What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

Since I'm busy for the next several weeks facilitating my 6-week e-course, Creative Alchemy, my co-facilitator, Jennifer Magel, as well as many of the women taking the course, have graciously offered to write guest blog posts. Yay! Thank you SO much ladies! Here's the first one by Jen. Enjoy!

You see this quote everywhere on greeting cards, magnets, coffee cups, etc. But it’s a deep and poignant question for anyone, especially someone starting their own creative business. It’s a question of how big do you allow yourself to dream on a day-to-day basis, and then going further to ask how big do you DARE to dream? What is the absolute most amazing crazy-wonderful thing that you can even fathom that could happen to you?

Good question.

*exhaling* Here goes…

I am an artist who works out of her home and out of a downtown loft FILLED with light and atmosphere. There is ALWAYS music playing. There are chandeliers and lovely ornaments and quotes and various sparkly things dangling from the ceiling. There is an overstuffed couch and ottoman with huge pillows and furry throw blankets and a menagerie of different lamps bursting with color and light. There is coffee and tea and nuts and fruits for recharging.

I create multimedia pieces and paintings that incorporate my photographs, found objects, all kinds of papers and fabrics, acrylic, watercolors, oils, and anything that will make a mark on a surface. My art is large-scale and small-scale. My art often includes words and/or symbols that make the viewer reach inside themselves and think about who they are and what they want. In addition, I have a separate line of work that is strictly large-scale oil paintings of cocktails and/or beautiful food & beverages. The work of painting large-scale, detailed subjects is meditative and reminds me to look closely at everything- there is a whole other level of beauty right in front of me.

I make my living by selling my art, licensing my art for gift items & prints, and by leading creative workshops for other inspired women who have the same dream of living off making art. I also feed my creative machine by being a part of a community of artists who enhance each other’s lives and stoke their creative fires. I have a circle of amazing friends within this community who are kind, honest, inspiring, and love to laugh. I have a deep-seated desire to write too. It’s in there and bubbles up and out when journaling or writing in my blog. 

I make enough money to be very comfortable and financially balanced in my lifestyle. My art career alone allows me to support world travel when I like-to fill the creative well, and to attend several creative retreats every year around the world that are held by those who are like-minded and a part of the independent creative lifestyle. I am working towards being more involved in these retreats and perhaps having a part in conducting some of the creative workshops. Creative partnerships and projects are formed and I take part in making them reality.

My hands are unkempt and stained with paint. I am constantly dying my hair different vibrant shades and reinventing myself in a visual as well as internal way. I maintain a healthy weight by taking good care of myself in that I meditate daily, have a yoga practice, go on a nightly run, and I eat to fuel my body the best way possible. I feed my soul with my art and exercise, living my life with abandon and by cultivating amazing relationships with people around me. I have a loving partner who supports my dreams and holds me when I am a mess. He loves me and allows my growth in all ways, as I do his. Together, we lift each other up and encourage each other to be our personal best, and also to be happy. There is raucous laughter and there are dogs and cats.

I fuck up. I have days where nothing looks right. I have days where I paint and create into the night and have to recover the next day. I have days where I cannot bear to look at my art and so I allow myself to curl up with a cup of tea and a blanket and read a book, or nap, or write. I contend with my fears of failure and my fears of being judged and my feelings of worthlessness by regularly practicing kindness and forgiveness and loving care towards myself. I have significantly reduced being judgmental and horribly mean to myself. I remember and meditate on the underlying theme of being imperfect- and try to live it with a passion.

I’m okay
if you get me at a good angle
and you’re okay
in the sort of light
and we don’t look
like pages from a magazine
but that’s all right
that’s all right

we get a little further from perfection
each year on the road
I guess that’s what they call character
I guess that’s just the way it goes
better to be dusty than polished
like some store window mannequin
why don’t you touch me where I’m rusty
let me stain your hands

when you’re pretty as a picture
they pound down your door
but I’ve been offered love
in two dimensions before
and I know that it’s not all
it’s made out to be
let’s show them how it’s done
let’s do it all imperfectly

-Ani DiFranco


Post by Jennifer Magel