Life By The Seat Of My Pants

The Real Deal – Horns And All

Posted on: September 5, 2013

Let me just warn you now, this is a very long post. Long, deep and raw.

I know… that sounds like the title of a badly directed porno.

Another side note – I hate the terms follower and fan, but there really are no other words for the people who only know me or ‘like’ me because of my art.

***   July 15, 2013.    ***

I have not written a blog post since July 15, 2013. That was almost two months ago and I have not felt the desire to write one single blog post since then.  I have felt GUILT, oh I have felt PLENTY of guilt for not writing, but no desire what-so-ever.

You see, I have been in a place of limbo about my art/blog/classes for several months and until now I have kept that fact pretty much to myself. I didn’t want to put myself out there and tell people what was really going on with me for fear of sounding petty and bitter. But you know what, I *am* a little bit bitter. And pissed off. But most of all, hurt. Personally hurt.

After months of putting on a happy face and keeping my hurt feelings to myself, I am finally ready to break my silence and tell you why I have not had one bit of desire to blog or put out any classes or anything new for several months.

After reading this post you may decide that I am petty and ridiculous and that you no longer want to follow me or this blog and before today, that fact would have stressed me the fuck out and had me backspacing as fast as my little fingers would go. But today, I am letting go of all expectations and just putting my feelings out there. Fuck it. If you like me and my art and if you like what I do, you will still be around. However, if this post is enough to make you no longer like what I do, then to be honest. you are not the kind of ‘follower’ I want anyway. No hard feelings. I get it. It’s ok. You’re free to go.

So here’s the deal…

I have been making and selling classes for a coupe of years now. My first several classes were major learning experiences and stepping stones to finding out who I was, what I wanted to teach, what my strengths were and what my personal style was. I have always tried to make classes I thought other people would enjoy and I  taught things I thought other people wanted to learn. I wanted people to get to know me and my art and I felt like the only way to do that was to join the crowd. I have since come to realize that that does not work for me. Doing what other people do doesn’t work for me. It never has. I have to do EVERYTHING my own way, learn what works for me and from now on, that will include any classes that I offer and any artwork that I sell.

I *know* my shit and I am a very good teacher, but for some reason I kept trying to fit into a niche that wasn’t really me and expecting to succeed. Every class I put out was a complete and utter failure, but I put on my happy face and tried again. I knew it was going to take alot of work and I knew it was going to be a slow process, so I kept trying to build my ‘name’ and build my tribe.

I kept putting myself out there, competing with well established artists and never getting any further ahead. I created  ten different classes  and I tried several different formats, trying desperately to fit into a mold and make my presence known.  I was waving my hands, jumping up and down and shouting  “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!!!”  and still…. nothing. I felt like one of those little wind up monkeys dancing on a street corner begging for tips, but in my case the tips were students and my street corner was the online art community.  I was wracking my brain, forcing myself to try again to find that ‘magic formula’ that would make people want to take my classes and still…… nothing.

I have always given tons of content and I have always priced my classes extremely (EXTREMELY) low compared to other online artists teaching similar classes, but no matter what I did, my classes did not get the response I had hoped for. Looking back, I realize that I never put enough value on my work or myself. In the back of my mind a nasty voice kept saying “Why would anyone take a class from YOU when they could take a class from this person who is ‘better’ and much more popular???”

I never truly believed in myself and I think that held me back more than anything.

So, I finally got up the nerve to TRULY put myself out there for the first time. I had grand plans to sell off all of my old artwork and make room for the new. I wanted to release all of the negative thoughts, let go of the old way of thinking and doing things and just start fresh.  I set up an online auction to sell EVERYTHING I had created since I began making art and I planned to use the money to create a shiny new website for hosting brand new (true to me) classes, free content, my blog and more. I promoted that auction more than I have ever promoted anything I have EVER done. I made videos, I wrote blog posts. I invited friends. I made Facebook events. I Pinned it, shared it and even did a contest for OTHER people who promoted it!  People knew.  LOTS of people knew.

So the day of the auction arrives and the first of three online auctions begins and there were only two people in the room. I didn’t know either of them and they both left before the auction was over. Nothing sold and no one else showed up. I was let down, but I knew I still had two more auctions to host that day and I figured that most people were waiting for the later auctions anyway.

Sooo the second auction of the day rolls around and EVERYTHING in that auction was only $5.00.  There were three people in the room and one of them was my best friend. Two items sold and my best friend bought one of them. Now I KNOW that art is subjective and I *KNEW* that not everything was going to sell. I had prepared myself for that! In my mind, I had guestimated a dollar amount I thought I would reach, but I was hoping to do much better than I anticipated.

So it was time for the final auction of the night. That was the auction I thought would do the best. I put my very best pieces in that auction thinking that it would be the one with the most people. I even rearranged some of the  items for sale to include the best things from earlier in the day that didn’t sell. The auction began and the room was completely empty. I don’t mean there were only a couple of people in there. I mean it was completely fucking empty.

My heart sunk. I felt like such a fool! Not only had the first two auctions of the day been a complete disaster, but this one, the one that was supposed to do the best, was an UTTER FAILURE. No one even showed up!!!! No one was even there for moral support!!!! It’s not like people came and just didn’t buy anything, THAT I could have understood! Noooooo, no. They didn’t even bother to show up!

Where were all of the people who told me they would be there????? Where were all of the people who told me they wanted to buy so and so????? Where were all of the people who just wanted to see what I had for sale? Where were all of the people who said they would love to own something I made and who would love to take a class from me???? Where were all of the people who know me and could have just been there to fill the fucking room???????

Here was their chance to make all of those things a reality, and NONE of them even showed up.

In the past, I had always HOPED my classes would do well, but I never EXPECTED it. I wanted them to do well, but feared they would fail.  However, this was the first time I had ever really made myself completely vulnerable because I TRULY believed this auction WAS going to do well. I truly believed people wanted to support me in my art and in my career. Apparently, I was wrong.

I broke into uncontrollable sobs and I cried, inconsolably, for three hours straight.  A part of me had died. My dream had died.  My passion had died.

I went into a depression that lasted for *days* and I didn’t step foot into my studio for almost a month. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I was personally hurt and offended and to be honest, I still am.

I feel like people don’t want to BUY from me, they only want to see my free content. They don’t want to take my paid classes or buy my art pieces, they only want to watch my free videos and get my free tutorials.  My youtube channel is the ONLY thing that is seeing ANY growth what-so-ever and that has really just started happening since I started doing the Thrift Shop Thursday and Mixed MEdieology Monday series. I love doing that series, and it will always be free, but I don’t want that to be ALL people want from me.

I *want* to teach classes, but I don’t want to continue to put massive amounts of personal energy into something I feel is not filling my well in return.

I have a *list* of new class ideas, but I really don’t want to put myself out there, yet again, only to fail. I refuse to devalue myself anymore in hopes that people will take my classes just because they are cheap!

I know how harsh this sounds. TRUST ME! I have been backspacing these words for MONTHS now because I know EXACTLY how harsh this sounds, but I can’t worry about that anymore. I have been holding on to this hurt and this self doubt and this bitterness for far too long and frankly, it’s getting really fucking old.

I am an excellent teacher and I think I am a damn good artist.  All of my classes are full of content and instruction and I actually TEACH you what to do, I don’t just show you what I am doing. I give options and multiple ideas for each technique or project and don’t keep the best stuff to myself.
This may sound cocky or conceited, but it’s the truth. It has taken me a very long time to realize this for myself and I NEVER thought I would say it publicly, but I am a damn good artist and it has taken me far too long to realize and believe it.

So there you have it. This is me. Horns and all. Now you know why I have not been adding content on a regular basis and why I have not added a new blog post since July 15.  Now you know why I have had no desire to create any new classes and why I took such a long hiatus in the beginning of the summer. Now you know why my blog has still not changed, even though I bought a new domain months ago.

I bet you are wondering why I have finally broken my silence and where I got the balls to post such raw truth on my blog.  Well, to be honest, this all came about because of the last few paragraphs in Suzi Blu’s latest blog post. In this post she is talking about following your dreams and living your passion.

In the final paragraphs, Suzi says the following…

“In the past I have taken on too many other people projects, wanting to please and be friends with everyone, and I neglected my dreams for theirs. You might have done this too.

If you want your Live Your True Passion, you must first know what it is, then say no to everything that is not.  If you don’t know what your Passion is, go look on your pinterest board. (I know you have one.) Write down your boards and pins and what you like. Imagine yourself living these lives.”

I clearly have not been living my passion, but I am about to start. No more doing what I think other people will like. No more devaluing myself, my skills, my knowledge or my ability.  No more trying to fit into a mold or a clique’  or a theme. If people like what I do and want to learn from me,  they will. No more begging. No more hoping. No more settling. From now on, I will be true to myself and that is all I can do.

I would love for you to stick around for the journey, but I will completely understand if you choose to turn and walk away.

In all of my classes, live shows and videos I have always been me and I have always been real, but I have also held back for fear of …

~ offending people

~ turning people off

~ standing out

         ~ sounding like a bitch

~ people not liking me

~ causing controversy

But not anymore. I have been gradually letting more of my whole personality show in the Thrift Shop Thursday videos and I am finally to the point where what you see is what you get.

~ I cuss. ALOT.

~ I can be rude and sarcastic.

~ I laugh alot, often at myself.

~ I have a touch of self diagnosed ADD

~ I am honest.

~ I am trustworthy.

~ I mess up… alot

~ I have a dirty mind.

~ I have a great personality

~ I am a very good friend

~ I love Halloween and creepy things

~ I can alter anything!

~ I am a damn good artist

~ I am a damn good teacher

~ I know my shit

Thanks to those few words on Suzi’s blog, I finally decided that I do still want to teach classes and I have decided what my first new class will be. I do love doing the Thrift Shop Thursday and Mixed MEdieology Monday series, so I will continue those. I do like posting on my blog and I love doing live shows, so I will continue with those, but I will only be creating things that I love. I will only be doing projects that bring me joy. No matter if it is free or paid, I will only create things that bring me joy. If people want to join me, I will welcome them with open arms. If people choose to scroll on by, they just miss out on all of the goodness I have to offer. That is how I live my life and that is how need to start living my career.

To those of you who will be continuing on with me, I would love to hear what you think of this post and I would really like to know what you want to learn from me.

For those of you who have negative comments, keep them to yourself. I really don’t care. I don’t expect everyone to understand or agree with my feelings here, but I don’t want negativity, bullshit or drama because of it either.

This week’s Thrift Shop Thursday is already in the can, but since I am posting this today, I will post it tomorrow. I will be blogging T S T and Mixed MEdieology Monday regularly each week, so look for that to start back up again this week.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for subscribing to my blog and my youtube channel. It is because of you that I have kept going this long and you are the reason I keep making free videos and tutorials. I appreciate you more than you know.




5 Responses to "The Real Deal – Horns And All"

Brilliant – totally brilliant and Brave!! I am so glad you shared this, and I am glad you decided to be the real You, instead of a bad xerox of someone else. You will find your tribe, I am sure of it. (((((HUGS)))))

BRAVO!!!! BRAVO!!!! BRAVO!!! I am SO fucking PROUD of you!!!! It is really difficult to put yourself out there on public display – and I think all of us try to play nice at first. However, you are absolutely CORRECT – YOU cannot exist trying to be something you are not – YOU cannot exit trying to live within the confines of other people’s boxes. I am here because I want the REAL you. You are talented, funny, dedicated, loyal, a damn fine teacher, a creative bad ass, and I am PROUD to call you friend!!!

Love, Love, Love! I have always admired you and your incredible talent. I don’t art the same way you do, but I feel EXACTLY the same way about my art. I wish I could be as brave as you… I know my art would go from good to outstanding if I could let go of the fear. I am SUPER excited to see your art grow with this revelation. It is going to be phenomenal!

Edie, I just found your blog in one of my distracting-bounce all over the place-internet forays. This is the post I landed on…and I am in complete awe. I feel like I could have written so much of what you’ve said here. I haven’t touched a canvas in over a year for these same kind of reasons. Wow! It is so good to know I’m not the only one who has/is going through this kind of thing.

What I do know is that I am so glad I found you and I can not wait to get to know you better through your blog, your YouTube and, hopefully, through some of your classes. I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit cause, like you, not only am I dealing with these same feelings of “not good enough” but have had no one buy my art, or my classes in favor of the popular girls…you know what I mean, right?…but I cuss like a sailor, have a dirty mind, can be rude and tend to be sarcastic, love to laugh, am trustworthy, etc…

Anyway, just wanted you to know you have a new “friend” out here that knows exactly what you’re going through…and I plan on sticking around to see where this new energy and self=realization takes you.

Peace & Much Love,

I would love to hear what you have to say. Leave me a comment :)

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