Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Affirming an Art Career

As part of my journey to becoming a full-time artist, I decided it was time to remind myself about the principals of positive thinking and affirmations. I have been so worried these past two months about the logistics of making money from my art and supporting myself that I started having anxiety attacks, which then made it extremely difficult for me to create any art. As you probably remember, my New Year's Resolution was to create an ACEO a day. This was supposed to help me get over my slumps when I had them because at least I would be creating art EVERY DAY. It has worked and I am enjoying the drawings that I am making, but I needed a little more this time in order to get me back in the studio painting.

I have always been a believer of the "laws of attraction" and saying affirmations which, basically, relies on positive thinking and making statements about the things that you want/need. If you think it, really believe, and affirm it, you can make things happen. Sound pretty simplistic and hard to believe, huh? But it makes sense. Haven't you ever noticed that when you feel good and are thinking positive, good things happen? And when you are negative and feel down, nothing seems to go right? Well these past two months I have been thinking that I was crazy to quit my job and that I would never be able to pay my bills. I also started to question whether I would have enough inspiration to paint everyday. I was filled with fear and negative thoughts and through this whole time, I didn't paint and made no efforts to promote my career, thus making my fears come true. Trying to keep positive and trust that you are doing the right thing is hard, especially when you are filled with fear, as I was. I knew I was in a mental funk and needed help getting out of it.

Many years ago, a dear friend gave me "Ordering From the Cosmic Kitchen- The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations" by Patricia J. Crane, PhD. It's one of those books that I can (and have) read again and again, when I need a little mental shove into positive thinking. I started reading it again and here are some important points that I have found:

1. You need to decide what you want. For me, I want a full-filling art career that enables me to paint full-time, pay all of my bills, have enough money for fun and for savings. I want to have an endless supply of inspiration.

2. Make your affirmations positive, present tense, and personal. My favorite affirmations are "I am constantly inspired to paint. My paintings are appreciated. My paintings are in demand. I open my arms to prosperity."

3. Include words that convey positive, energetic feelings. Say your affirmations as if they are already happening and FEEL as if they are happening. Mine, for example, would be " It feels wonderful to have so many people really loving my work. I love that my work is selling so well and is in high demand."

I already feel better about my career decision and have been in the studio many times since re-reading this book. I finished one painting (which is posted with this entry) and am working on a second that I really like. I'm starting to get really excited about all of the possibilities that will come my way.

Image: "Swimmers 1" 24" x 24", 2010, pre-wax stage.

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