I told myself, and in a weak moment told my husband and my accountant, that I was going to give this full-time creativity life a year to bear fruit. Mmmm, a year seems like a long time when each week rolls around; I can thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to be a professional artist. However, a year does not seem like long enough to make this a "viable job". It takes a long time, even years, to build a clientele and write books. This year will go very fast, and what if the creative birth of Georgianne, successful folk artist, takes longer than 365 days? Does my focus need to be strictly creative or more business oriented?
So, I have a new way to think about all of this. Creative birth is really what is happening here. It is an organic process and it may not be logical, systematic, or measurable. As in other births, I don't want to do this alone! I think I need a Creativity Doula. I actually may need several. A doula is a birth coach, a helping hand during labor and delivery, a wise and compassionate soul who has helped many others before me have a healthy and peaceful birth experience. This image of having a creativity birth coach during this year of building my chosen role as professional folk artist is very comforting to me. And comforting is the right word because I do not see this in a business sense, but in an emotional way.
I am not talking about a business mentor, although there are elements of that expertise that would undoubtedly be wise to seek out. It is not a financial advisor or a project manager I need, either. I wonder why? I see the Creativity Doula role as emotional support and compassionate acceptance.
Do you have passion about a creative element in your life? Are there hobbies, career paths, relationships, or goals, that when you let your mind wander, you almost always start thinking about them or it? What are your creative-life fantasies? Now that you have these passions in mind, do you keep this creativity part of yourself a secret? For instance, do you fantasize about being a professional clothing designer, but it feels like a dirty little secret because, in reality, you are a grade school principal, and there isn't enough time in the day to make a new career plan? If so, you need a Creativity Doula, too.
I read somewhere that the folks who age most gracefully do so because they surround themselves with like-minded individuals who are supportive and compassionate. I believe that I will continue to fill my life with the kind of people who can hear my dreams of folk art success and are willing to encourage me, cheer me on, pat me on the back, and tell their friends about me. And in return, I will keep my eyes and ears open to be aware of their dreams, their goals, their creative lives in gestation. I hope that I will become someones creativity doula. I want to see their kicking and screaming creations come to life! I want to see that light in another person's eyes when they see their dreams come true!