My decision to journey back into my ‘Art’ (in the form of painting instead of sewing) was not an entirely simple one. You see, for the past few years whilst being a stay-at-home mum, I have craved an outlet to express my creativity. However, with the demands of two very young children and one teenager, I had to choose a medium that was clean, tidy, portable and relatively quick. I started to sew. I flourished in my mind with ideas that I had to bring into fruition. Whilst totally devoted to raising my kids, the conditioning that has been instilled in me to be an achiever, to learn, to do, drove me to find ‘something more’, in addition to my mum role. I spent many a late night, researching fabrics, playing with designs and colour combo’s, starting an online shop, a blog and a Facebook page. This time and energy served me well because over time and up until the past couple of weeks, I had built up a following on my Bubble and Bear page on fb of 1660 people. When we moved house recently, I had to let followers know that I would be having a break and wouldn’t be taking custom orders for a while. Then my husband and I decided that we really needed a reliable and regular second income and that I should start to build up my private practice once again, treating back/neck pain. I therefore told my followers that I would be pulling back and only creating sporadically and as time permitted. Well for many months, people held on and continued to ‘follow’ Bubble & Bear.
A very large canvas was given to me as a baby shower present and has traveled with me across states. It was truly a wonderful gift to give, with instructions to paint or create something on it about my children, within 6 months of giving birth to my third child. Well, this didn’t happen. For the past two and a half years I have looked at that blank canvas in our bedroom, thinking ‘one day I will paint on it’. I finally did. After a friend suggested a craft morning in her new studio, I was hooked on painting again. I have become prolific with it. As though, a million thoughts, memories and experiences needed to be expelled from my soul and expressed. It has overwhelmed me and made me sit up and take notice. It required of me to reorder my priorities. I HAD to devote time to this creative expression.
Once I started to change the direction of my ‘art’ and shared this intention, the numbers have started to dwindle on fb. I did it expect it, however psychologically it is a bit of a downer to see the numbers dropping daily. I know it’s not how many, but the quality of the relationships I share with the people that follow…but still. It has got me a little fluffed around the edges so to speak 🙁
I decided tonight to post on my Bubble & Bear page, my thoughts. In doing so it is potentially cyber suicide. In a way it is. I am reforming, renewing, unfolding, refreshing, deep breathing and LOVING my painting. I have many, many ideas to incorporate some of the ‘old’ things I created on Bubble & Bear’s page and introduce new ones. I have to accept that often in the world of creative pursuits, people need to box things to find a reference point. It is the downside to online marketing and shopping. People can’t see the length and breadth of your work and your creative flexibility and the need to grow.
Anyway, I felt I needed to say something. By doing so, it will enable me to enjoy an authentic relationship with my followers who choose to stay and with the new people that join. I believe that the diminishing numbers is a sign of progress and going forwards, not back. Here is what I said…
“Although I had anticipated it, it is still disheartening to see my likers dropping off this page since I have changed it’s focus to more art based creations. It’s a shame that they won’t get to see the creations I have been planning which will incorporate old and new. It makes me wonder…what is it that you have liked about B&B, what brings you back and what would you like to see more of? It is a balancing act trying to keep harmony between creating on demand and creating under the wings of inspiration. At the end of the day I can only be true to myself and if people don’t like what they see, I totally respect that they will unlike this page. Must prop myself up as the number goes down and remind myself not to take it personally as though it’s a high school popularity contest. I don’t need approval, I just find joy in sharing things of beauty and if you want to share the ride with me then come hang by my side. Heavy I know but felt I needed to say it:) x Tanya”
So my studio has been overtaken by painting supplies. Sewing paraphenalia now have one third of the space that it did. I have shelving full of the most beautiful fabrics that I know I will pick up again and create with. However, there is only one of me. My family comes first, alongside my emotional health and wellbeing.
I whisper…’trust and all will be revealed in good time’…