At the beginning of this year I told myself that I would start putting my all into developing my design business and getting my name and work out to as many people as possible. At that time I had no clue how I was going to do that or exactly what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to make beautiful things because thats what I loved to do and my attempts in the past at just doing Graphic Design wasn't as fulfilling to me as I hoped it would be. It wasn't until a few months later that I found out about the world of surface pattern design and started doing research on how I could turn something I loved doing into a career path.
I then came across the Make it in Design website and felt like I had finally found a home. I saw that The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design was having a competition for a spot in all the modules of there design school and immediately signed up and created an entry in less than 3 days. Needless to say I didn't win the scholarship and I was crushed because I knew I couldn't afford to take all of the modules. So I was faced with the decision of just choosing one of the classes and since I already had a back ground in design and I felt I already knew a lot about branding I thought the best fit for me at this point in my life would be Module 3: Monetising Your Designs. So I jumped right in and boy was it one of the best decisions I have made.
Not only was the class packed with invaluable information, I also was able to create great connections with people who shared the same passion as I did. I was welcomed into a community of artist who supported and looked out for each other. I was able to learn how surface pattern design worked, and the steps to take to make this a viable career path. So I began expanding my portfolio and presenting my art to the world.
Now I am not writing this blog as a review for the ABSPD Module 3 class that I took (even though it was super awesome). The point of this post is to share a bit of my journey with you. A journey that would not have happened if I didn't have a little faith in myself and believe that I was good enough, creative enough, artistic enough, capable enough to be a bit vulnerable and put myself out to the world. Creating any art form is like taking a piece of your heart carving something unique and then having the guts to share it with the world. It can be very scary and stressful. Everyone isn't going to accept your heart. In fact you my be rejected more than you are accepted. I have submitted work, entered competitions and put myself out there whenever the opportunity would arise and was turned down every single time. Sometimes even the supportive words from your family and friends don't outweigh the fact that you haven't sold a thing and the spirit of doubt starts to set in. You start to think that maybe this isn't the path I am suppose to take, or maybe my work isn't good enough. You look at this beautiful community of artist and start to feel like maybe you don't belong here at all.
But you find peace in drawing, painting, illustrating, creating so you continue to do what you love and you continue to enter competition after competition with the faith that someone will see your heart and know that it is beautiful. Until finally some one sees you. Finally you don't feel invisible as an artist any more. You finally receive a bit of validation for everything you have been working so hard for and it gives you the motivation to keep going.
A few weeks ago I entered the Shibumi Home Design Competition. Going in I didn't know what I wanted to present as a collection, but I did know that after being rejected so many times I wanted to put my best face forward and put my all into the designs to come up with something beautiful and unique (I'll post more about my process later). I wanted to create something that I would be more than proud of so once again I poured out my heart with the faith that this time would be different. And come to find out it was. This time I was chosen. This time my vision was accepted and it felt good. It has given me the motivation to keep going after what I want. It has increased my faith and my ability to believe that I am good enough.
So now I think to myself what if I didn't enter in the competition. What if I let my doubt get the best of me? What if I passed up the opportunity for someone to finally see me, and see my heart? If I didn't take a leap of faith and put myself out there no one would have ever known I was there. All it takes is just a little leap of faith to get to the bigger picture of success, and to motivate you to keep going.