Let’s Chat: Staying Motivated

Comparison is the Thief of Joy by Carrie Waller(image by Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY)

After your positive responses to my post about creative ruts, I decided that today I’m officially starting the column ‘Let’s Chat’. Each post for this column will be about a certain topic; I’ll share my tips and would love to hear from you in the comments. I think there’s a lot we can learn from one another and I can’t wait! Okay, let’s do this:

Now that the holidays are over, I’m finding it a bit hard getting back into the swing of things. I have big dreams for my business and how I’d like it to grow this year, but the day to day has been ROUGH. Not only am I a bit distracted, but I find myself pushing to-do tasks back a day or two, even though I have the time to do them that day. Of course I think this is just a sign of post vacation blues, but it leads to a bigger question. How do you stay motivated? Here are my tips for staying on track:

1. Give yourself time… and don’t feel guilty. I’ve noticed that after small breaks in the day that I have a natural tendency to get back to it. I know it’s hard not to feel guilty about taking time for yourself when there’s a mountain of work, but it really does help. Even treating myself to a walk mid-day helps me refresh my mind instead of letting it continue to burnout.

2. Actively look for inspiration. Part of being motivated is feeling inspired about the work you’re doing. If you’re hearts not in it, it’s easier to think ‘what’s the point’. Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Go to a museum, buy or make something just for yourself, make an inspiration board. Do whatever keeps those creative juices flowing.

3. Give yourself a pep talk. This may sounds cheesy, but it’s really hard to do work when you feel down about yourself or what you’re doing. Remind yourself why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. If that doesn’t work, instead of looking at anyone else’s work, look back on past work and see how you’ve progressed. You kickass. Know it, own it, get shit done. A little positivity goes a long way.

4. Treat yo self. If all else fails, make a rewards system. Or at least watch this Parks and Rec clip.

What helps you stay motivated?

Let’s Chat : Creative Ruts

Make something art print by Wit & Whistle
(image/print by Wit & Whistle)

This week was full of personal highs and lows, and as per usual, of really amazing projects in my Pinterest feed. Time and time again I’m blown away by the creativity of others and how endless inspiration is at our disposal everyday. But with that also comes comparison and the deep desire to do better. But what do you do when you’re in a creative rut?

It may not come across this way in my posts, but I go through creative ruts quite a bit. In fact, I’m even in one now (yahoo!). The only thing that I’ve found to help is to take a step away from the computer and make something. Whatever it is, even if it sucks, making something with my hands always helps me clear my mind. It helps me start at a place where I feel completely lost and disconnected from what I love and end up (hopefully) in a semi-decent place. It doesn’t happen overnight or after one project, but eventually I’m able to get back into the swing of things and make things I’m actually happy with.

I’d love to hear about your creative process! What do you do to get out of a funk? If all else fails, what’s your go-to cocktail?

 

On a lighter note, here are a few links to keep you inspired (and hopefully rut free) over the long weekend:

– If you don’t have coasters in your home, or even if you do, you need to make these pronto!

– Resin has been on my must-try list for a while now. After seeing this project, I’m 100% sold.

– Get in my ears, adorable diy earrings.

– Anyone have any spare beakers? I need to make these candles asap.

– You can really do some amazing things with clay.

– Don’t forget! Hello Lidy and I are hosting a flower crown workshop at West Elm in LA (buy your tickets here).

 

 

Let’s Chat: Getting Started

A Pair & A Spare print (image by a pair & a spare)

Thanks to some encouraging words from my friend Rachael, I opened a Society6 shop last week to sell some of my prints. Photography is a newer hobby of mine, I’ve even been able to do some freelancing this year, but it got me thinking about starting a shop for the other items I make.

I’ve dabbled on Etsy before, but I wasn’t serious about what I was doing or what I was selling. I was perfectly happy when my shop got a favorite or two, but at the end of the day, there was a disconnect between me and the product.

Here are some basic tips that I learned the first time around:

1. Find something to make that you don’t hate making. Sure, there might be a market for the item you’re selling, but are you going to be motivated to make that item and ship it out on time? Chances are you’ll put it off until the last minute.

2. Set goals and track them. I used to list items without purpose which put me at a loss with my inventory and overall budget. Being aware of every detail will help you actually turn a profit and get you closer to a full time creative job.

3. Don’t undervalue your work. Pricing an item you make is hard, there’s no doubt about that! You can compare yourself to what others are charging to compete OR you can try this helpful formula.

Of course it’s scary to put work you’re passionate about out there, but if it’s something want to do, I say take the risk. Don’t let the fear of getting started hold you back from something that could be really great!

 

PS Feel free to share your shop in the comments as well as any tips that you have!  Also, I’m thinking about making ‘The Crafted Business’ a reoccurring column and would love to hear what you think!