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Posts Tagged ‘work’

Over the course of this week my mood has been getting progressively worse. I could feel it about half way through that I had a downer coming my way, I knew my depression would flair up and this time it has surfaced in a crisis of self faith.

I had been working so hard making and listing, trying to find a couple of places to settle for selling my work all the while getting confused and disheartened by what I found. The issue was only impacted when I started doing the number one negative thing a creative person can do and that is compare themselves and their work to others.

I stopped loving my work and started telling myself that it is childish and garish compared to others. The more I did this the more frustrated I became and instead of loving my unique individuality I had to fight the urge to destroy everything I had been working on.

I should really have taken a break when this happened but I ploughed through, making myself feel worse and worse. It was when I woke up this morning still feeling this way that I decided enough was enough.

Anyone who has dealt with depression will know it is an ongoing battle. I found myself playing around with ideas this afternoon but not feeling happy and content with what I was doing so I turned to my journal. It helped. It’s a place where there’s no pressure to perform or create something that I need to try to sell.

That’s when I realised I had been too focused on making things to sell. It sounds silly really because of course I’m going to be focused on that when I need to make a living out of my art work but I was letting it take over and as a result it sapped all the enjoyment and passion I had. I had started trying to fit myself into a mould of what I felt I should be making rather than what I wanted to make and felt called to create. I lost faith in myself and my own guidance, my abilities and what I want.

To myself I say this… I’m sorry.

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I often struggle, when I’m doubting myself, with the idea that I’m allowed to do something I love and enjoy it, particularly that I am able to have a career doing it. I tell myself that work shouldn’t be enjoyable, it shouldn’t be something that makes me smile on the inside. For some reason the word work has really negative connotations for me, I’m not sure where that has come from but it’s definitely there for me and, I think, a lot of other people.

So this month I am replacing the word work with play. Play is my word for July and I intend to let myself have some fun, enjoy the process and not think of it as work at all. Sure, there’s going to be things I have to do that I don’t enjoy, ironing for one, but the creative stuff should be playful, childish and most of all enjoyable, otherwise, what’s the point?

I daren’t set myself any targets, which, given my personality, is highly tempting (I love targets and achieving them). I want to say I’ll create something every day and post about it but I know I’ll beat myself up if I don’t do it, so instead I’m going to say I’m going to play everyday. I may blog, tweet or facebook about them…I may not, as long as it’s  organic and making me happy then it is all good.

So I invite you all to have some fun with me, don’t make creativity a chore, have fun with it and play!

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