Author's Note: I wrote this last week in the middle of what I have come to realize was the peak of overwhelm. Thankfully, Labor Day and family and friends helped me get out from under the weight of the emotions responsible for the distress in the post below, but I still wanted to share this experience.
I fully believe that, until we begin to treat ourselves kindly we aren't able to do that with others.
I'm still trying.
My local color show sale went live today. 5 pieces have been purchased at the time of this writing. I am fully aware that this is where I'm supposed to tell you how stoked I am but the truth is more nuanced.
Seeing my work go out and be appreciated is thrilling. More than that I feel extremely appreciative of the people who have reached out and said, "what you do matters."
But I'm also tired.
This creative entrepreneur stuff is non stop. I feel as if the pressure to grow my following, take and edit the right shot, post at the right time, and say yes to opportunity and expense is constant.
If I'm quite honest with myself, I would tell you I'm not having fun. I would tell you I'm overwhelmed by the money management (or complete lack of such) aspect of a business. I would tell you that I have been focusing on the "admin" side of the business so much recently that finding time to paint has been a struggle. I would tell you that I feel like the biggest fake every single day, I feel like I am having to constantly run and hide behind the next Instagram post so that no one finds out the truth.
The truth that though I've been incredibly busy, other than today I've not had any income. Call me what you will but five relatively small paychecks after four months of work is appreciated but also demoralizing. Am I not producing what people want? Am I not doing marketing right? Am I not networking enough? Am I networking too much? Am I networking incorrectly? What's wrong with me? Do I need to go back to school?
That last thought makes me scoff.
"What the hell are you thinking Paige? It's not like you ever went to school to study art in the first place. No wonder you're struggling so mightily."
I don't write this post for your empathy. I am sharing simply because, whether or not we fully realize it, we live in a world where we only see one very polished photo-edited side of people's lives.
And this post isn't that. It's something that almost any art or marketing consultant in the world is "off-brand" and therefore not to be shared. But it's real and true and I think, perhaps I need a bit more of that in my life, and I thought that perhaps you might too.