There have been so many new things coming my way this year that while my word of the year was supposed to be 'Discover', I think it should have been more aptly titled, "Challenge". I've been striving to do more art (work larger, new styles, new techniques), to embark on different activities such as art/craft shows, to submit to more galleries (will be going into two new galleries this summer), spread the word about my artsy endeavors (started a newsletter this month....check my sidebar out to sign up for the monthly publication which will include a sale coupon in each issue), and continue to submit to various magazines for publication (see some of my work in both Somerset Studio magazine and Cloth Paper Scissors this month). I've also taken on more custom work and LARGER projects than I ever have before, so yes...this has been a year of challenges for me.
By far the biggest challenge and my most gratifying work though has been with the development and creation of my new workshop "Fun with Faux Encaustic". Why was this a challenge? Well, for one thing, I had no idea on how to work a video or edit movies on the computer. I totally had to teach myself the program and how to work my camera. Preparing to teach whether online or in person, or for that matter, even writing a how to article is a totally different ball game then just 'doing'. As a teacher, you might be tempted to skip over things because certain techniques or instructions may seem like they are common knowledge or well known but you can't assume everyone that will be taking your class or reading your article will know what you assume is common knowledge. So breaking down what you know how to do is an art in and of itself, and hopefully I've been able to do it with my writing and in my online class so it is accessible to everyone from the beginner to the more advanced student.
This project was also a challenge because I grossly underestimated how much time it would take me to make it all happen. That's the truth. I approached the project with enough cusion though to complete all the components on time and I'm proud to say, "I DID IT". I have always wanted to teach and hope to do more of it down the road, in fact I will be doing my first (unless something else comes up sooner) 'live' class in March at Jerry's Artarama.
The challenge to me also comes into play because I really struggle with time management between working my day job, parenting, and doing art and promoting my art biz on the side. There never seems to be enough hours in the day, but when you have a passion for something and a true desire to make it happen, you just find a way to do it. I've discovered there's no magic formula to make it happen, and even if there was, it would vary day by day because you can't control things that happen around you. You can just control yourself, your actions, or your 'in-actions'.
I'm committed to doing this. No matter how big the challenge is that comes before me. After all, what is an accomplishment if nothing else, venue to stretch yourself to new heights. The feeling of satisfaction, to me, is so much greater when I know that I've learned something new from what it is that I've taken on. I can honestly say I've learned more in the last year than I've learned over the past several years. For that I'm grateful, and for all the family and friends (especially my loyal blog readers and all the local & online artist friends I've had pushing me along the way), I owe so much to all of you.
What are you challenging yourself with lately?