Hello there you! Here you will find stuff about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator who also creates, takes photos, faffs, collects, teaches and hosts workshops. Watercolour, doodling, collage, colour, cheese, salads, travel, collecting ephemera and dreaming make me happy dance. And cushions. And cactus. And gardening. And op-shops. And art supplies. And the word serendipity. And you reading this...

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE... AND GROWING SOME BALLS (big hairy balls)

HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE...  
AND GROWING SOME BALLS

 one of my cushion designs

Swallow. Feel the knot in the tummy.Feel the cringe. Feel the anxiety. Feel the awkwardness. Swallow. Time to put on big girl undies. Time to grow a pair of balls. Even if they might be rainbow coloured and fluffy.

You know all those memes, all those inspirational porn stuff, like "feel the fear and do it anyway" that kind of thing... I hear them in my head. I really do.  So maybe they work. 

So what am I so afraid of? What is my awkwardness? 

It is ME. I am scared of ME. I am absolutely sure that the imposter syndrome is plastered all over me. I am pretty sure that if I tell people I am spectacularly amazing they will laugh their pretty heads off. And snort in glee. 

Yep, I am not so great in believing in myself. I am  getting better at it as I age, true. But fundamentally I cringe at having to think I am really pretty good. 

Which is a bit of a problem.


 another cushion deign

Because one of the things that I have discovered, is that a HUGE part of running a business is that you need to earn money. And part of earning money is selling things. Who would have thought it!

And because I am the creator and the maker of my wares, fundamentally I am selling ME. My art, my workshops, my products, it is all down to me. 

So.. I am having to market and spruik ME.GAH!

My hubby is a natural salesman. I have friends too who are brilliant at it, and I watch them and just admire their chutzpah and skill. I bow before them! But me? I prefer to hide in my studio and just paint. If only I could turn all that stuff over to someone else, but alas lack, it is not going to happen anytime soon. 

So I am left to navigate my way in my own clumsy and clunky fashion. I do the hustle.

Realising I suck at it, I subscribe to lots of business websites e-maily things (I may not read them ... but it sounds impressive, and I always go into it thinking this might be good). Also, I am part of some great supportive business groups on social media. It does help.

I have made some headway, and I am learning, and I am better than I was. BUT, but... I wonder if I will EVER get over that uncomfortable and icky feeling that I get when I advertise. When I ask for help. When I ask for people to buy my art, buy tickets to workshops, help with competitions or when I ask for contribution to a project.

This past few weeks I have had to grow HUGE BALLS for a whole pile of stuff. I really have needed people to get on board. For my exhibition. For a cushion competition. For my  workshops in Sydney this weekend. For The Breadtag project. For reading my blog!

 leaf painting, detail, like the one at the workshops

Let me tell you, I have faffed about and put off doing it some days, because I feel like people will just roll their eyes and say to themselves "Not HER AGAIN!". I feel like that will think that I am shameless self promoter. 

When the reality is, I am quite the opposite. Yes, I am self-promoting,(no one else to do it)but not shameless at all!  

So I guess this is me, saying please understand. And I am sorry. Understand that whenever you see me, or any other creative asking for support, that it may well be because we know we just HAVE to, and it probably does not thrill us to do so. 

That we are probably hiding with coffee cup in hand, feeling a bit weird about asking for you to invest your hard earned money in us. 
And it is not easy to even admit to ourselves we need to do it.

It is not REALLY not easy to say:
 "YOU NEED TO BUY FROM ME, I REALLY NEED YOU TO BUY FROM ME!"

The big moment comes when as spammy and icky as it feels, suddenly the truth hits you. To live creatively, you need stuff. You need money.

Realising that we need that money. So bloody obvious! To buy paper. Paint. Brushes. Food for our family. Pay bills. Buy clothes. And cheese. And more coffee!

another cushion design

SO please, forgive the spruik and hustle. It is a necessary evil. SO in my own attempt to be all grown up and business way, I will include links to all the things I need you to help with. And then I will run off and hide in my studio, and hide my big fluffy, hairy, rainbow coloured BALLS. You know it!


For your votes/likes/shares/purchases for the cushion comp ( 1 point per like/ share, and 50 for a purchase!) 5 different designs to vote and like/share!
1 2 3 4 and 5