Random Moments of Delight #23: Creative Mulling

This week I’ve done some mulling about my creative direction.

creative

A few things serendipitously happened that brought me to some realizations.

  • I scheduled two weeks worth of quotes to appear daily on both my Twitter and Facebook fan pages (I think it’s good to post more than just blog updates for my followers).
  • I spontaneously bought a book about creating fairy art.
  • I got some amazing encouragement for expanding my creative skills.
  • I settled my two cats and a cattledog’s strike. 😉

While I was scheduling the quotes I realized that I need to do more with less with my blogging, both in time and effort. Scheduling is a great example of this. I also realized I’ve come at blogging from the direction of making a business out of it.

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I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. The blog was always meant to inspire but I was and still am, hoping for some moolah eventually. I designed it as a platform for getting my name and my art out into the public eye to generate more sales. It remains to be seen if that will happen.

When I thought about it as a business, my analytical mind and experience went to town. I refined my blog, worked on my ‘branding’, researched and improved SEO etc. I’ve been working on the blog, and blogging, 24/7 for about 6 months. As important as all that is to the development of my business I’ve now become addicted to blogging…

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When I bought the fairy drawing book (see post here) I realized I’ve neglected my true passion, art, in my push to become a proficient blogger. My wish to develop my creative drawing style with pencil and paper, and to get back to some digital drawing projects I started over a year ago, came bubbling up.

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I got some wonderful encouragement from my blogging friends. In particular, Genevieve from Cupcake Speaks, and Yvette from Priorhouse Blog. Genevieve urged me to do some drawing everyday, and Yvette reminded me of a wonderful instructional book by Mona Brooks that I had languishing on my bookshelf.

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I’ve decided to shift my priorities from blogging first to art first. And not only that but ‘go back to art school’ so to speak for the next year, both with drawing, and digital art programs (like Photoshop). It’s going to be all about learning, not a particularly comfortable thing for me when I feel pretty insecure about my abilities in both of these areas. But if I just keep this quote in mind…

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Pablo Picasso
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As for action steps?
 
  • Limit blogging and internet activities.
    • Give myself permission to blog less often.
    • Let my posts be shorter and less time-consuming to write (photo editing and video making can take lots of time).
    • Write and schedule posts in advance if possible.
    • Limit the number of challenges I join as visiting and commenting on other participants’ entries (it’s the polite thing to do) is a large time and energy drain. This will allow me to keep in better touch with the smaller group of blogging friends I’ve grown close to.
    • Stop tweaking my blog every two seconds. 😛
    • Let go of the need to increase my followers. (eek…. what if no one reads my blog and I fall into obscurity!…) Face the fear FireBonnet!
 
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  • Put a cover over my computer when I’m done for the day. It’s in our bedroom and so it’s a focus. This will allow my art table (also in our big bedroom) to be more prominent, and reinforce that blogging is secondary.
  • Clean off that art table (now it holds dog toys, unfolded laundry, assorted remnants of past blogging projects and my snack supply – healthy I promise!)
  • Get out my drawing supplies and buy what I need to fill in the holes (it’s been 20 years since art school and some of my supplies have disappeared).
  • Get out of the house more often for a shot of socialization beyond internet relationships! Go sit at my favorite deli with my sketch pad or tablet and be creative with the buzz of real people around me!

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How is this post a random moment of delight you ask? Well, it’s simply glorious to begin a new adventure, with challenges to wrestle and new dreams to seed. I’m taking the left hand fork in the road and I’m nervous and excited.
 
Are you wondering how I settled the two cats and a cattledog’s strike (post here)? We agreed that one post from each of them a month was plenty, along with one Cat-tledog Comic. AND they could have July and August off. I didn’t tell them that this actually works great for me… after all I am their typist. 😉
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I feel great bringing these thoughts together and solidifying my plan. Writing it as a post, and a positive one at that, helps me commit to it. Woohoo! Here’s to a new focus for FireBonnet!

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As always I am so pleased that you visited. Your comments warm my heart and put a smile in my day. :D

1 firebonnet signature


I’d love to hear your random moments of delight. Please join the party and share a post any time this week! You can use the linky below or simply put a link to your post in a comment. This party is about sharing special moments with each other whatever form they take (more info here).

Don’t forget to put a link back to THIS post, in your post, so others may take part if they wish.

(All the cartoons were done with Bitstrips which I then added to in Pixlr Express… no I cannot cartoon this well!)

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delight

#23 – Creative Mulling

 

28 thoughts on “Random Moments of Delight #23: Creative Mulling

  1. prior

    well thanks for the reply – **** smile ****

    and I had a copy of the artist’s way – but it was not really for me – gave my copy away – and do not recall much about it.
    anyhow, I like the name fire bonnet – but sometimes I come here and think “fire art” ha! or “art bonnet”
    <3 have a nice day –

  2. prior

    well I think I recall you noting the Bitstrips in an earlier post – not sure – but you do such a nice job with them!!!

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  5. Meghan Post author

    I forgot to put in a plug for Bitstrips.com … I used them as a basis and then adapted them in Pixlr Express. Bitstrips is lots of fun… the key is to design the perfect avatar!

  6. Meghan Post author

    It’s taken me awhile to respond to this comment… You are such a wonderfully supportive fellow artist and I guess I needed to let the words soak in. I understand and agree with all that you said. And it refined other thoughts I’ve had. I struggle with a belief that art has no value – despite the fact that I find true joy in my work and the work of others… This also seems tied in with not feeling worthy somehow… so if I don’t feel worthy and art has no value, why should I even do it? Anyway, that’s what I’m ready to explore more this year. I started The Artist’s Way two years ago and got all the way to Chapter 8 (it took me about 5 months… I was on the slow track 😉 ), then I stopped. I think that finishing it is probably a good idea this summer. I have the books but also have a lifetime membership online with Julia Cameron Live.

  7. y. prior

    I love love love this post! and not just cause you mentioned moi – and of course you would have Mona’ book! ha! I love her stuff and quirt simply -her book made me a better art teacher – and I wish I started off with her book. but then again I am glad I did not have her book until my last few years and I will tell you why (and it relates to what you shared here) – well you see – because I needed all that experience and had stuff to get out of my system before I was even ready to soak up her lessons. Because as we know – life is like that – a process and we have stuff to get out of our system. and in my opinion, I think that is what you did with your 6 months of blogging, you poured yourself in and while that can’t be sustained – and would need to be – well maybe the other sides of you were fed and then satisfied to even allow you to come back and pour back into your art. That time away allows passion to return – or allowed a fresh new angle to unfold – one that would not have com unless you did what you did (does that makes sense)

    and so as we evolve and change as people – and as we stay fresh and keep coming alive – I think that especially with art we need time away and time back pouring in…. hmmmm

    anyhow, I also like how you said about not sure if any money will ever come from the ol’ blogging – and I think this relaxed feeling with it is cool. I usually dod not like blogs that are business minded – but I think some artists can do it well – and I follow about maybe a dozen of them that sell their stuff and are trying to use that platform to seek, brand, etc. – and while I am not sure of the wins and outs of the legit business blogs like this – please keep us posted – but again, I like your “loose hand” with it.
    It sounds healthy – and so does the next aim you have – life is such a journey – eh?

  8. Rebecca St Croix

    Ooooo……Genevieve, I love the idea of a drawing a day!! Wouldn’t it be fun to look back and see what inspired you during any given time.

    Meghan – I LOVED your blog! So heartfelt and inspiring!!!!

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  10. Meghan Post author

    What an awesome idea!!!!! Wow… a drawing a day. hmmmmmm, food for thought. There is a difference between drawing everyday and a drawing a day. Ya, I thought the action points was a good idea, to focus the energy. Thanks Genevieve for all your support.

  11. Genevieve Petrillo

    I love this post on so many levels! …not just because of the shout out (Thank you!), but I think your plan is just detailed enough to work, and I am excited to share the journey. I am not an artist, but couple of years ago, I made a New Years Resolution to draw a picture every day (I draw like a 4 year old with a Sharpie and color with colored pencils). That resolution changed the way I looked at things all day, knowing I’d be drawing later. I ended up with a kind of visual diary of 365 pictures. Surprising what a difference a few minutes each day can make. Good luck.

  12. Meghan Post author

    I thought you’d probably resonate with this post. You are a busy blogger and I’m sure have had struggles with finding a balance. I’m glad you and your son had some fun using those art supplies! I will be using books, and tutorials (for the software programs). But I’m also considering taking a class or two from Skillshare https://www.skillshare.com/membership?via=homepage-learn. I’ll see what happens in the next few months. We head up to Idaho at the end of this month and all bets are off as to how much blogging I’ll do when I’m up there, and I certainly wouldn’t want to start an internet class when I don’t have the best internet connection! lol

  13. Meghan Post author

    Thanks Mara. The cartoons are Bitstrips of the avatar I created and I modified some of them. It took a bit of a search to find the ones that fit the narrative! But it was lots of fun. I appreciate your support Mara!

  14. Meghan Post author

    Thanks so much Mary. Yes, I thought of you while I was writing this post. I’m glad you love to blog, and that you’ve got a great balance going between making art and blogging. It’s very encouraging!

  15. Meghan Post author

    Thanks N! Yes, balance is the key isn’t it? And you are right that working so hard on it was exactly right at the time. The technical stuff is now second nature, and I know how long it takes to put out various types of posts. So it shouldn’t be hard to keep up with a few posts a week and then the rest of the time is for art (and life!).

  16. Meghan Post author

    Thank you! Yes, my fur family is rather pleased not to have the camera in their faces all the time 😉 . Not that I haven’t caught a few great shots lately! The cartoons were lots of fun to do (I used Bitstrips).

  17. Meghan Post author

    No worries Paricia, I’m not going to stop blogging. I’m just going to limit my time. Thank you so much for your wonderful support.

  18. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com

    I wholeheartedly encourage you to follow your art. You have a lovely talent and should explore more avenues of expression. I don’t want to lose you, however, so will try to keep in touch as often as possible. I have always believed in Joseph Campbell’s quote,so go for it!

  19. littledogslaughed

    Good luck Meghan-I know figuring out what you want to do and then making a plan is a great step to getting to where you want-I look forward to hearing about your *artful* journey! (love the cartoons too and am very glad to hear of a successful mediation among the four-footed residents)-

  20. nharvey

    24/7 ??? So that’s how you’ve been doing it. And I feel like Hercules getting out about one a week.

    I can relate to everything you’re saying… starting the blog to draw attention to your art, then getting drawn into the art of blogging. I started mine not only to promote my work, but to give myself the impetus to produce more rather than always subordinating it to other responsibilities. But there are times when I feel that doing the blog too is taking away from art time. It’s all about finding a balance. Working so hard on blogging was probably something you needed to do for a while and it sounds like you’ve had some epiphanies about needing a new direction now. I wish you a smooth transition into your new habits.

    And love the bliss quote… I’m a BIG fan of Joseph Campbell!

  21. Mary

    You and I are in the same world. I started the blog to bring attention to art, and ending up talking about the dogs. Not bad….but not art and not a money maker. I decided a while ago that art is what will make us our money, not blogging, I blog because I have grown to love it in the 3 1/2 years since I started. My blogging and internet time don’t take all my time anymore, and the rebrand has helped me focus even more. You have to follow your heart, and your art.

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  23. Mara Eastern

    This is the necessary post, each of us is feeling like this sometimes. You seem to be on the good way to manage all your activities though! Also, I absolutely love the cartoons of yourself!! <3

  24. eclecticoddsnsods

    Meghan you are so so right that blogging is addictive and it comes at the price of doing things we love that get sidelined and origins for blogging get lost.

    Your an artist foremost and utmost and I’m thrilled your going back to your roots! So will you go back to actual college or be using books and internet?

    I did some art in August and it was amazing however I set aside every Friday for art. Did I do any? Nothing. Yet I bought lots of watercolour art utensils etc that just sat there until yesterday I sat down with my youngest and did a pencil drawing of the dogs and it was soooo relaxing sooo good to do and in fact was gojng to be my mkment for today but merely saying this to agree it’s very important not to lose those skills and pleasures and we all will still be here excited to see what you come up woth xxx

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