Thursday, March 24, 2011

Diary of a Trailblazer: Giving My Demons a Wedgie

Here is what we know so far:

1) Fear of failure paralyzes me (which is why I find it hard to start a new painting or project) and this will probably be my biggest obstacle as a professional artist.

And soon there will be two kinds of failure for me to fear: the old familiar "what if I can't get this painting to look the way it looks in my head" kind, and the brand new, large-scale, "what if all my entrepreneurial attempts fail and I starve and die" kind.  Awesome.


2) Success motivates me (which is why once I finish one painting or project, I usually do a few more immediately afterwards).

Clearly, then, the key will be to maintain momentum.  I should wake up every morning, head right over to my art supplies without opening my laptop* and do one or two little paintings or doodles...little random things with no financial or emotional significance riding on them.  After that I should be able to start on a "real" project...and hopefully I'll be able to keep on going after that.

Also, I need to set regular short-term goals so I don't get freaked out by the enormity of the entrepreneur thing and end up rocking back and forth in the foetal position because I don't know what I should do first: make new art, upload what I already have, research art shows and craft fairs to enter, or think up new ways to promote myself and my work.

Ergo, for the first month that I'm jobless I plan to paint all day, every day.  Maybe once every week or two I'll take a break to scan what I've done so far and upload it to my store, but only if I feel like it - I won't let myself feel guilty if I don't.  My only official goal for the entire month will be to create new work (because statistically, the most successful online stores are the ones that offer at least 100 items) and as long as I accomplish this, I'll consider myself a success. 

If all these strategies still fail to break through my paralysis...

3) I am super-good at meeting other people's deadlines.

I may sometimes squirm out from under my own goals, but if someone else is expecting something of me, I take it seriously.  Which is why I (as I think I mentioned before) I should totally offer custom paintings in my store.  Custom art would probably attract more customers anyway (who can resist having something made just for them?) and a custom order would get me off my ass and force me to build that artistic momentum I need and love.

Yeah...blogging this out has made me feel better.  I think I'm prepared to tackle my issues and kick their asses.

(Do issues even have asses?  I'll let you know in about seven days)
*I have a bad habit of "just wanting to check my email real quick" and then suddenly it's fourteen hours later and I'm looking up obscure sex acts on Urban Dictionary so I can know the difference between a "rusty trombone" and a "dirty Sanchez".You know, in case someone ever quizzes me at gunpoint.  'Cause obviously that happens all the time.

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