I've been obsessed with a project I've been working on for the past few months, but I've always felt that obsessed focus is a good thing. I've had these ideas for the past few years and they finally reached a fever pitch in December. Nearly 39-years of failures have lead me to this, so I must be close, right? If nothing else, I have to give myself credit for having tenacity... for having GRINTA!
So, I'm trusting in myself enough to believe that things will finally work out financially and that I can do it with my art, with my own creativity. I could keep asking myself "What if they don't sell... What if no one buys them... What if no one sees them... What if no one likes them..." and have this be one more thing that never sees the light of day because I'm too worried about money that I can't afford to lose.
The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It's 2016 and I'm finally investing in myself by printing some posters, buying some shipping tubes, and putting them out in the world and letting whatever happens, happen. Same reasoning as always, but with a new way of looking at it — because I can't afford to lose.
From the outside looking in, I realize at times it can appear as if I'm not working on anything at all, but it's because I'm actually focused on doing the work. The internet over the past few years has become obsessed with "Showing Your Work" and telling everyone what you're doing at all times of the day. I think this is dangerous.
"Never announce your moves before you make them."
This should be the mantra more people — especially artists and designers — embrace. Note: I searched and searched, but I could not find the original source of who this quote is attributed to.
The posters ARE happening and already in the works, so that secret is out. The design will only be shown when it's online in my shop and available for sale. No preview on this one.
Along with the posters, I've also been working on starting... another project! See, it's already sinking in! I've talked to people all over the world in the past 2-months: Australia, China, Korea, Italy, Slovakia, Belgium, and even here in the USA. It's exciting to dive into something completely new!
The doubts still creep in though. I still wonder and ask myself if this really is a good idea. Things are just a little different this time and I know I have to go all in. Desperation and being near the end of what you have left will help you see things in a new light.
To me, the best part about working on anything is always being IN the process of doing the work and making the art, not looking back at it after it's done. I feel like I've been on a constant high for 2-months, so I know I'm on to something. Well, that and the fact that I've been contacted by several companies wanting to use my art for their own brands. Naturally, I declined, but the interest is there.
I've always been the type of person that would rather do things on my own. It doesn't make sense to give up rights or leave money on the table for someone else to profit from my creativity. Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to pay for things or concede a percentage, but I'm not willing to to be taken advantage of.
It's not that I'm not open to collaborations or partnering with other brands, but it has to be a good deal for me. If it's not a good deal for me, then it's just not a good deal. I'd rather do the extra leg work, put in the extra hours of research, make my own connections, and make something that I'm truly proud of to put my name on. It's not worth conceding 80% — 90%. No way. No bueno.
I've thought this way my whole life; I've always drawn my own version of things: My hats. My jerseys. My teams. My cars. I always came up with my own names for everything and still do. I even made my own greeting cards for family members when I was a kid, complete with my own version of the Hallmark flower logo on the back. Mine was the White Flower Card Company with the logo looking more like a broken wine glass.
This post has been haunting me all week. I actually wrote the majority of this days ago and have come back to it every day this week and made small edits, but who would know that since I haven't clicked the "Save & Publish" button? That changes now. And by now, I mean after this last paragraph. Easily the scariest thing I've done all week.
If I'm willing to risk everything I have to chase down a dream, then the only reward I can possibly hope for is to simply see the dream become reality. The success or failure of the dream is the outcome of the dream itself, of doing the actual work. I don't have dollar signs in my eyes or fame on my mind. I simply want to keep making things over and over. I want to keep reinvesting in myself and continue putting out new products. I want to always be busy making things I love. I want to keep reliving this dream over and over. I want to stay obsessed.