past I'd wish I was as far-along as some of my peers, now I don't. I focus on my quality instead. Putting your all into making the best work you possibly can is it's own satisfaction- and success usually comes with it! A final excellent quote from Tracy:

"Appreciate that you have a little something special on your hands, even if it can take you to some deeply unhappy places at times.  Not everyone can see the world through an artistic lens or alchemize their reality into paintings and stories.  Not everyone has a great enduring passion in life.  Take advantage of it and feel lucky."

Remember this when will power to power through writing blog posts, take 500 photos, write out 100 price tags, and further inevitable creative-biz monotony is lacking. Not one else can thrift to curate a collection like you do or write a blog from your special perspective.

Take advantage of your gifts and use them to the fullest every day, with gratitude and a positive attitude! What do you do to stay inspired and working hard?
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38 comments:

  1. Thank you for the helpful tips!

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  2. Very good advice especially in the blog sense-- seems to be a lot of the same out there. People need to be true to themselves not what the Joneses' blog is doing! Very true too about doing your best. Even if you're not a huge "commercial" success, you'll be satsfied in your soul. Now if the money would just follow... ;)

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    1. A lot of blogs, especially in the DIY/handmade community are carbon copies of each other. It's immediately off-putting. Definitely harder for the money to follow integrity, it's certainly easier to make big bucks just copying whatever is popular and selling!

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  3. I found myself doubting some of my thrift finds at first. I was buying to build and not doing my best. Now that I've grown some I find myself deleting items, moving them to opposite stores, or even redonating them. I'm trying to find quality fun items. I always wanted to stay with vintage fabric or fabrics in general but the market dictated otherwise. I'm having more fun now and being true to myself and if the sales come they do. As far as blogging I'm having fun posting my finds, but am going to start spreading out to different topics soon. It's a time management thing. Having fun at 61 and finally stopped being my own worst enemy.

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    1. You always have to evolve and learn from the mistakes. I've been donating a few things I've toted around for too long as well and finally getting around to revamping certain pieces I'm sure will sell with a little paint. I've found that my art pieces/painted furniture sells faster than anything else with my booth. Sales are always better when I incorporate my personality and the PR goes farther, too. It really does pay to incorporate your personality and to be your true self with your brand.

      I love your shop and blog, I'm glad you've stopped being your own worst enemy :) ! It's no fun being stuck in that zone of thought.

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  4. Thanks for the inspiration Van, I definitely need it from time to time when I'm feeling overwhelmed with too much to do or feeling like my shop's not up to par. Thanks for putting things in perspective! :)

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  5. You are the most driven Artist that I have seen - you are bound to be successful!

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    1. Aw, thanks for the kind words! I hope so! Gotta keep workin' hard at it...

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  6. Love that way of thinking. It's so freeing! <3

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    1. It really does lift a weight off your shoulders in a way, it's hard enough to work on top of comparing ourselves to other. It's much better to just focus on ourselves and our output.

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  7. Great, great post Van. With having two kids and another one on the way I often have to re-evaluate, re-focus constantly. I have to be realistic as family is first but my dreams are important to me too. The one thing I say to myself constantly is "constant forward motion". Every day if I can lay my head on my pillow and know I've done something, anything that contributes to my overall goal I'm happy. It may of been a made day with kids and all I got done was one paragraph in a blog post to completed, but at least it's something and not nothing.

    Furthermore to what you've said above is that my biggest help and motivator also has been to stop worry about what ever one else is doing, looking at stats and comparing. So much precious energy is wasted focused in what others are doing and have. I worry about me, point blank and believe in my difference.

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    1. I need to be the same way, and console myself with the fact that I do something to move the brand forward daily. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words!

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    2. You're doing an awesome job Van.
      Sorry for the spelling mistakes in my original comment. I really shouldn't read and comment on blogs at 5am in the morning lol. Oh well you understood what I said.
      Keep up you're great work. I love your constantly enthused and focused attitude.

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  8. Yup, the worst restrictions are the ones we put on ourselves.

    Butler always has great creative advice. Love her work!

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    1. Me too, she is ridiculously talented!

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    2. Miss drawing with you and Birdie BTW :( We need to make a drawing night sometime...

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Vanessa. Up until the last 6 months, I had been struggling with constantly comparing myself with others, and like you, wishing that I was where others were at. Through a lot of internal soul searching and working on my mental attitude (with the help of a great hypnotherapist), I've been able to break free from that vicious cycle of self-doubt and criticism. “Don't conjure up a paralytic sense of failure by worrying about what everyone else is doing.” Love that quote. The more you fret and worry, the more you take time away from being productive.

    “Appreciate that you have a little something special on your hands.” The biggest struggle for me now is to bring that special creative thing I have inside of me and manifest it somehow into something tangible that I can share with others. Very difficult!

    I stay inspired by reading blogs like yours. Your honesty in sharing your goals, accomplishments, and struggles motivates me to work on my goals. Joining and participating in chat forums related to online selling also keeps me stay on track and think more creatively about my businesses.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you related to the quotes, too. It really is extremely difficult to do jus that, manifest what's in your mind into something tangible. I work on perfectly the vision every day.

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