Sunday, July 5, 2015

Owning Who I Am

I've recently rediscovered Lisa Congdon and found her take on self-identity incredibly helpful and freeing. Most recently I listened to her on this Being Boss podcast. The most powerful takeaway from this was the acknowledgement that I do hide portions of myself, and I have tried to groom my online persona to present a perfect package - and that that might actually be putting a wall up between me and the world with which I seek to connect. The suggestion that we share our stories through our art and creations and our blogs and social media is both intriguing and a challenge. I've decided to incorporate it delicately (as possible) into this blog, as a toe-in-the-water step. 

I've freelanced as a web designer and illustrator for almost four years, and before that, I always did side creative projects and sales while putting in a 40-hour workweek. One of several personal realizations in this process of growth has been the importance of emotional intelligence while handling the stresses and multitude of various tasks that come with being a freelancer. Taxes is the least of it, honestly! Handling billing, communications, planning, scheduling, and the unavoidable challenges that pop up along the way, while balancing inspiration, self-doubt, and will and does make you stronger. 

I discovered Lilla Rogers last year by accident when an old classmate was in the running for her Global Talent Search. My big 2015 New Years resolution was to push myself creatively and professionally during this year. I felt in a rut, that I hadn't scouted any new work and really just survived on existing clients and referrals. While I know the kind of work I'd like to make, I have a harder time identifying my dream clients; so I realized that was a weak spot in my strategy and resolution. As I read about Lilla's courses, I realized her Bootcamp and MATS classes might be almost exactly what I was seeking. I initially signed up for just the Bootcamp. The first month I was trying to find my sealegs. Month two, I was swimming. I wanted more, and so signed up for MATS A and B, two five-week intensives that would happen in March and October. With hindsight, I can see this was one of the best decisions I've made as a creative professional. I'm now about to start week 3 in the Home Decor course that Lilla is offering this summer along with Margo Tantau. It Has Changed My Life. Not only am I meeting creatives from around the world, but I am seeing the ceiling rise with every challenge. I'd worked in uninspiring and unchallenging positions just trying to survive for so long, I'd lost sight of myself in the larger scheme of dreams, aspirations and definitive goals. I am rewriting my personal goal list as I go, because I'm seeing the potential for so much more from life. 

I'll share with you the first two collections I've made for the Home Decor course. My goal coming out of this course and as I look to the fall of 2015 is to grow my list of desired clients, put together personal promos, and reinvigorate my online shops with the newest work in my portfolio. Longer-term goals are to build long-term relationships with clients, licensing patterns and illustrations, and possibly finding an agent. 

Week 1: Metal | Birds

Week 2: Fabric | Flowers

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