Thursday, 6 December 2018

"My Ups, Downs, and In Betweens on the 2018 Creative Road" - December Blog Hop 2018

Was 2018 a crazy roller coaster ride for you? Smooth sailing? Milestone events?
My writerly pals and I are remembering the happy moments as well as lessons we learned from challenges this past year in our blog hop: The Ups, Downs and In Betweens on the 2018 Creative Road.” Check out our personal reveals, then visit the other #Gr8Blogs linked at the end of the post for more shared recollections and lessons learned along the way. We hope you'll be inspired to dive into your own special memories of 2018! =============================================================
So what important life lessons did I learn this past year? Here are four of them...
Never stop believing
So in October 2017 I had a panic moment career wise and was in that fun position of job hunting. Now what I should have done was to have faith and know that things would have worked out, but instead I went into panic mode and I landed up starting up another venture in the form of a singles social club, random I know! It landed up taking up so much of my time and energy away from my creativity and in the process left me feeling incredibly lost and confused for most of the year. I also took on a part time job in a school which I adored but again began to hinder me in the end. The funny thing was, that as soon as I had committed myself to this other venture and accepted the position at the school my art then decided to take off and SplatterInk Art was born. If only I had trusted my inner voice more and held off I could have avoided alot of headaches, drama and confusion. I have finally managed to rectify the situation and feel a tonne of weight lifted which has resulted in me being more focused and I have gained some much needed clarity on where I am heading now.

Releasing negative relationships with money
I continue to do alot of inner work and I am constantly developing my mind to work for me rather than against me. The biggest change I have seen this year was releasing my negative relationship with money. Now I know I am still a baby when it comes to being a full time artist and I knew this road wouldn't be easy to begin with, but I felt like I was just going round and round in circles when it comes to finances. Dead broke one minute, ok the next. It was beginning to get tiresome going through the same thing time and time again so I thought enough is enough this needs to stop.
So I started attending online courses about how to attract money, keep it, grow it etc. For the first time ever I started to record all of my finances down and get full control of my income and expenditure. I used to avoid this because it scared the hell out of me but I knew it was time to face it. I started researching success stories, signed up to loads of life coaching channels and listened to them daily. I began to change how I viewed money and then I finally released the hold it had over me by doing something that would have seemed highly foolish at the time. I had no jobs in the pipeline and barely any money in my account and I signed myself up to an expensive marketing course that felt so right for me and which could be paid in 3 installments. I took out a credit card, yes I know I know lol and paid my first payment. Guess what? Within that week I had a book offer and that month I had agreed to work on 4 other books. Since that day more and more work has been steadily coming in, and 2018 has turned into the most creative year I have had to date. Funnily enough so much work has come in that I didn't have time to do the course so I just chip away at it as and when I can and it will get completed eventually. I have a completely different relationship with money now and respect it rather than fear it.

Sometimes you have to be selfish in order to be selfless
I tend to do a lot of extra things in the background to do my bit in the world and hopefully raise a few vibrations out there. As a result I take on too much, work myself into the ground and scatter my energy all over the place. The last year I had to make some very tough decisions in cutting some of these things out of my life. I stopped some volunteer work that I loved doing, I recently stopped running the singles social club and I had to cut back my hours at the school. All of these choices were decisions I found incredibly difficult to make as they bought me so much joy, but it was something that needed to be done. I feel I need to put all my focus and energy into my creative work now so that I can do the things that I am being guided to do. Once I have done that and have the backing I need to start giving back fully, then I can return to giving more, but the main thing I have learned that it is NOT good to give from an empty cup. Looking after yourself is top priority, as hard as that is to do when you are a bit of a people pleaser.

People make you happy

And last but not least, I always knew seeing others happy makes me happy but the last year has reinforced that even more. I have had an amazing time meeting new people and watching new friendships being formed around me. I have witnessed a couple fall in love and so much happiness being shared. Being with other people really lifts your spirits, we are social beings and are meant to be around others. I strongly recommend that everyone should try and go out and meet new people at least once a month and if that's not possible then pick up the phone and connect with your inner circle. All this online stuff is no good for connecting people, to find true happiness you need to go back to the old school way and do it in person.

So there we have it, the top four life lessons 2018 has shown me. I say it every year but.... it's been one hell of a ride ha ha. As much as it has been a challenging one it has taught me so much. It didn't feel like I was learning anything through it at the time but now when I look back it all makes sense. Life truly is a magical puzzle and I am super excited about the opportunities I have presented to me for 2019.

Thanks for stopping by! How was your year? What was your biggest accomplishment/event? Most powerful thing you learned the past 12 months? Please share in the comment section.
For more inspirational recollections and lessons learned, visit more #Gr8blogs below.
And if you blog and want to join us on this hop, just add the family-friendly link to your blog post in the comment section. We’ll visit and give you some blog love-:D

Friday, 13 July 2018

Finding your art style, sometimes it's best not to try so hard. How an accident turned into a blessing.

For years I have tried to find my style. Flitting from one medium to the next and generally feeling like a 'Jack of all Trades' and master to none.... know the feeling? Well last year I finally had an halelluah moment. and do you know what, it came about completely by accident!

I have been experimenting with my art for many many years now and have painted with all different mediums and in different styles to find that niche that felt right. I have loved experimenting, but I won't lie it has been incredibly frustrating as well! Hours and hours of work goes into trying to perfect your craft, and we are our own worst critics, so if it doesn't feel right we tend to beat ourselves up over it. I have always felt like a Jekyl and Hyde character with my art, one minute you can be all airy fair and little miss positivity and the next minute it's self sabotage / abuse and a heady mix of anger and frustration... or maybe that's just me ha ha

Anyway I have pretty much dabbled with all sorts of styles and techniques over the years, you would be forgiven to think that my work had been done by different artists as my portfolio is that diverse. I would always admire artists that had their style and just focused on that, it seemed so alien to me as one minute I would be drawing cartoon characters, the next a landscape, or a decorative piece and if I was feeling the need for a release, something dark.  Nothing seemed to flow at all.

Last year something changed all of that. I was going through quite a lull with things,  work had dried up and I had totally lost my art mojo. I had well and truly hit a wall career wise and wasn't sure where I was heading at all. I had been given some acrylic inks for my 40th birthday earlier that year but what with broken legs and hip replacements I hadn't had a chance to use them. So when I saw the official Inktober list appear in my newsfeed I thought why the hell not, what better excuse to try these babies out.  

For those that don't now the Inktober challenge is held every year and invites all artists to create something every day in October in ink and share it online under the hashtag #inktober

So I did a very quick study of a swift and popped it on Facebook and Instagram. I didn't really put any effort into it, it took literally half an hour and was a half hour of pure enjoyment for me. I just fancied trying my new inks out. So I posted my little creation online and what happened next blew my little mind, loads of people went gaga over it. That one little painting had more attention and sales than anything had done over my entire art career....crazy!  I started getting asked if I would sell prints, then I was getting requests to do inky creations for their own ideas. As each day went on more requests started coming in, to the point that I couldn't continue  with Inktober as I had a backlog of orders to get through. Then it went on to dog portraits and what with it coming up to Christmas I landed up doing loads of them.

Fast forward nearly a year and I am still painting with inks and still taking commissions, the latest being portraits. I have done some big  pieces now and experimenting with different backgrounds, but it is safe to say that these are staying! I just love working with them, and each piece is a joy to do. I  have opened up an online store to start selling them wider afield, but that requires a fair bit of marketing which is going to be my next challenge. I am not claiming that I am a hugely successful artist now, but what I can say is that sometimes it is best not to try so hard and just to go back to the basics of loving what you do. 

Have you got a similar story of how you found your style? Curious to know if this resonates with other creatives out there :)

Friday, 30 March 2018

Can You Really Change Your Thoughts To Change Your World?

So here I am hitting yet another phase of the end of month struggles and frankly the novelty has well and truly worn off. So a bit of history as to what has moved me to pick up my writing again after 2 years ….

So just over a year and a half ago I decided to take the brave and what some would call a highly stupid move of leaving a well paid job and security to pursue my dream of becoming  a full time creative. So as you can imagine it has been a colourful period mixed with highs and lows. I didn't go into it completely fool hardy, I saved up enough to keep me comfortable for 6 months and within that time secured some illustration jobs and concentrated on getting my business Artypeace off the ground.

So as soon as I made that momentous change in my life synchronicities started to happen and people started coming into my life which were key to where I needed to go, everything was flowing beautifully and I felt unstoppable. However about a year in things took a downward dive and work dried up, I started getting into debt, I had to go job hunting and was applying for job after job and not even getting an interview. Things were bleak and I felt a failure. I could feel my energy changing and I didn't like it so I had a moment of enough is enough, this shit needs to change now! I started to really look at my relationship with money and tried a new approach. I pretended I had no financial worries, I bought the good quality food that I wanted my body to have, I signed up to a meditation library that I felt my mind sorely needed. I started reading affirmations out aloud every day and made an effort to appreciate everything I had rather than panicking about what was lacking. Guess what, things took a very surprising turn. I stumbled across an art style while mucking about with the Inktober challenge that suddenly took off online and orders started flooding in, a book deal I had been waiting on for months suddenly got the green light. Things started flowing again and I felt like things were on the up. More job offers were coming through and I finally felt like I was getting my life back on track.

Skip to several months later and I am back in the same boat as I was before, all these job promises that were there have gone quiet, debts are mounting up and fear is beginning to creep in again. So time for some more healing and self reflecting. This time I want to get rid of these blocks I have once and for all as there is clearly more work that needs to be done.  So I am going to do some deep work and am also looking into finding a life coach. So the first step I have taken is to do a life abundance course by Liz Barallon. I have just read the first steps for week one and am instantly compelled to write this blog post. I haven't written anything in nearly two years but I am hoping this kicks me back into it.

So the first thing I am going to tackle to start manifesting some changes is to change the way I communicate and stop complaining! Now I don't know about you but, I complain a lot! I seem to be constantly moaning about hardships, all the things that are going wrong or that frustrate me and I am beginning to realise that this could well be playing a big part in why I do have these times of struggle. So I am going to make an effort to quit complaining and if I cant say anything nice about my day to say nothing at all. So any friends or family reading this, if I start moaning slap me ha ha. This is going to be a huge test to overcome as I moan a lot, its funny because I am actually a very positive person and I love life yet what comes out my mouth tends to be negative and self sabotaging. I then started reflecting on all the people I hang out with and all the conversations that are had during the day and the majority is complaining about something, it made me wonder what conversations we would actually have if there were no complaints at all, would we turn into a bunch of mutes with nothing to say. Anyway I want to try this little experiment and see if it has any benefit at all on me and others around me as we do tend to mirror each other so I am curious to see what happens. I am looking forward to completing the course and I will try and share anymore little tips or insights that I pick up along the way when I can.

It would be amazing if it does help shift some blocks as when life flows effortlessly it is so much fun and I really want to get back on that road again, I know the detours help me grow and learn but I think it's time to just ride the wave for a bit now….. no more struggling. So can changing your thoughts really change your world? I am about to find out, watch this space xx

With special thanks to Jerry Sargeant at who's meditation library has helped me immensely the last 2 years and to Liz Barallon at for offering her services freely through the life abundance course. I have already taken so much from it from just the 1st week.