The road to being a well fed artist

I have spent the last three months sitting on a fence trying to figure out my path. A big part of me decided to give up on my creative dreams. A small part of me wouldn’t let go.

I had decided to look for a “day job” to ease the pressure I felt about whether or not I could ever make Inner Compass Designs a “successful” creative business. Not so easy after 14 years away from offices no matter how well written my CV is. So I began to feel like a failure on all fronts and stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It occurred to me recently that this season of confusion and self-doubt has coincided exactly with the Australian Winter. Instead of thinking this was the end I started to think that maybe I was just in a season where things lay fallow. Perhaps a dormant time for things to be restored and replenished without anything being grown.

Just as we reached the end of Winter I felt a slight thawing and gained some clarity. In the spirit of my word for the second half of the year being “action” I had decided to start a daily creating challenge as I had two years ago.  I would create something every day even when I wanted nothing to do with my paint or pens. Perhaps the longing for my own Spring led me to mostly paint flowers.

well fed artist Inner Compass Designs

It didn’t take too many days of momentum to start cracking the surface of fear and self-doubt and lack.

The more I created the more light was let in. By pulling away for months I was feeding the negatives and putting up a wall around myself. Taking down some of those bricks has let me get honest with myself.

What I am realising is I have been living like a “starving artist” when what I need to be is a “well fed artist”.

The starving artist mentality is not just about how much (or little) money you make at your creative work. It is about telling yourself you are not “good enough”, living with fear of following your dreams, looking at the creative world with a lens of scarcity.

Starving means comparing yourself to others and thinking you will never reach their level of success. It means choosing not to promote or share your work because you are already pre-judging it and seeing it through unkind eyes, mind reading and sure that no one wants it or will like it.

A well fed artist honours her gifts and interests, going forward with self love and compassion and valuing her work. When you are well fed you are okay in the messy process and the “during” without being caught up in potential outcomes (long before the work is done).

Being well fed means you look inward, trusting your intuition, in flow with creating and yourself. Instead of hiding and depriving yourself you stand in your power and voice, giving yourself permission to make things and take up space and become vulnerable in order to share what you create.

So while I have not yet arrived I believe I am on the road to becoming a well fed artist and maker. That little part of me that did not want to give up is growing stronger with each day. I am not sure where the road leads, but I imagine it is a winding road and that I need to be patient. Maybe I got so caught up in a destination that I forgot to enjoy the journey…

For now I know I need to keep on with my daily project, pick back up my soulful wall hangings (I never finished the second batch after I returned from NYC), list my sea glass jewelry for sale (the pieces were finished months ago) and look towards the future with eyes of possibility rather than fear.

Love and light,

Deb xx

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