Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stay Crafty, My Friends

Found here
I have always been a creative person. When I was a kid, I spent an inordinate amount of time in my basement making things - drawing cartoons and fashion sketches, painting rocks, making crafts (don't worry, I did have friends). I was always one of the "artsy" girls in school - always first in line for any artistic extracurriculars like art clubs and fashion shows.

I do not have many regrets in life - I believe we do the best we can with the information we have at the time - but one major thing I am not happy about is the fact that I seem to have lost this part of myself. Well, not lost - I would still say I am creative (I am pursuing a freelance career in writing, so that's something) but just not in the same way.

I don't have the same passion and freedom of expression that I once had. I think a combination of increased life stress and responsibility (and therefore limited time) has doused that creative fire I once had. I have so little spare time sometimes that I often just want to use it to 'veg' and relax, not to sit and paint or make a craft. I hate this. I hate that I have become such a responsible adult that I have lost touch with my creative side.

Since I do feel a little bit of this creative fire still burns, I think I could find that passion again. I think I could find that drive to create again if I just dig hard enough, but sometimes I wonder - is it really possible to get back something that you have lost touch with (seemingly) so long ago? Is is really possible to go back to who you were, grab a little piece of it, and bring it into the present? And even if I can do this, would I be able to produce anything that is actually worthwhile, or am I too out of practice? Sometimes I wonder why I should even bother when it seems to be so much work, but if it is something I feel this disappointed about losing, isn't that a clue that it is something that I truly love?

This is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately, I suppose because the past few months have been particularly stressful ones in my life and I have been searching for relief and emotional therapy wherever I can find it. This, in addition to my issues with obtaining a permanent career forcing me to consider 'alternate' sources of income (hence the push for paying writing jobs) as well HOW exactly I want to bring in money...can I settle for a job that pays the bills, or do I have the confidence to go for a career that is built upon my passions?

I would love to join the ranks of these talented and creative gals with their Etsy shops and their cute, crafty projects. I feel like I could join them but I am not sure how, or if I have it in me. What would I even offer customers? What do I have a talent for that others would be attracted to enough to pay money for? Furthermore, where can I find the time to put the necessary effort into building such a career?

I suppose this post is just sort of a general musing about the state of my life at the moment and my fears and questions surrounding it, but I would love for those of you out there reading this who do own a creative business (full or part-time) to weigh-in! How do YOU do it? Do you think you can re-light a creative fire?

In conclusion, allow me to give kudos to those of you who DO run your own creative business, whether you make a living from it or not. You had a passion and you went for it and that deserves praise. There are so many, like me, who are either too scared or too lost to go for it (or who are not even sure they DO want it!) so you should be really proud of yourself.

Designers, artists, and generally crafty and creative mavens of the world - I salute you.

*Update: Check out this cool contest I just found out about today, related to this post -  'If You Could Start a Crafting Business Tomorrow What Would It Be?' 1 lucky grand-prize winner will be able to discuss their business idea with Ilasco in a 30-minute phone conversation! Plus she/he will receive a copy of Craft Inc. The 4 runners-up will also receive a copy of Craft Inc.

**Read the comments below the contest post to get some amazing business ideas!


Kim B said...

Let me say, I hear you LOUD and CLEAR about having lost a lot of what made you tick as a kid or teen. I was into music, hardcore. I played three different instruments, composed music, invested time in bettering my skills and teaching myself. I couldn't see a time in my future where that wouldn't be the case. Alas, here I am at 25, selling my guitar, rarely playing my piano, and not even capable of sustaining a decent tone on my clarinet for lack of the embouchure muscles. I just don't seem to make time, and when I do, my loss of skill frustrates me. And like you, I wish I could make a living pursuing creativity and passion, but at least for myself, I'm not ready to make the financial sacrifice and take a leap into the unknown.

Kim Humes said...

Sigh, real life sucks doesn't it? lol. I used to play the piano too and now I never do, and I hate that too. I hate that I never play but I can't seem to motivate myself to do it

Allison said...

Awe...yeah...being crafty isn't all it's cracked up to be. I haven't sold anything from my Etsy shop in nearly a year. Yet, I keep making stuff for it.

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