This Little Idea I Have.

Instead of my regular bookish post on this Monday, we're going to have a little heart-to-heart.

You see, I was busy this weekend... But I wasn't busy with housework. I wasn't busy with office work. I wasn't busy hanging out with friends and celebrating my birthday for 3 days in a row.

I was busy with art.

And this art that I've been making is for something really important and potentially life-altering. It is deeply tied to my personal experiences - the people I love, the things that I think, the way that I process the world around me.

And I'm excited to share that with you when the time comes, but for now, let me just say,

Producing art allows for a lot of time to think.

And not having produced a significant volume of work in a long time, especially for the purpose of sharing it with others, I kind of forgot about that. And once I started in again,

I became so. 

Like, the palm-sweating, heart-racing kind of nervous every time I think about how much work it's going to take to make this idea fruitful. I'm torn between complete excitement and joy for this new possibility, and utter misery.

And it's silly when I think about the nuts and bolts of it, the simple and small gesture that I am actually doing as I create this. People do this all the time. And they're successful at it.

But what if I'm not?

My friend tweeted this link today, and I think it's exactly what I needed to read at this juncture in my life. Because I don't want to make myself so miserable that I sabotage my own ability to pursue this and do it well.

1. Constantly compare yourself to other artists.
2. Talk to your family about what you do and expect them to cheer you on.
3. Base the success of your entire career on one project.
4. Stick with what you know.
5. Undervalue your expertise.
6. Let money dictate what you do.
7. Bow to societal pressures.
8. Only do work that your family would love.
9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.
10. Set unachievable or overwhelming goals to be accomplished by tomorrow.

Slowly, I've been telling a person at a time. The safe ones - my husband, my sister-in-law, my coworker. They're the ones who will tell me it's possible, tell me if my art is good or needs more work, tell me the mechanics of making this little idea that I have lucrative. No pressure.

And now I'm telling you, although I'm waiting until I can make it all official and professional and whatnot. That's how it's done.

But I share the beginning of this journey, in case maybe you're thinking about doing something like this, too.

We're in this together. So let's get started.


Shawndra Russell said...

Sounds very exciting! Good luck. This may not be a question you want to hear, but what is your timeframe? I ask because I too have just started a huge project and I am a deadline sort of person, but it's hard to have a deadline for something I've never done before! ha! Maybe a better question is, what are you doing to stay on track? Like "X" amount of time spent on the project per day? I am trying to do 3 pages a day for my book, but I always feel like I should be doing more :/

Bethany Suckrow said...

Actually, I'm glad you ask, Shawna. The whole reason I started doing it is because someone gave me a deadline! The first portion of the project HAS to be ready by Friday, October 21. And to keep the momentum going, I have to have the rest of it up and running the following week. So, I've been working on it practically non-stop for the last 5 days. All my time outside the office is going to be spent on it until then, and once it's up and running we will see what kind of response it gets in order to determine work flow from there. Good luck with your book!!!

Laura said...

I love your blog!  I'm actually an art major, in my senior year, and I still feel anxiety whenever I have to present my art...it's like presenting a piece of myself to people who will most likely tear it to shreds with critiques.  It's part of the growing as an artist thing, so I guess it's good.  :)
Thanks so much for writing...I enjoy reading all your posts very much.  

Bethany Suckrow said...

I know that feeling well, Laura. I took art classes in college and the anxiety was overwhelming sometimes. Keep creating! I would love to see your work sometime.

Helena Butters said...

Exactly! I struggle so much with comparing myself to other bloggers. In so doing, I don't give myself any credit and I see their journey to success as the ONLY path.

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