Creativity Takes Courage

At the end of December / beginning of January, I decided this was the year I was going to GO FOR IT! Last year, I was really just getting back into the swing of creating art. I did a series of notecards, I practiced technique and learned new skills, I got my first few paying gigs. I felt like 2020, my feet were wet, and I was ready to dive into this thing headfirst and see where it would take me.

The thing about this creative business (which has to fit into my life as a busy wife and Mom), is that it takes courage to put yourself out there especially in the face of a lot of rejection, a lot of people who don't really care for the style of what you're creating, and a lot of people who think you should be doing something else with your time.

I think that the best way to proceed with this kind of thing is to throw yourself into it as you can, harness that passion and let it drive you to do as much as you can whenever you can. Have your life priorities in order, and then when you have those moments where you can push and want to push, go for it fully and don't let fear hold you back.

I took some bold steps this year. I reached out to several brands and publishing houses and plan to reach out to several more. I've had a few wonderful successes with blogging and getting to try some really cool new products, and a few new illustration gigs that are bringing a lot of joy into my life and are fueling that drive to continue to create, to submit, to build this thing that I am doing.

One of the ways that I was super excited about going all in this year was with these beautiful mailers from Express Copy. This was an amazing opportunity to promote my work and try out direct mail marketing, and Gerry Blakney was super supportive and helped me through it each step of the way.

The mailers are gorgeous, and he helped me figure out what kind of campaign would work best for what I was trying to accomplish. Express Copy came up with a list of who to send these to (creative ad agencies, publishers, etc) and took care of everything for me. All I had to do was the part that I am good at, come up with the design.

I was so thrilled with the quality of the product. They were bigger and on shiny beautiful cardstock and even better than I anticipated. I hope some of these pan out and turn into future jobs, but even if not, I will continue pushing and trying and improving my work because that is what I want to do, what it feels like I was made to do.

I will never say that balancing a creative business, various health issues, and striving to be the best wife and mother that I can be is an -easy- task... but with good prioritization, working when it's work time and playing when it's playtime, it is something that brings so much balance and happiness to my life.

Spending time to create, putting myself out there and being brave makes my heart full, and makes me more able to give of myself to my family. Through this process I have met so many other amazing women doing similar things, and with their inspiration and encouragement I am learning so much about how to balance this all and how to build my creative business as I continue to focus on and build my family relationships.

So if there is something that you feel called to do, some kind of "blue flame" as Jennifer Fulwiler puts it in her amazing story of her journey as a mother and writer, don't let fear hold you back. Sure everything must fit into it's proper season, and there will be limitations on what I can do in this season of many small children under my care, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth the effort to do all that you can and create something beautiful that has a positive impact on your own soul, and on the world.

If you want to try out sending mailers with Express Copy, you can use my referral code MICHELLESOLOMONART and check out all the deals that they have.