Life, as it’s known to do, has thrown a few curveballs as of late.
When you have upheavals in life, its best to stop and take stock of what’s happening, how you’re feeling, and most importantly – what the fuck you’ll do about it.
As you reach a ‘certain age,’ you begin to think about legacy.
This is especially vital for creative people:
What did I leave behind?
Will anyone appreciate my work when I’m gone?
Hell, does anyone appreciate my work NOW?
I had trouble answering those questions.
The honest truth is that I have not challenged myself creatively far too long.
I’ll give COVID partial credit for that: during lockdown, I worked at my day job and then basically sat around instead of hustling on a new business idea or creative projects. Prior to COVID, I would post an illustration almost every day on Instagram.
Since I wasn’t hustling, my design firm, Resolve Media, slowly withered away, and my last dependable client retired (she was with me since 1999!).
I sold the domain and walked away.
Fast forward: My ‘day’ job involved a lot more writing and less design. I enjoy writing, but it doesn’t ‘scratch that itch’. Then I got hooked on AI – spending hours at night writing prompts. Made some cool stuff, but nothing I’d hang on a wall.
I can’t remember the last time I got sucked into an engaging project. And to make matters worse, my ADHD is off the charts.
It makes me sad (and angry).
It makes me feel like I’m wasting my God-given talent.
Ok, John, so what are you going to do about it?
I’m going to put in the work!
I’m going to make art for myself and hopefully some happy paying clients again.
Happiness is a choice. You can CHOOSE to be happy. I will refuse the negative thoughts that push me down and discourage me.
Art and design will once again become a priority in my life (next to my dog, Bella, of course).
This morning, in a moment of frustration, and then clarity, I put it all down on paper and am putting my mission statement out there for the world to see.
Here it goes:
- I know my worth: I am not underselling myself, giving discounts, or lowballing my work.
- I am working on establishing my personal brand as a designer and writer. I will post and engage with my audience daily to build my following.
- I am choosing precisely who I work with. If you dislike or are uncomfortable with who you work with, what’s the point?
- I reject imposter syndrome and trust in my abilities as a graphic designer.
- I am starting a new business idea as soon as my last idea fails. I will refuse to give up building my businesses and try everything until it works. Success is the only option.
- I deal with creative block by getting away from the desk and going for a long walk or to the gym.
- Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s a complete waste of energy.
- If I’m delaying or don’t feel like working on something, I give myself 15 minutes to get started. Completing the task is more satisfying than procrastinating.
- I work when my energy levels are at their peak to maximize my day and be able to do things I enjoy.
- Health and fitness are top priorities. It requires absolute discipline when it comes to food and alcohol, with zero alcohol as the baseline.
I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. we’ll see what the next 6 months bring.