This past week has been about celebrating the joy of sending and receiving a handwritten note.
Which of course is something I can get behind 100%!
Someone commented on my Insta post about Thinking of You Week the other day, saying they try but it’s hard to keep up.
I hear you! I really do… because…I had a hard time keeping up, too!
To that, I said
Don’t let your perfectionism keep you from reaching out to your loved ones!
This “challenge” is just an opportunity to get you thinking about your connections to your community.
If you write every day, that’s great. But you could just send a few or even one card this week – or next month – or year, you know, this is not a competition, and nobody is judging you!!
Well, nobody except you, maybe 😉
I’m being casual about it this year, too – my brain has been a bit preoccupied these couple of weeks, so I’m taking my time thinking about a person and writing a card every couple of days… It’s still fun for me and not as stressful.
I meant to design a monthly calendar last year, but I had too high of an expectation for myself, ran out of time, so it didn’t happen 😑 sad.
However, I’m happy to tell you that it’s coming back for 2020!
My 2020 calendar will be all about self-care, self-acceptance, and confidence.
It’s a strange timing though that I’m working on this calendar now because things have been a bit chaotic in my life lately.
Don’t worry, no divorce or illness, thank goodness 😬 But, I’ve got a new studio space that I’m setting up (unexpected but exciting. more on that later), and a couple of other non-biz-related things have kept me feeling a bit ungrounded and scattered.
(As I write this email, I realized the core issue is my routine has been disturbed by these unexpected events. As much as I’d like to go with the flow and be spontaneous, I need routine for my well-being. Check.)
Needless to say, it’s taken longer to finish the calendar…😀 but I still aim to get them out to you sometime in October ✨
Here is the sneak preview!
So pretty, no?? 😻
I don’t know if you knew this, but I craft these encouraging messages for myself, first and foremost.
And they resonate with me so much more when I’m in a more uncertain space.
As I put together these designs, I remind myself to breathe, acknowledge that I’m in that space, and be present as much as possible.
Nothing lasts forever, and I’ve come out ok through 100% of the past difficult situations (and don’t remember most of them 🤷🏻♀️), so this, I shall survive also.
I’m trying to be gentle with myself and give myself permission to be “meh” in a meantime.
If you’re also feeling “meh,” it’s OK. Take care of yourself, my friend ❤️
At the time this post goes out, I’ll just have gotten back from my trip to Yellowstone National Park with my mom 👯♀️
(I’m on sabbatical next week, but I’ll probably share some pics with you 😉)
Rather than skipping my post for a week, I wanted to send you a quick reminder…
Yes, that’s right. Say YES to yourself!
Give yourself what you need to feel good and whole. It’s not selfish. Your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being is very important. As important as your family and friends’, if not more.
And according to my therapist, whom I trust very much, needs are not negotiable.
So here you go, my friend. You have my unconditional permission to say yes to yourself. Today and always.
A few days after I quit, I went on a solo retreat to set intentions for my artist/business journey.
The past 4 years have been a marathon self-development therapy session, I tell you.
I’ve learned so much about myself and am so proud of the accomplishments I’ve made so far.
I’ve been reflecting on some of the things I’ve learned and wanted to share them with you today ✨
First thing that’s come up is this:
You don’t have to be the best artist. But you need to be fiercely, unapologetically, you.
I used to feel insecure about my art. I even felt a little cringy calling myself an artist. I’m mostly self-taught, and my technical skills aren’t that advanced. I thought it was cute and child-like but not “real” art.
I thought art should be more, shall I say, deep? whatever that means…🤷🏻♀️
When I saw the work of other successful artists I admire, I’d think “oh, I wish my art looked more like that. It is so _______ (sophisticated, elegant, cool, hip etc. <- things that my art is not)”
Over the last several years, I’ve slowly learned that you don’t have to be the most technically advanced artist to be successful, but it needs to have your distinct voice.
I’ve gotten to internalize this as I started selling more at shows and markets last year and kept witnessing my customers’ happy reactions in person.
People’s face light up as they walk by my booth. I can see them mouthing to their friend “cuuute.” I hear “awwwwww” and “so adorable” every 5 minutes.
It’s reinforced to me that yes, cutenss is valuable, and it makes people extremely happy.
And it’s ok if that’s the only thing my art offers.
I may be oversimplifying it, but you get what I’m saying? I mean people pay a lot of money for therapy, drugs, and experiences to be happy, no? 😀
Sometimes I make something and say to myself “wait, is this too cute? Should I tone it down?”
Fortunately, I can snap out of the silliness of the situation pretty quickly now. The answer is, OF COURSE NOT.
It turns out so many people love cute things. I know you do! Tone it down?? I’d be doing a disservice to you and humanity.
I want to give you what you came here for. Adorable, happy art that makes you smile.
The more joy I express through my work, the happier I get doing what I do.
And that brings more joy to you, and that gives me the fuel to keep going, and it’s a never-ending love fest ❤️
You may have been in my community since well before I quit my job 4 years ago. Or you may have just found me last week.
I still feel like a baby in my biz journey and without you, there is no Honeyberry Studios, so yeah, you’re awesome. Just wanted to make sure you knew that.
Ok, I had more reflections I wanted to share today, but this is getting a bit too long 😀 so I’ll parse it out later.
Have a cuteness filled day!
ps. my mom is coming to visit me next week 🥰 and we’re going to Yellowstone 🌲🦌⛰🐐 our first time!! If you need anything from my shop, come to Fremont Sunday Market today 10-4, or place your order online before Monday and I’ll ship them out before we head out!