I'm ok. (and a little Show and Tell)

 I was born "creative".  Can't you tell by this picture? Of course, I kid. This is a picture of my older sister and my twin sister, with me.  I think I'm the chubby gal on the left?! (Momma-correct me if I'm wrong)  It would seem that way, already have my eyes up daydreaming.  
 My point is from an early age I've just loved anything artsy or crafty.  From decorating my room as a young girl to being interested in art supplies and party throwing I've always felt a spark, a passion, a desire to be an artist.  Although it took me 'till now (a 30 year old) to call it that-an artist.   My parents definitely recognized the unique giftings in both my sisters, as well as myself.  They didn't put down but praised us for how our minds worked.  Mine just happened to work creatively. 

Fast forward 'till now.  Saying I'm an artist is a new thing for me.  In a world where there are so many popular bloggers and talks of dreaming big and then bigger still....well,
it can send a very confusing message to people like myself.  So many of the bloggers and people I pay attention to on social media are the big names and they have instant success.....they have tribes, communities, followers galore..they can post something and it sells out in minutes.  Or be casually doing something creative for a hobby and so many people want in it instantly turns into a new business.  

All that has left my dream of being an artist feel small, childish, and embarrassing.  I told Brett last night that I desperately don't want people thinking that it's just Sara, with her head stuck in the clouds again.   With starting my Etsy shop and announcing the first ever Rosy Retreat I've been nervous and anxious and embarrassed at the small start.  A lot of days a friend asking how my shop is going is as much attention as it receives.  And that's on a good day.  Some days, I have to admit-there's silence.  It feels rather silly to keep after art and photography and decorating and being an artist..when sometimes it feels like Brett and the girls (ok and my twin sis) are my biggest audience.

But then today, when I had reached my lowest low...two lovely ladies rescued me.  Without even knowing they did probably.  

The first is my friend Natalie of Natalie Creates.  Friends, she is the real deal.  She is wildly popular as she should be.  Her generosity and kindness and realness speaks volumes to me.  I met Natalie in real life and instantly became friends earlier this year.  Since then, as my journey as an artist has evolved, Natalie has always been right there (without me even asking) to help promote and encourage my dream.  She is gold friends.  Today she even encouraged a friend of hers to sign up for my retreat.  She isn't afraid to share other people's gifts and talents.  She's interested (genuinely) in the friends around her.  We could learn from her, no?! 

The second gal that got my whole, full attention is Alisa Burke.  I've read her blog for years and years.  She is an artist but has had a very long journey to arriving at self-employment.  And she doesn't apologize for that.  She talks openly about failures, road blocks, dead ends, and how success doesn't always equal money.  She posted some incredible videos today on her journey that I can honestly say have changed my life.  That sounds mighty dramatic but I was honestly ready to throw in the towel on saying I was an artist this afternoon.  It felt like I was standing in front of a crowd being stared at, without anyone speaking or moving.  All eyes just looking at me. YIKES.  But then I watched Alisa's videos tonight and her words made fear, worry, and embarrassment leave.  In their place, I realize I can do something, anything CREATIVE on a daily basis and keep trying and I AM. an. ARTIST.

When Satan or the world or the popular gals or the silence tries to tell me I'm silly and naive and not good enough and not worthy,
I will pray first and then pay attention to WHO I'm paying attention to.  
I choose to listen to those who encourage and ask questions and are interested in me,
not because I'm selfish.  But because I know that I do matter.
And I am an artist.  

(these gals are too!  Here are a few of my friends (in real life or social media) that are artists and talented!  Show them some love! 

1.) Natalie Creates-handmade goodness! Happy Flags, coffee cozies..and more! Also, check her out on Instagram for her pop-up sales with her amazing vintage items! (http://instagram.com/nataliecreatesvintage)

2.) Iris Impressions Art-my artist friend from afar!  Iris is extremely talented and has so much to offer in the way of inspiration! She even just released a FREE 20-page art and inspiration guide! I can't wait to check it out!

3.) Jamie Strickland Photography-Y'all.....Jamie is super, super talented.  She marries the technical skills of working a camera with her creativity and it is magic.  I've even asked her to capture the photos for our "Torbett Take Two-We Still Do" vow renewal party! She is amazing!

4.) Cate and Riley-My best friend from college is the brains and creativity and so much more behind Cate and Riley!  Steph is an extremely talented seamstress and makes the most adorable, custom items for kids!  She also makes floor poufs and headbands among a variety of other things.  Based out of Harrison, I know you'll love what you order from her!

5.) Mary Wangerin Art-I "discovered" Mary through the magazine Artful Blogging I believe...and her art just draws me in.  Such amazing use of color...such richness to her paintings.  Plus any contact I've had with her has been so, so sweet.  Show her some love!

6.) Rebekah sells Pampered Chef-This is my friend from college also! Rebekah is a family friend and she and I are a lot alike..we both looove color!  I was honored to attend a Pampered Chef party by Rebekah and she did such an inspiring job showing us all the ways we can be creative in the kitchen.  Let her know if you'd like a catalog or to place a Pampered Chef order!

7.) Mikayla sells Mary Kay-Mikayla is another best friend from college.  She is sweet and smart and a full-time teacher.  On the side she sells Mary Kay and let me tell ya-she knows her stuff!  Her makeup is always beautifully done, she offers true advice about her product and has a ton of knowledge about what she's selling!  Check her out!

8.) Cheryl Jaeger sews! I met sweet Cheryl back when I had Etsy shop #1.....selling handmade items.  We've remained friends since then and I think that says a ton about her character.  Cheryl does an amazing job combining her extremely good sewing skills with color and pattern!  Her writing kits and clutches and everything in her shop are pure loveliness.
***Plus, use the code familyfriend25 for 25% off your order!***

Comments

  1. Great post! If any of your readers are interested in ordering from my etsy shop, please share the code: familyfriend25 for 25% off any order! Also, I sent you a lengthy email...too much to say for this small comment box! :) Take care!

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    1. Wow! Thank-you so much for being generous with the awesome code Cheryl! :)

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  2. sweet sara. i just want to give you a big ol' hug for following your dreams. those who tell you it's easy are totally lying. there is so much comparison & ugliness hidden within this community that often times you'll find me in bed crying over a hand-sewn headband. we just cannot allow ourselves to focus on those things. having your family's support is BIG. speaking up about your dreams is BIG. defining who you are as an artist & coming to this big ol' table with a unique identity is BIG. you are one step closer to many more steps of learning & growing as an artist. you inspire me & i love you. (p.s. i had two failing etsy shops before i found "me" in my work. <3)

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    1. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for your words and constant encouragement :) You mean more to me than you know!

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  3. Sara,
    Yes, this world of online competition will either make you or break you or both.

    As I've been studying this week (various things), I've come across this:

    Whose applause are you working for?

    Sarah Mackenzie, in her book Teaching from Rest, says we are to bring our basket of goods to God each day and HE will work the miracle.

    YOU just be faithful to do what he's called you to do and He will make it worthwhile.

    Also, he didn't call you to be successful, but to be faithful.

    It's a learning thing, a process, and remember.....it's the journey, not the destination :)

    Lots of love my friend!!

    Debbie

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    1. Debbie, thank-you so much for your sweet encouragement and for these wise things to ponder. I appreciate you!

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  4. Love this Sara! I feel so many of the same things at times and tend to be too insecure to really put myself out there. I am proud of you for doing that and you really inspire me to enjoy being me, whether popular or not. :)

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  5. Being brave and gutsy is so hard. I don't think I would have ever made my FB business page "live" if my sister hasn't found it and shared it without me knowing. It was too scary, too real. But I'm so glad she did. Keep doing what you love. Being an artist and creating beautiful, inspiring things.

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  6. Thank you for sharing so honestly about your fears Sara. I think that is so special. Sometimes it looks like people have it all together and that they're super successful in an effortless way, but I think the struggle is there for everyone. It just takes a lot of courage to show it and choose to be real.

    And then I got down to the bit where you linked to my site and your kind words and I felt all tingly!!!! THANK YOU!! I really value everything you do and I find you and what you express so inspiring. Please don't ever stop!! The world needs your unique voice and your art!

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