07 October 2007

Ouch, but important

I've read Seth Godin's book, The Dip, one and a half times now. I'll probably read it daily for the next few weeks, to reinforce my decisions. He is absolutely correct. "If you realize you're at a dead end compared with what you could be investing in, quitting is not only a reasonable choice, it's a smart one."

After about ten years, it's time for me to recognize that I've reached my goals as "Aisling D'Art."

I developed art forms--especially art journaling techniques--that are accessible to others, whether or not they have a background in art.

I've put a massive amount of information online for people to learn from. And, I've taught more classes and workshops than I can count.

That's been enormously rewarding for me. The feedback over the years has been fabulous. (Well, most of it has, anyway.) I can open almost any issue of Somerset Studio or a related magazine, and see art by one of my former students, or art that is based on a technique that I've developed and taught.

I see my concepts taught by others at many of the big annual arts events, and written about in magazines. (It drives my kids crazy when I don't get credit for this, but that was never my goal. I did this to make creative expression more accessible to others, period.)

I accomplished what I set out to do. It's time for me to acknowledge that.

There is nothing for me to quit, per se, but my personal artistic evolution has slowed to a snail's pace... and that's not my style. My past work hasn't been mediocre, but what I've been doing with most of my time lately... well, it is.

I want to work on new challenges as an artist, in fields where I excel.

That means returning to my artistic roots in fabric art (including cloth dolls) and painting. Most of my work in those fields is accomplished offline. I need to step back from several activities--and wind down a bunch of others--to make time for this.

My Views from Santa Flamingo podcasts will continue, monthly. My most popular websites will continue to grow, but in my spare time. I'm resigning from all of the major Yahoo Groups that I created. (The groups will continue, but under different leadership.)

As Godin says, "How dare you settle for mediocre just because you're busy coping with too many things on your agenda, racing against the clock to get it all done."

In lieu of new, exciting challenges, I've kept adding more & more "easy little projects" (especially new websites) with some idea that I'd find satisfaction in them.

I haven't. Instead, I've stretched myself too thin to have time and energy for the art that really soars.

I want to make great art. I want to make art that people look at and gasp because of its beauty and how deeply it affects them. So, that's what I'm going to do.

I've been wanting to do this for awhile. It just took a series of online surprises and some harsh words from Seth Godin for me to finally commit to it.


Blogger Superman said...

Yay! My good friend is getting ready to FLY! You are going to do great things with your art. I have no doubt of that.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Good for you girl, this isn't about quitting, it is about evaluating where you are at and where you want to go. I tell myself every now and then, "Just because you CAN do it, Stacey, doesn't mean you HAVE TO!" So sort out your priorities and design the life that suits YOU, that feeds your soul, that reminds you of your authentic self. Another interesting book you might consider reading: "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Aisling said...

Thanks, Stacey! I read the Ferriss book a couple of months ago and loved it... but I kept trying to move in the directions that he recommends while still doing everything else. *rueful chuckle*

It didn't work.

Since I announced the new changes, it's like a lot of the weirdness lifted and things are already moving ahead more smoothly than I'd dared to hope!

Thanks again... for everything that you do!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Aisling said...

Thanks, V (aka superman), for your support! I'm very excited about this, and--when I checked my email this morning--things are already flowing really nicely.

8:51 AM  

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