Thursday, April 12, 2012

How is my art? (The Linchpin)

A friend of mine send me a text today and it said this:
"Hello how have you been? And more importantly how is your art?"
The text is nothing really special but for some reasons I had a hard time answering to him in the 500 letters or less text limit from my mobile phone so I decided to write him this:
" I am fine. I have been busy entertaining the kids and enjoying this weather. But as far as my art is going, I am stuck. I am 32 years old and I am stuck.
I remember being stuck back when I graduated high school. I was not even 18 years old, and I had passed the baccalaureate with honors. Yet I did not receive any letter of acceptance from universities abroad (I did not send any application for I was sure not to be accepted). I was supposed to receive a full scholarship from the government but without an official enrollment, I could not use it. There I was, being a genius (after being so average my entire life) and not even capable of taking advantage of it. My friends who did not even produce better results than I did were leaving me one by one for France, Canada and any other great place. I cried everyday on my fate and thought the world would come to an end. Now that I think about it, it was cute being stuck then, because I was barely 18 and I had all my life ahead of me. Being stuck at 32 is not cute anymore.

But why am I stuck? Why indeed?

I have this dream of doing what I love and getting paid to do it. However, how can I turn my skills into a paycheck? What is available for me in the market?

What I love right now is to write about fashion. I do not claim to be a fashion expert but I know enough to write a decent article or to give advice. I know enough that I spend hours writing about things I love in fashion. Fashion blogging is something that is relatively easy to do. What I need is a computer, an Internet connection and a free space to write. And I already have all that. But becoming a professional fashion blogger is very hard. I do not know what it takes to become one that is getting paid, receives endorsements and gifts from fashion houses, gets featured in fashion magazines, has book deals and ends up creating her own line of clothes. I have no idea. I know that for some bloggers it is all about what they can offer such as advice on style or how to make certain fashionable items (DIY). For some others it is just that their originality appeals to the masses. And there is the rest where I have absolutely no clue why they even have thousands of followers. Whenever a popular blogger gets ask why she is so successful, she tends to answer that she is being true to herself when she blogs. She does her and that is just enough.
I guess then I have a huge problem because I have no idea who am I (even fashionably speaking). I know who I am not. Also I know who I want to become but do I know myself? Then how do I want to get paid for blogging about fashion or my style when I have not even figure out what it was yet?

Designing my own clothing line would be a dream come true. I have been sketching clothes I would like to wear on free time ever since when....I enjoy designers shows and try to get so much out of them. Last Summer I even "designed" some clothes and had a tailor make them for me. I was supposed to sell them but they are still sleeping in my closet. I took pleasure in designing those clothes. My next move would be to do it on a higher scale.
 Yet, what do I really know about design? I have never been to design school? I own a sawing machine but I cannot sew (I plan to learn some day though). I do not know how clothes are made (well I have a vague idea). But more importantly I am not sure I even know how to dress a woman.

Writing is another thing I like to do and think I am pretty good at. I have been writing all my life. I do not remember anything about French literature classes I took when I was in high school because I would write poems and short stories while the teacher would gloat the prose of a Voltaire, Cesaire or Senghor. During the Summer holidays I would buy notes of 500 pages and write an entire book. Even today, there is not a day that passes by when I do not think about a short story or have an idea for a book. My friends who read my stories told me time and time again that I needed to write a book. But what they do not know is that writing a book is the easy part, getting it published is tricky. I know the process: you have to get your manuscript to a publishing company, they will have to read it and decide if they want to publish it or not. Then if even it is not rejected like the millions of other manuscripts they receive every day, you will have to sit and wait to see if the book is going to be a flop (once it is out) or enter a best sellers list. On top of that, you will have to face the critics who will interpret your work in such a far-fetched way. Writing and getting published is terribly complicated that the entire process scares me. Besides, maybe I am not even that good. My friends are nice and all but what do they really know about literature?

I recently discovered that I like event planning. I have been planning small things for friends and other acquaintances and I really enjoyed it. I like to know what is happening around town, where is the best place to shop, eat, rest or have fun. And for some reasons I also like to share that kind of information. I would love for this skill to turn into some kind of revenue like getting paid to organize the perfect date or an unforgettable birthday party. But how do you achieve that when you have never been taught about event planning. I am not even sure they have schools for that kind of thing where am at now. Where does one start with that kind of thing?

And that is why I am stuck. I have the skills - or the art like my friend would say- but how do I get paid for that? Better yet, how do I make a living out of it? I have no clue. Maybe I should go finish the Linchpin then!  "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Godin would say to not think about peycheck, not to assume u need to be taught things. But just focus on generously and passionately shipping out ur gifts, ur art, those exact things u mentionned u loved doing and do well. Revenue is afterthought, aftermath. The pleasure of doing it, of giving it away, the reward u feel from that generosity, the connections u make thru it, the act of keeping moving by continuously shipping it out to the world, ur world. Yeah read it, and I am sure u ll have clarity all of a sudden.

Now cud u guesser a banker just said this?

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