Monday, November 2, 2009

Tearing Down to Create Again...

Today, one of the Creative women I admire most took the courageous step of announcing that she was closing down her cross stitch design business.   Sometimes you have to end something in order to create something new.

Teresa and I met through cross stitch just over a decade ago, but we quickly formed a friendship that went beyond just working in the same industry.  As cross stitch began to falter, she and I began to act as sounding boards for each other and talk about if and how we could take our Creativity in other directions.

Four years ago, we went to Dragon*Con in Atlanta to see if we wanted to transition into Fantasy artwork on the con circuit.  She also helped paint me green for my She-Hulk adventure as mentioned in yesterday’s post.  Last February, we went to the SCBWI conference in New York together to see if children’s book illustration would offer new possibilities.

The joy of having her as a friend is that we share some of the same hopes and insecurities, interests and insights as well as quests and questions.  While we have very different styles, we both feel called to continue to share our Creativity with the world... we’re just still trying to find the next way to do that!

I do know that the past 5 years would have been a lot more scary and stressful without her encouragement, support and sense of humour.

I stayed home today to take care of Bethany who is still running a fe er.  I also got up the courage to tackle a demolition of my own.  A year ago, I overhauled my Dragon Dreams website to reflect the change my artwork was taking as I honoured the 98 published cross stitch designs that I had created, but also tried to showcase the different directions I was heading in.  Then I created a separate website for illustration once I got feedback that Art Directors don’t have time to sift through intensive sites looking for your artwork.

I’ve limped along since then feeling very fragmented and slightly confused at how to make things better.  Today, I realized that the only way to rework the site was to start over from the very beginning, look at what works, get rid of what doesn’t and focus on what truly needs to be covered by the website while making it an informative place to visit.

I am in the middle of the destruction and rebuilding process, but I am actually pleased at how well it is turning out. I'll post on my blogs as soon as the new site is uploaded.

INHALE: Sometimes we have to rebuild from the ashes as friends of ours have done with their house, shut down a business to start in a new direction, crumple up a drawing that isn’t working or go back to the beginning and start over.  Any Creative person, crafter or artist has experienced this more than once.  I’m not sure it ever gets any easier, but I am finally learning to trust that something even better may come from drastic measures.

EXHALE:  I tried to explore today's topic in a fun way.  Find a few magazines for images or inspirational photos.  Instead of trimming them carefully with scissors, rip and tear them out then glue them into your book so that they overlap and create a collage background (you can leave white spaces).  Next, write some words over the images or around them that add to your Creative inspiration.  If this seems too time-consuming for your hectic day, try a simpler exhale: crumple a plain piece of paper and then smooth it out again then draw or write a message to yourself on the less than perfect paper as a reminder that we often set ridiculous standards for ourselves.

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