As I peel back the layers of creativity and commerce, I want to have an honest discussion about the intrinsic joy found in creation, irrespective of its market value. This episode is a candid exploration of the artistic journey, emphasizing the freedom and fulfillment that comes from making art for art's sake, and the significance of cherishing every brush, note, and word as a testament to our inherent creativity.
Navigating the world of art can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope between authenticity and commercial demands. We need to tackle this delicate balance, addressing the outdated advice and pitfalls that can stifle an artist’s genuine voice. In a reflection of personal anecdotes, I underscore the value of mentorship that prioritizes individual artistic growth over mass-produced appeal. As we set our sights on the coming year, remind yourself to hold true to your creative convictions, to immerse yourself in the joy of creation, and to share your work with the world unburdened by the need for validation or financial success. It’s a heartfelt conversation affirming my commitment to artistry rooted in passion and authenticity.
Today’s doodle is a werewolf as a half-human and half-animal...of course! :)
Photo: J Butts photography
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Portfolio website: Brewtifully.com
LinkedIn: Tracy Dawn Brewer
Happy New Year is 2024 and the first Friday in January, so happy to be here with you on Brutally Made. First I want to say thank you for everyone who was reaching out to me after the last episode, our little pilot. She did pass and our vet here in town was wonderful, helping us with all the arrangements and we had her creamated and we actually have her ashes back already in a beautiful carved box with her name on it and my wonderful husband has made a little figure of her. He's painting it to look just like her and we have a little paw print, ornaments and things, little tufts of her fur and just lots of things to go along with all of our memories. And our three little pups are two big olds and Frenchy. Maybe they miss her. You can tell they're kind of like looking for and a little still down. We're trying to, you know, keep their positive and excited, playing with their Christmas toys and stuff. But thank you for reaching out and being so kind and letting me deal with my grief as we still navigate, missing her presence. She was well loved and had a beautiful life, so we are going back to want to draw for doodles. I'm going to have it help pick something to draw today A werewolf. I've never seen it spelled like that as a half animal, half human creature. Wait a minute, that's so strange. That's kind of like oxymoron. A werewolf is already a half human, half animal creature. I'll have to make it a little bit more human, like I guess. So kind of make it funny. So today I want to talk a little bit about some of the ideals that I have been kind of not taught but offered as a way to sustain creativity in a world of commerce more or less. One of the instructors that I have followed for many years often likes to say you know, people buy your joy and I really connected with that early, early on, knowing that if I loved something and doing something so much, somebody else was going to see that in that work and love it just as much. And that's what's going to sustain my livelihood, because this exuberant joy that I have for making whatever it would be, would be, you know, a connection somebody would have with me, and so it was almost like an ideal of monetizing that passion and that joy. And the longer that I have let that sit in my head and process and kind of reevaluate, I guess, how I look at my creativity and experience, the things I'd like to create on my own, and then also taking other courses from other instructors and hearing not the exact same phrase, but the I guess really the what they're trying to promote, as this is going to help you as an artist and this is going to help you make money, and we know you want to create a life being creative and this is how you can do it, because this is how I've done it making me step back and really take a look at is it really how you created your life? Is it really how you're sustaining your livelihood? Is it the sale of every drawing that you've put your whole heart into and people latching onto that as a repeat pattern or a print or cards? Is that really how you're making your living or are you selling? Your story of this is how I got creative and I see that I can teach that process, and now I'm going to make a living on selling you the thought that you also could be in the same position I am, because you're going to be creative, but really you're not selling those things as your base or your livelihood anymore. It's the story of how you did it and instructing people on maybe a process or trying to find people to be part of maybe an organization where you're getting work, maybe you're an agent and you're getting work for other people, so you're trying to weed through talent and trying to find people that you can monetize. And so the fact that I worked so hard and looked at things so deeply, as I have so much joy and passion for creativity, that if somebody didn't resonate the same with that, then I wasn't a value anymore and I don't want that to be monetized. I mean, it's such a huge, profound emotion. Joy is so deeply rooted in who you are and it really does give you the base of happiness and being content and it's really a deep connection with yourself. And so if you're so wound up and I'm really enjoying doing this and if somebody doesn't buy into it and then offering you money based on that, are you looking at yourself as a failure? I don't want you to do that. I don't want you to feel like this wasn't good enough. And even coming from the people that have said those phrases and they're the judge of your work and seeing other people who have been in these classes with me and assignments, and hearing their just deep rooted disappointment in not having that person acknowledge their joy is devastating to them. I came out of last year thinking I don't know that I want to be part of any of that for a while. I need to reestablish you know all the things that I love doing and I love sharing that with other people, thank you, and I love creating things. And then people are getting nostalgic about either doing that before, when they were younger, or wanting to do that now that they're older, and it's like when I look at some beautiful piece of work and I'm just like, so inspired by that. That is a connection with joy. It's not the fact that I can't afford, you know, to support that artist by buying their original work for five to $10,000. I would love to be able to do that, but that doesn't, you know, dis that doesn't take the value away from their joy. I love talking about their process with them and understanding you know what they've done and you know having blessed the people that can support artists with you know finances like that, you know, and I think that's where, as a creative, as an artist, if you can take what you've done and make it affordable for multi levels of people to enjoy what you're doing, so getting creative with. Oh, I can have this printed as stickers and I can offer stickers for $3. I would throw those all over my iPad and water bottles and mixer and I would have a little bit of you and that makes me happy because then I'm supporting you a smidge that I can at that time. But your artwork makes me happy and that brings me joy as the person that's bought it. And so I think if you look at those little steps like that as an artist and not the whole big okay, I've worked really hard on this and people that make these decisions they're not resonating the same as the joy that I put in it. So therefore it wasn't good enough. It just really takes the wind out of your sales and it's devastating and I hate that feeling for others and watching so many people put so much work into something and then get taken advantage of or being told a promise. It sounds like a promise. I mean I'm not saying their promises, but it sounds like you know, if you do it this way, if you follow my lead, if you do this process, then you're going to be successful, because look where I am, this is what I've built and I did this and they're now at the point where they're selling their pitch, their story, their process may have, I guess, turned on a light bulb going not everybody can do this, I can do it, somebody else would be able to learn this. Then they realize, oh, I got 10, 15 people that want to pay me money to learn this process. Now that's where I can make my money, that's how I can sustain my creative livelihood. It's not from the artwork that I'm creating anymore. It's from my process and my story and the promise that hey, if I can make it, you can make it. Not saying that people can't, I'm just saying that that's the next level that they're at. That's where they're at with their finances and monetization of their creativity, because I don't really feel like some of the things that I have seen in the classes that I've taken prove that the people are saying I'm still creating on this level and it's bringing me this back as payment. It doesn't equal what they're getting for the classes that they're offering and the promises that they're making. That's where their livelihood is coming from. That's where they're sustaining that. That dream is not being met by their artwork. It's, and sometimes they haven't even created in years. Some of the things that they pull out as examples are decades old or they're not up to date with some of the things that are going on now Because they're just not creating anymore. That's not what their focus is anymore, it's sharing the story. Then sometimes you get I want to bring the happy days perspective and where they've jumped the shark, where they've gone with their story for so long and then they've put so much money and effort into this process or class that they haven't updated it. It's really stale where they're not even including any of the new things that have happened in advancements of either the industry or the programs that they're teaching. It's crazy to think how many people will still latch on to that. I guess it's hard to find a mentor or someone who's authentic and isn't trying to sell you something that they're telling everyone can be successful, no matter what level you're at good or bad, whatever you want to call it. They're telling everyone the exact same thing. It's hard to find someone that is truly going to spend one-on-one time with you and evaluate things on where you're at and help you, not the masses that help you. I've found very few people that have offered that and I'm willing to pay for that. I'm willing to pay for someone to mentor me and support me, and I have. I think that that's important because that one-on-one is more valuable to me than me being in a class with hundreds of people, that the same people get evaluated every season, every time, and I'm never getting or growing from even learning what they're doing right and wrong because it's the same thing over and over and over again, and so there's a real danger in falling into some of the hype, I guess, around things that are offered. And so I really wanted to go into 2024 thinking about what I needed to do to protect my thoughts around being creative, the investment of time and money that I wanted to put into my creativity, and I feel like I have taken and learned a lot in the last few years from a lot of valuable people, and I just want to continue to create and share that with other people. And you know, if I'm going to have a class, if I'm going to share what I do, I'm not going to go into it going. If you make this and you're going to be able to sell it for this and you're going to be able to, you know, do this If I'm going to teach a class. I'm going to teach it because I love doing this and you're going to have a blast doing it too, and let's see where it goes. That's joy. That's what resonates with me, not the fact that I'm going to be able to teach 10,000 people how to do something for a dollar a piece and then realize that, okay, now they know it and they know my secret and you know, no one's going to want me anymore and I've just taken all that joy and just put a dollar sign on it, monetized it. That's not really my joy. I mean, I just, you know, joy is so subjective and trying to find somebody that resonates with it, to where it's going to sustain your life Really is a dangerous thing for your mental health and your well-being. So approaching what you're creating with the hopes that someone is going to buy it is one thing, but have a feeling from it is another. I don't want you to take your authenticity away because you're struggling to find something that's trendy and that's going to sell. Well, you know, don't misalign your values based on an instructor who's sitting there making you know tons of money, promising you something that is, you know, based on if they select you and get you jobs. Don't make things hard on yourself. If you can't afford to do something, don't do it. If you can be creative and then find a way to do it. I do that all the time. There's a lot of things that I have to say no to on the creative front that I hate to say no to. There's trips and events coming up that I would love to just like. I'm just going to go in debt for this and I'm not doing that. I just can't Not, not with the plans that I have in place for the next 1824 months. You know I really have to find the right path for me, and so remember that the things that bring you joy aren't necessarily in need to be monetized, because don't measure how well received they are and then get deflated. You know, there's just a lot of other factors that go into it, and I just, I just want you to connect authentically, without that stress over your head. You know, try not to focus on monetizing your joy, because it's such a personal thing. Create for yourself, create things that make you happy, and just if you want to share it, you share it. You want to share a process on how you do something. Don't be so precious with it that it's not the right way of doing it. Where someone's going to steal this because you're showing how to do it, share because that's authentically something that makes you happy. Some people don't like to show their process, and that's okay too. Some people don't like to share their work that's okay too. But if it is something that you want to share, don't be worried that it's not going to get 20,000 likes or that you're not going to get considered to be an influencer or that you're not getting money for it. And someone's like I have to make this a fabric line. It's. It just needs to be out in the world. That's what's important showing up, doing it from your heart, showing up, practicing every day. It's like my air, it's like my oxygen. If I don't draw every day or create something every day, I feel down. I have to create something. I love creating stuff and I'm not going to monetize my oxygen. I'm not going to be like, well, I didn't make it up many a day, I can't breathe. That's not. I'm not going to do that. Don't do that. I'm not going to do that. So keep making things on the level that makes you happy. Don't worry about if people buy into it or not. If you do get seen and someone does connect with you, be as authentic as you can be, be as honest as you can be with yourself and just continue to make things that make you happy, you know, because you don't want to get to a point where your creativity is now just work. I've seen so many people get to that point where they're picked up by a company and they're creating things, and then they're getting briefs and then it turns into assignments. These assignments are now dictated by everybody else's opinions and then that's when they jump the shark and they're like these are my side projects now. These are my passion projects now. These are things that I create that I can't do at work, because I love them. I don't know one creative person that has not gone down that path, that has any kind of national license or any license at all for a company, and they're ending up doing things on the side that they control, because it's again their joy, their love. They don't care if they sell it or not. We all get to the point where you don't feel like anybody can hear and see you anymore. You're only hearing and seeing what they want. You're just generating a Xerox copy of their ideas. And that's really hard, really, really hard. Even as a small business, even as a restaurant. You're trying to make it a go of it and you're creating these dishes that nobody else makes and maybe they aren't as popular as the standards that everybody wants in your locality, because that's what you're known for in that part of the country, that part of the state, that part of the city. But you'll still create those specials. You'll still create those new, interesting, one-of-a-kind things you have to as a creative person, I don't care what kind of creative person you are. You'll have your standards. You'll have your things that are always on the menu. But your passion projects, that's what brings you joy. It doesn't matter if anybody buys it or not. Bring yourself joy. It doesn't matter if people buy your joy. You enjoy your joy because it's brutally made from the heart and that's what's most important. Here's my little fancy dancing werewolf with his martini and charcuterie. I made a little portrait like he's a king or something, I don't know, made him a little bit more human, I suppose Not very scary. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend. I'm looking forward to first Friday. I sculpt yours tonight. Strange weather, cold, snowy, windy next week, who knows? I'm really looking forward to 2024 and being the most authentic person that I can be and just sharing because I love that I truly do. Thanks for listening. Have a great weekend. I will see you next time. Doodle, doodle, doodle, bye.