Warning: Bit of a ramble ahead. Forgive any cheese factor.

So, I know a lot of artists read this blog. So I am going to write about something we ALL do. Don’t lie. You know you do. How many times have you cruised the internet highway, feeling pretty good about life in general then you start looking at other artist’s sites? The first few are inspirational. Then. Then you keep going. You see more and more amazing work. You see awards people have won, shows people have done, projects people have worked on. That is when you should probably stop. Close the old laptop, take a deep breath and say, well if they can do it, so can I! But we don’t. We keep going. And looking. And feeling worse and worse. And then if we are pms-ing or feeling particularly suicidal, we look at the BIG ones. Ya know, the illustrators and artists we adore, the ones whose books we open up and almost cry over, the people we would die to meet and get into their head and say, “HOW, how did you do it?” Ok, that is my scenerio, but you have your own.

Today I did a podcast interview about me and my gallery for a new e-zine launching in my area. As I described my life over the last ten years, I at first did the same old speech I have always done. But then I really listened to myself. And I realized for all my constant wondering when I would get to where I really want to be, I realized how far I have come. how many dreams have come true. That I AM on my way. There was a comment in one of my last entries from a reader who has been reading me for years and watched my progress. She really got me thinking (and hello Hawaii reader!!) about my career. I have come to the conclusion that we are ALL insecure and ALL trying to find our way. And we all have so much to celebrate in our lives if we look back. You try it. For a minute think back to where you were 5 years ago. What have you done to move towards your goals? Even just thinking about them and discovering them is a huge goal in itself. You have to visualize it in order to achieve it. I think, anyway. It’s funny, I have a really great friend who is an increadibly successful photographer. He travels the world, he seems to have it all. He is so artistic and is at a point in his career that they pay huge money for how he sees through the camera. I compare myself a lot to him. Talk about depressing. He is 13 years older than me and has paid his dues. But ya know what? He still has his moments of insecurity. Because we all do. I imagine once I publish my children’s book I will worry about if I can get another published. And once I get my second published I will worry if i can do another, how do I maintain this success? It is scary to think that I can create a life where I am never satisfied. Never quite happy because I worry about what is next. Lately I have had a bizarre calm over me. And I like it. I have enjoyed my days tremendously lately. Enjoying right now so much. I have moments of panic, but I am training myself to stop the panic and ask myself what can I do productive with my career right now instead of panicking, curling up into a ball and wishing for all I was worth that I had decided to get an accounting degree. I don’t know all the answers, and I think I am finally embracing the fact that I never will. So maybe I just need to keep doing what I adore and enjoy myself instead. Celebrate how far you have come, and live in this moment that you have created, then be excited for the unknown that is coming. Even if it is scary or hard you will get through it.

Calling volunteers

Ok, for my new launch I am beginning a project that I am hoping will be a lot of fun. I need volunteers from the US and from other countries. The US people will be one project and the outside the US will be another. It will involve mailing one small priority shipping box to someone else once you receive your box, plus being available to email me a digital pic – a camera phone would work too. If you are interested, leave a comment, or email me at: michelle at abeytacreative dot com

The more people the more fun, and I will keep track of all involved. Once I get the first few, I will begin the project for the US version. The outside the US version will take a bit more planning. It originates from Atlanta, Georgia. Intrigued? You should be! I want as many people to be a part of this as possible, so tell your friends, post on your blog and check back soon for the launch of the Rufus and Lucy site!

Be in the know….

I have a really cool project I am working on. The fantabulous Tammy at Polka Dot Mittens is helping me brainstorm on it. It is going to be so much fun!! I am working on it this week and hope to have the main website finished and the project will launch once I hammer out the logistics… Stay tuned, it will be fun and hopefully you can participate! (cause I really want you too!)

Meanwhile, where to go look and keep checking back…

what’s happenin’ hot stuff?

hey all of you lovelies! Things have been, um, less than stellar lately. Life gets hard sometimes is all. I guess I haven’t written much lately because I want to be happy and inspiring, but sometimes life is just not happy and shiney but you still have to move on. And a secret? I don’t believe in horoscopes. But I have found myself reading them lately hoping that there is a sign of a break in all the depressing stuff. Want to know what is going on? Ok, first of all I SHOULD be writing this post from my hotel room in NYC for The Licensing Show. But I am not. Sadly for me, but great for my licencing compnay they merged with a company based in Australia. Ya know Bananas in Pajamas? Yeah, the compnay that reps them and the Koala Brothers. So while I am in good compnay, they bumped me out of the booth where Iw as going to painting. In a way it is good news, but, MAN did I want to go!! Then there have been a lot of changes going on with the gallery. I have decided not to teach classes out of their anymore. It was financially not making any sense. I will be teaching private lessons in the fall to a private school offsite. And for a long time I felt so much guilt over this decision. But i had to make a business decision. Plus I was tired of being alone so much at the gallery. So I decided to rent out space at the gallery to a few other women artists. We are forming a co-op with all our art. We are going to have monthly art shows and now the job of advertising the gallery will be spread out over 5 people. It takes a ton of financial strain off of me, plus it surrounds me by four other totally inspiring women! I will be redsigning the website and let everyone know about all the cool new women that will be in the gallery! So I guess there are some really great things that have come out of making some really hard decisions. Hopefully the same thing will happen with The Licensing Show as well. One foot after another, keep moving forward.

In other news I have a new project I want to launch int he next few days. It is a cross promotion for my children’s books, a promo peice for my agent and something for the people that love my art and want to buy a piece for a very, very affordable price. i am so excited about this and am making a website for it as well as it’s own blog to let people track the success of it. I am working on it tonite and hope to have it up by the weekend.

Thank you to all the people that read this and encourage me. I really hope that you stay along for this ride and help me in my career. you have no idea how much all the artists out there that email me and comment to say thing to me helps me so much. Please, anything you want to say to me, let me know. What you think, your ideas, matter. i want to hear what other mothers, artists, readers think. Have a great day!