taking the leap

F13Creative_016_TakingTheLeap.png

I do. I hear you saying to yourself: I really want to publish a book. Or: I'd love to have my own product line. Or both. Plus a series of workshops! I have the whole thing sketched out. I know precisely what it would look like, how it would feel. And my gut tells me there are customers out there who would love all of it. I’m so excited to meet them and talk with them. I can imagine the whole experience so vividly! How can I get a publisher to pick me up? Should I try to find a manufacturer to license my art? Maybe I could do it myself?! But...

I know what you're thinking because I talk to artists just like you every day. And some of you are going for it and some of you are holding back. Are you holding back? Even if you’re already finding some success—maybe with your Etsy shop, or through licensing—is there something more or bigger that you really want to do, some grand vision that you keep to yourself because it feels just a little too big or daring? Or maybe too quirky, too personal, too niche?

I also know you know this: There’s never been a better time to make it happen. You know that every day the variety and quality of tools, resources, and information available to us as artists expands and that getting our work directly in front of customers has never been easier. And you see the market potential expanding every day as well—there’s an audience for everything, no matter how particular.

So what's stopping you? Why are you playing it safe? Why are you holding yourself back, second-guessing yourself? I know that you go back-and-forth between feeling on top of the world, the most inventive and creative genius you know! And the next day you're full of tortured self-doubt. Sometimes you’re just plain scared. Maybe you’re scared that you can’t afford it, or that your audience won’t be waiting for you, or that it will be too much to manage. Maybe you’re scared because you already have an audience who likes what you’re currently doing; you really want to change things up and you’re not sure your people will go with you.

I know you wonder if it's possible to overcome that self-doubt, to be consistently confident about your direction, to always be secure in your own judgment. I wish I could tell you that was possible. But I hear every day, even from the most successful artists I know, that it doesn't go away. That’s because as artists we’re always going to be driven to leap. And leap again. And the moment of the leap is always going to be scary. Why? Because each leap will be bigger than the last one. That’s the nature of being an artist, of questioning, testing, experimenting, exploring. It’s no fun if it doesn’t feel a little too big, a little too risky. We’re all thrill seekers, at some level.

So what would happen if you began that grand adventure with your art and your business? Tell us your fears. Tell us your fantasies. We want to help you take the next giant step toward that dream. There are things you can do for yourself to make it easier, to get a sense of the territory ahead of you, to ensure you’re well-provisioned, to know there are people rooting for you, watching out for you. We’re among them, and we can’t wait to see what you bring back.