When It Doesn’t Seem To Be Working

Have you ever been stuck on a project? Just not sure whether it was worth it to finish, or not happy with the results so far?

You may be interested in my story. It applies to whatever project you might be working just now…my two projects are pastel painting and my side business selling the most awesome hair clips ever invented.

Night before last, I had started a painting experimenting with a new, self-prepared surface. It had reached the ugly stage and was just an underpainting, but I was feeling unmotivated to finish because it was not, to my mind, going to be a success.

As I was walking down the hall to my studio reluctantly, I had the realization that, hey…if it’s so bad, why not just play with it and learn some stuff? Doesn’t matter if it turns out nice.

Did. It’s turning out MUCH BETTER than I anticipated. I don’t discount skill and careful work, but we put too much emphasis on how others will see our art.

Think of the masters…did they go out and do market research? Figure out their target audience and pander to their demographic? NOPE.

They played. They experimented. They passioned all over their canvases and sculptures…and CREATED their target audience. Some of them years after they were dead.

So if the art you are creating is not your business? That’s more than ok. Means you can do whatever you like on your paper, canvas, tile, clay, whatever. And laugh while you do it. Just passion all over that stuff. There’s no telling, but you may eventually create your own target audience, but you will do so in the most authentic way possible…and you’ll enjoy it while you do!

And if the art you are creating IS your business? You need to make sure that sometimes you just PLAY. Do it for fun once again. Let go of the need to produce something salable, and just go for it.

If you are a business owner but you are struggling with all the details of how to market and brand yourself? Do whatever you have to to silence the noise, advice, and survivorship bias…and (while obviously studying your craft and learning the foundational principals), figure out how to create. Passion all over your business. Do nothing that does not push joy into every aspect of it. Authenticity sells. Relationship sells. Joy sells. It takes longer, but it’s worth it.


What project are you working on that could use an infusion of passion and joy? Leave a comment. And hey…if you got some value out of this post, I’d appreciate a like and a share.

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