Finding your place in the world is a big concept, but I swear that I’ve found mine in the surface pattern design community - specifically, the wonderful women that Bonnie Christine brought together for the first annual Surface Pattern Design Immersion Course Retreat. We came together from all over - women of all different ages and backgrounds - all of us at different points in our creative journeys and spent a few days building each other up. It’s hard to put into words what this time meant to me. It was so lovely to be away from everything and as much as I was ready to get home to my family - I wasn’t ready to actually leave the retreat if that makes sense. It was amazing to get away from the day to day and focus on creating this business with similarly minded women.
Bonnie asked us all to pick out a word for the coming year and we could emboss it onto a little piece of leather. At first I was going to choose persevere but I didn’t really want to have to emboss that many letters, so I shortened it to persist. I knew that the hard part of this journey for me is to keep going - even when things aren’t going great or there’s a lull in activity. As I suspected, reality hit HARD when I got home. I left the retreat so positive and excited about the future but slowly over the rest of the month I honestly lost some of that positivity. I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person in everything I do, which honestly is pretty detrimental to all aspects of my life but especially to any creative pursuits. If I want to work out - I feel like I should work out EVERY single day and if I miss two or three days, it’s so hard to get back into it. If I try to go on a diet - I am much better about just eliminating certain foods than having things in moderation. If I’m in the middle of designing a collection that’s all I want to do. The problem comes in when other things get in the way - not even big things - little things like a kid with strep throat, a stressful phone call, someone else’s crummy day, my own crummy day - every day “problems” big or small tend to completely knock me off course.
Obviously I can’t live in a bubble, so here are five things I’m working on to conquer this all or nothing mindset once and for all.
Pursue LOTS of creative outlets. I don’t have to just draw - I can do all the creative things I enjoy and not only is that ok - it will help my design process to be a well rounded person. I love to bake and embroider and read and it’s ok to do all of those things. It’s even ok to sketch and draw with no agenda.
Set “office hours.” I keep saying that I’m going to do this, but I am focusing on creating a better schedule for myself over the coming months. I need to set some hours for myself and try to stick to them - BUT also remember that the biggest bonus to being able to work from home is that I am allowed to be flexible - if I need to switch up the schedule now and then it’s OK.
Incorporate mental AND physical health. I started consistently working out in August for the first time…ever. I even got to the point where I enjoyed it, but then I got sick and kids got sick and I fell off the wagon completely. My plan is to get out of bed a little earlier and workout before I drop the kids off at school, so then I have more time in my day. BUT - instead of only doing one kind of workout - I’m going to try and incorporate some more quiet stretching and meditation.
Take social media breaks. While building an online presence is a necessary aspect of building a brand, it’s not my most favorite. I have major anxiety about posting…What should I post? What should the caption say? Is this stupid? Who cares about this? Not exactly conducive to a calm mind - so I am going to really work on finding an app to help with scheduling out posts and THEN focus on taking time away from Instagram so I can not only make better use of my time, but not let comparison creep in to my thoughts.
Take a class. There are so many things that I want to learn and frankly need to learn. I want to find a few more art classes and I’d like to get more comfortable in Photoshop as well. Over the coming year I am going to try and become as comfortable in Adobe Photoshop as I am in Illustrator. I also find that learning something new helps maintain a growth mindset and helps to offset some of the doubt that creeps in from time to time.
What do you do to get out of a funk and take care of yourself?