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What about now?

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It’s been a rough few years for me in terms of my freelance design business. The last two years have been utterly brutal and possibly the longest of my life.

When we moved to Delaware I had planned on switching my web design business from 100% online to 100% in person and work with local businesses. I was tired of “virtual everything” and being cooped up in my office-studio with no face-to-face human interaction. So I began anew with a new business name, new website  – new everything.

But life (and COVID) had different plans and meeting in person was no longer viable. Since I had just moved to a new city and new state, I didn’t have any client’s I could transition from in-person to virtual. I was sunk.

 

So I spent the next year trying to open yet ANOTHER business where I’d teach other small business owners how to build their own websites. I created an online course (no easy feat), and I had a few people taking the course. But then it just dried up.

So the last 2 years or so I’ve struggled trying to figure out what I’m doing next. In the Human Design system I am a Generator. In a nutshell, I NEED to work. But more importantly I need work that is meaningful and fulfilling. Not working at all can be soul-sucking to a Generator, but so can doing work that doesn’t get your juices flowing — your (Generator) motor running.

All that time, even when I was trying to open a new web design business and while I was creating the online course, a tiny voice kept nagging me. It reminded me that I always wanted to work as an artist and illustrator. So it kept asking, “what about now?

What about NOW???

Truth be told, I finally admitted that I didn’t particularly like doing web design. The voice kept reminding me that I always wanted to be an artist. and an illustrator – making money making art. But that voice and desire had been beaten back so many times I could barely hear it.

I’m stubborn you see. And the troll-voice living inside my head is loud and relentless. It’s had a lot of practice and I’ve given it far too much power.

I couldn’t see myself making actual money and building a career as an illustrator.

  • It will take too long.
  • You’re not talented enough.
  • Starting a career as an illustrator was something you should have done years ago – decades!
  • It’s too late. You’re too old.
  • You’re just wasting your time.
  • Who the fuck do you think you are.

But then something happened that hadn’t happened, ever. I decided I wasn’t going to listen to it. 

Now let’s be clear. That voice is there LOUDLY reminding me how old I am, how much time I’ve wasted, how untalented I am and how much this is all a waste of time.

But I’ve decided to not listen to it. I’ve decided to tell it to go fuck itself. I gave it a coloring book and box of crayons and told it to go somewhere “over there” and color. If and when I needed it’s opinion, I’d ask for it.

(My inner troll-voice is a short ugly balding man with bulging stomach and fat fingers.) 

For now it is obeying my command. But it likes to rear its ugly head every now and again to remind me what I loser I am. 

I’ve decided that figuring out how to do the thing you’ve always wanted to do but never allowed yourself to do takes a lot of courage. And patience. Yes courage and patience. 

Being transparent online while I figure it all out takes a bit of madness, particularly for a recovering perfectionist like myself. But here I am, because I’ve decided I need to start now. Today. Not wait until I’m “fully formed” as a working illustrator before allowing myself to be seen. It won’t work that way.

There’s a big box of regret sitting in the corner that I’ll need to deal with at some time. But at least I’ve pried them away from the grubby fat fingers of my troll-voice. 

For now…onward.

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Hi, I'm Kerry
Hi, I'm Kerry

...of Curiously Designed. This blog documents my journey as I figure out how to finally pursue a long-held dream of being a working illustrator and designer.

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