As I pack my bags for a trip to another trade show, the National Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim, I have some thoughts to share. The other day I read from a fellow artist (one I may add that has so much talent and her own amazing style) that she did not know where she fit in as an artist/crafter. That got me thinking because in the world of seeing everyone’s “perfect” lives on social media and trying to shut down those negative voices in my head I thought if she does not know where she fit in, where the heck do I fit in. Then I got to thinking…I don’t need to. Yep, it’s that simple. I fit in; in my Studio, in the homes of some on Monday nights. I fit in with my family. I love beautiful colors, I do not have a formal degree in art, graphic design or any piece of paper that certifies me as an artist. I am lucky enough to have worked hard, knocked on doors, work with companies (some new and old) and decided that fitting in is so overrated. I have changed and evolved as a person and artist and been open to that. I just want to create things to speak to me, is me and love when it connects with others….
Let’s face it, the craft industry is predominantly female and as with any industry there are good and not so good sides. I came from a background of predominantly male (construction). I have seen many facets of the industry from designer, manufacturer, business owner……
Tomorrow just me, Totally Tracy. It’s not about competition but collaboration and feeling proud of my path. As I venture off to CHA this time I am proud of who I am, staying out of other’s way and just being me, just as I am. I love the socializing, seeing old and new friends. I love meeting new ones, I don’t care to step on toes and love to collaborate. I am one who loves those interpersonal relationships.
Maybe it’s an age thing, maturity. Maybe it’s just realizing what comes first and being true to me. I just want to paint, create and find my own style. I continue to learn every day. I do get in creative funks…I feel there are too many flowers, the colors are too much and it is the same thing. But then I go back to what I love and dig deeper. Sure I want an entire line that says “Totally Tracy” and this time I go with products that have my name on them…I am proud of that. I am proud of that process and seeing them come to fruition. I am proud of the two I am working for…..DecoArt and I truly do love their paints. They are me too, not to mention I love the people that I work with. I have future trips planned with them and could just sit all day and paint with their products. It is great to represent a company that you are so passionate about.
So as I pack a last few things in my suitcase I am remembering to pack my confidence, a dash of charisma, and a bottle of wine or two in my boots for the down time. I am ever mindful of the road I have taken and the lessons learned to get where I am (wherever that is). Hopefully that shines through. Fitting in…I will and I am excited for yet another adventure, some time in a hotel where I don’t have to do laundry and then returning home. I hope to share some of my adventures from the trade show as I know many would love to be there. It is fun to see all the new things!
So when you find yourself filling your bags with negative thoughts and you cannot shut that voice down……I have the same luggage.
Don’t be so satisfied with the success stories of others and how things have gone for them that you forget to write your own. And don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 15. Unfold your own tale and bring it to life. You have everything you need to become what you are capable of becoming. Incredible change happens when you decide to take control. This means consuming less and creating more. It means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking and deciding for you. It means learning to respect and use your own ideas and instincts to write your passage. If you want your life story to soar to new heights this year, you’ve got to clear a path, reduce the time-sinks and burdens weighing you down, and pick up the things that give you wings. Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day.”