Hello, it’s me again!
This week I wanted to talk about how certain events can change your whole life and how these things can happen really, really quickly. They can be out of our control and often seem pretty bleak and scary. Sometimes you can’t see a solution and you have no idea what’s around the corner. With this in mind, I want to share a couple of stories with you.
I did a talk at the weekend where I was a guest speaker. It was a big live event that was taking place in Canada but being streamed all around the world. I was petrified! Anyway, we were talking about this very subject.
Over the years I have seen many artists and myself, go through some terrible times and sometimes we’ve not been able to see the light.
Take a couple of years ago for example, money was so tight I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills or if I was going to be able to stay in my house. I have got kids and I just remember being so overwhelmed and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I am sure you’ve all experienced this in some way, shape or form. Wondering how you are going to continue with the struggle and wondering when it will end. You just feel defeated.
Let me tell you, when I was creating United Artspace, it wasn’t easy and there were many times when I just wanted to give up as I felt so defeated. I took financial hits and there were things going on, personally behind the scenes. But I love what I do and the passion to help other artists and create this community kept pushing me to move forward.
When I was giving this talk, I was saying that sometimes it feels like you’re pushing a boulder up the hill and it’s getting heavier and heavier and you don’t feel like you have the strength to hold onto it anymore. You do, you just have to keep going and not give up!
One thing I’ve learnt over the years, and having worked with artists who feel just like this, is you may start to feel defeated as you’re not selling your art. You keep trying but you are getting nothing back. It’s very frustrating and you begin to think, why is this not working for me? Why are other people selling? I’ve been in this situation before, and the one thing I will say is, don’t give up. I know it’s a cliché, but you never know what is around the corner.
Every time I have felt defeated and ready to give up, someone has always kept me going, saying ‘you’ve worked so hard for this, don’t give up now’. Just remember, if you want something and have the passion to drive it forward, you can make it happen.
Minnie is one of my Hub members. She was making art that wasn’t really making her happy and she was in a job that wasn’t making her happy. One day she decided enough was enough and quit her job. She said to me “I have no idea what to do now, but I know I want to work on my art.” Within a week she’d gone from being really scared and having no idea how to make an income to, I’m going to do this, I want to do this. And this all happened from walking into a café, having a conversion with the owner, telling the owner her story and the owner turned around and offered Minnie the space to run workshops in the downstairs of the café.
Again, she went away petrified as she’d never run a workshop before, so she came to the Hub and explained her opportunity to other members, and everyone talked her through it. Within a week her first workshop was sold out. It was unbelievable. Within two weeks Minnie had worked out how many workshops she’d need to run for the rest of the year to replace her income. It was just amazing!
Obviously it doesn’t always happen that quickly, but this is just an example for you. You never know what is around the corner and who you’ll meet. Sometimes things can happen slowly, sometimes fast, both are fine.
I remember Sharon, who is my friend and ceramicist artist. I have spoken to her a lot and she felt the struggle with not selling, going to art fairs and just finding it hard. Then, by chance, while online, met an art gallery and had a conversation with them. They ended up being a very good fit and they were looking at three dimensional artists. The gallery then put a call out, Sharon submitted her work and they liked it. They’ve become her largest sales income, selling lots of Sharon’s work. She has solo shows, she exhibits there and when she does a show, she’ll sell at least 85% of her work.
Again, this was just on the ‘off’ chance and stumbling upon them online. It didn’t happen overnight; it took time and work, but Sharon didn’t give up.
The Seven Keys
You hear me talking about the seven keys a lot, and one of the keys is your ‘why’ and understanding that. You need to know why you are getting out of bed every day. Keeping this in your mind helps to keep the fire going.
As artists, I think in life, no matter what we’re doing, we all hit that wall sometimes. The fear takes over, you feel rejected. Something went wrong. You feel like there is no room for your art in this world. It could be personal, but you just feel like that boulder is too heavy and you’re ready to give up.
All of us in life feel like giving up and some point and that is okay. If you need to give up on something, you can. You don’t have to keep going if you don’t want to. It’s okay to say ‘enough is enough’ but it’s important to know why you’re giving up.
However, it’s equally okay to dig a little deeper and find that last bit of energy and keep going, as you never know what is around the corner. You could be one person away from changing your life!
I’m speaking from experience here. I have had a month where I have been so stretched for money and wondering how I was going to survive. Then the next month I had pivoted. I had made changes. I’d put my thinking cap on, created some noise and action. Returned and looked at my seven keys and I’ve then had the best month I’ve ever had.
This is the difference of giving up because of the fear of not having enough money, to finding the energy to fuel the fire to keep going and not give up.
To finish up this blog post I just wanted to shout out and say a massive well done to one of my Hub members, Racheal Jackson. She joined the Hub back in January with 300 followers on Instagram. In the last two weeks, Racheal has hit 10,000 followers on Instagram and is now a full-time artist, which is just amazing! I just want to say huge congratulations to you, Racheal, on this big milestone. You’re an inspiration to us all, showing that it is possible!