100 Day Project – Week One

 

I’ve done it again. On a pure impulse, I’ve begun another 100 day Project.

Why, I ask myself, do I do this to myself?

A dear friend, who I often think knows me better than myself, replied, “Well one reason you are doing it is because you have already proven that you can. Another is that you know you keep a lot of us inspired and motivated too”.

Hmm, I’m not at all convinced. So this morning I’m finding myself questioning my reasons and motivation behind my decision.

Every morning I journal, scribble notes, ideas that pop into my head, any old rubbish that occurs to me. The process helps me to sort out my thoughts. And my emotions. I follow this with positive daily affirmations.

Of late one of these is:

“I behave like a professional to become one”.

In my efforts to become more professional I’ve given myself a work schedule, I’ve been trying to plan my tasks better and to become better organised.

Then, on a pure whim, I’ve blown all my planning out of the water by embarking on another 100 day project. It hadn’t featured in my plans at all.

So why? Where did it come from?

Well, a fellow creative announced that she was joining in the official #100dayproject. I didn’t even know one existed so, out of curiosity, I asked for details.

In my estimation, this acquaintance of mine is a true professional artist. Someone who’s achievements I aspire to emulate. She creates the most beautiful work and has exhibited and sold at events like Handmade at Kew. She’s living the dream.

Isn’t she?

It turns out that no, she’s not and she’s currently having a really tough time.

Isn’t it amazing how looks can be deceiving? Especially on Social Media. There is a real perception that everyone’s life is perfect. Quite often that’s not the case. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s possibly never the case. In the same way as an advert might show a perfect home, or a home magazine illustrates a stunning life-style. It’s simply not real life.

Real life is messy. It has emotional upheavals, illness, dirty floors from the latest dog walk, burnt dinners and arguments. An artists life is no different.

A friend of mine, another ‘true artist’, who creates in the evenings after the kids are in bed, is even contemplating finding a paid job just to relieve the financial pressure and to have some normal adult conversation. Another, who juggles providing business admin support to her self-employed husband, struggles to give herself permission to give her own art the time it deserves. And yet another provides care for her husband, creating most evenings to preserve her sanity.

All of them use their art as a means of self expression and escape. So I’m beginning to wonder what I even mean by my daily affirmation? What does being a professional artist even look like?

In my head it means:

1. Being creative and having people like my art enough to want to buy it.

2. Earning enough money from doing what I love to….to what?

To make it feel worthwhile?

To validate why I feel driven to create?

What is it crave?

To make a living from my art?

That would be nice, but I also love my part time job, the interaction I have with people and the sense of value I get from working in such a historic local landmark. Would I give that up if my art career took off?

I’m really not sure.

I’m an avid follower of Mister Finch, textile artist extraordinaire, who’s work is in such high demand. He has made it. He is an extraordinarily successful textile artist.

Is that what I crave? His life?

I have no idea, because I don’t know anything about him. Only what I see on social media or in his website. The illusion.

In my head, being a professional artist simply means applying myself every day to my art. And perhaps getting paid to do what I love.

So, back to the 100 days.

Why am I doing it?

Im doing it because it’s fun!

It’s hard work, but it pushes me creatively.

The daily routine and practice helps to improve my art.

I’m also doing it to support my creative friend who’s having a tough time. It’s amazing how the momentum of the daily practice helps to push through all sorts of emotional turmoil.

I’m doing it to see if people really like what I do enough to buy it.

And that’s scary.

And I’m doing it to reinforce the daily habits of simply being an artist, living the life I love and loosing myself in the creative process.

So here I go again. I’m aiming to design, create and sell ten little pieces of pure delightful entertainment. I am making ten textile sculptured automata. Ten little illusions of flight.

First up is a butterfly.

Here are photographs of this weeks progress. Days 1 to 8 of my 100 day project. I hope you enjoy watching my progress.

Until next week dear follower,

Mary-Ann x

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