A Summer Review

No surprise that the summer has passed by so quickly for me. What about you?

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I spent half of summer in the USA with family and the other half, split up with the beginning trying to prepare for the big trip with my baby/toddler son and the other part trying to recuperate when we returned to Italy!

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I had a great time back in Southern California and took another vacation in Austria with the hubby… and now that Fall is settling in… it’s really time to jump back on the horse, so to speak. I feel as if I’ve been sliding off all year and at some point have just been laying on the ground, staring at the sun. Does that make any sense, at all?

It’s a weird feeling, suffice to say.

It’s Labor Day for folks in the USA, but it’s also the first of the month when a reminder pops up on my calendar to take stock of the past month. Billing, taxes, analytics, reflection, planning – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Do you regularly check-in with yourself?

Ultimately, I realized that motherhood has taken over my life as my days from start to finish are all about my boy and how he feels and what he needs. Everything else is secondary and even when there are attempts to take time for myself, it’s really like take a breather, a slight pause, not really time where I can get down and serious with my ambitions and interests.

Let’s just say I am still struggling when it comes to creating art with parenting responsibilities.

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The other issue is that I can’t even decide what I want to tackle when there are chunks available to me. I end up tidying up my studio or fixing some computer issue. I’m obviously in a state of avoidance. Journaling and sketching has been on an all time low for me.

In reflecting on all this, I realize that nothing will change, if I don’t make a change. Duh! The key is small, tiny, baby (hah, a pun!) steps. Little progress is still progress. I just need to figure out how to do what I want to do, in small chunks. There will never be the luxury of hermit art days… it’s just not going to happen with my current lifestyle.

Create something, every single day.

Perhaps a bit broad, but I think you get the point. It’s like building up momentum. I happened to organize my old journals and it did pick me up to see all that I have created before. Hey, I can do this… just need to get back to it. I suppose, it’s back to school for me this September.

What have you been up to this summer? Are you satisfied with your accomplishments? Looking for more? What will your action goal be this month? Would love to hear how you make time and motivate yourself to create!


You Never Have To Worry About Originality

Most creatives, at one point of another, worry about the originality of their work. We all want to be unique and if you’ve ever thought you had the coolest idea of all time – you probably have also experienced the disappointment of finding that someone else has already done it. Darn.

However, we all know that nothing is completely original. Our creations are always a mash-up of past experiences and learnings. But don’t misunderstand these statements into meaning it’s okay to copy. In this digital age, it’s all too easy to literally copy and paste.

Copy, imitation, stealing… whatever word you choose to use isn’t important. I believe the distinction is in your intention. There’s a great talk by Austin Kleon that illustrates these thoughts beautifully.

Ultimately, I think the key is that you have to LOVE your work. If you have that passion for your project, it means you own it. You know that feeling, so trust yourself.

I think that is a good point of measurement. What do you think?


What Is It That YOU Really Like?

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After taking Monica’s Smart Creative Style course, I’ve been in this stage of evaluating my own work and trying to reframe and realign, so that I can move forward with intention and clear direction.

As I look back, there has definitely been a lot of growth in my work… which comes from a lot of experimentation… which looks quite inconsistent and all over the place, unfortunately.

I suppose it’s time to buckle down and really take stock of what I personally LOVE and stick with that. We all want to receive feedback and recognition for what we do, but sometimes those outside opinions can really skew what we set out to create to start with. Gwenn Seemel did a video post about imitation and it sparked all these thoughts for me.

I MUST create what jives with me personally, no matter what. It’s taken me a while to get to this point and I’m still brewing with thoughts, but I realize that I often live inside my head too much. Time to get out there! On that note, I’m super excited for the launch of ArtLicensingShow.com and have already signed-up as a founding lifetime member.

Also, I want to thank you everyone for answering the little survey I emailed out last week. I’m humbled and honored that so many of you took the time to respond. I feel so loved and grateful for this little piece of the web-o-sphere – grazie grazie grazie. If you’ve missed everything, you better join my newsletter asap!


What Does Your First Tweet Say About You?

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I’ve been online for quite some time, publishing my first webpage at age 14… but I think my first tweet really defines what I’ve been working towards in the past few years. It was the day before I quite my corporate job and officially stepped into the unknown world of freelancing, moving to Italy and starting a brand new chapter of my life.

Looking back, that first tweet really says a lot about what I want in life. Did you know that you can discover your first tweet by visiting this link?

What does your first tweet say about you?


Choose Change

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It’s difficult to admit that so much time has passed since I was officially given the job title of ‘mom.’ In the beginning months, it was extremely difficult for me to feel anywhere near ‘on top of things,’ but we all expect chaos with a newborn in the house.

Fast forward and it’s been over a year now. Unfortunately, I still feel frazzled and dazed much of the time. When I have moments to myself the feeling of overwhelm really envelops me. After duties as a caretaker then the freelance jobs… at the end of the day (which is really only like 9pm) I’m physically and  emotionally fried.

The details of my days are different than those early chaotic months and the specifics continue to change week to week with a growing boy. The point of the issue is that through it all, I’m feeling down.There’s really no other way to put it.

There’s no question that I’m honored and grateful to have a healthy, happy little boy in my life. I want this job title of ‘mom’ and bear it proudly. It’s just that I lost my own identity in the process.

I’m not only a mom – there’s so much more I want to do in life.

Suffice to say, I’ve been in incubation mode for a long time. Lots of thinking, journaling, processing. I’m optimistic that I’ll find my way, but it’s definitely a rocky road. I thank everyone for their thoughts on this subject and universally, people always offer their understanding. That’s just parenthood, right?

But I have realized that the pitiful looks and understanding have sort of held me back. I mean, it helps that others understand my position, but at the end of the day, understanding doesn’t change anything.

Ultimately, I am the only one that can really make a change in my life.

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I might be dead tired, but I can still spend 5 minutes doodling and sleep with an inkling of creativity under my belt for the day. Or instead of getting reeled into Facebook or other social media ‘zone-out’ activities, I can read a novel. Or maybe I just need to nestle in the silence and calm. Stand still and really soak it in.

In a certain sense, we are always alone. It’s really up to me and me alone to make a change. There’s always a choice…

Do you let yourself slip away, just going through the motions or can you conjure up the strength to break free?

I’m going to try my hardest to choose change.

Wish me luck.


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