An Exciting Adventure!

Joanna Baker Illustration

This year got off to a rough start. I’m still in the process of working through things, but the past couple of weeks I’ve realized that it’s been awhile since I haven’t felt stuck.

Usually when I come up against something difficult in my creative process, I tell myself “you can do this” and just try to figure things out on my own. But I’ve come to learn that sometimes in order to move forward, you can’t keep working with the same information, the same methods, and the same mindset. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and let something else in…

Which brings me to Emily Jeffords‘ online class, Making Art Work. I’ve been following Emily on Instagram for quite a while now, maybe two or three years? Her paintings are so calming and what she chooses to surround her work with is absolutely beautiful– just check out her Insta feed, it’s total art-life-creative-space #goals. I was late to the game on her podcast, Do It For The Process, but started listening earlier this year while in search of some light and inspiration in a difficult time. Through her super insightful podcast series, I learned of her once-a-year creative small business course that was just about to start.

Lately I’ve had this overwhelming sense that I need to make a change, need to branch out and try something new. Maybe it’s part of the grieving process. But I do know that working alone can be very isolating at times (even though as an introvert it’s also my happy place). Having come this far in my business, I was feeling the need to be a part of a creative community, one I could reach out to for support and guidance.

The course is a rather large financial commitment. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m usually allergic to spending money on things that don’t immediately and directly lead to financial gain (i.e. the booth fee for a show that I know will pay off). It’s how I’ve kept my business afloat thus far and made slow, incremental progress towards building my creative career. But something kind of poetic happened that made me think that this is the perfect time to invest in myself…

With my Dad’s passing, we had to go through some financial stuff and one of those things was an investment account that Dad helped set up for me as a kid. I was quite the little saver when I was young. Every bit of allowance and birthday money that came my way went into my savings. I used to keep it all in an empty plastic pretzel container with a hole cut in the top and remember being so darn proud of myself every time I added to the jar. This money was for the future, this would make all my dreams come true some day! As the plastic pretzel container became less empty, my Dad helped me open a low risk investment account which he affectionately named “the horse account.” My ultimate dream after all, at age ten, was to save up enough money to buy a horse.

Fast forward twenty-ish years and my dreams have changed quite a bit. I decided to close out the horse account and move my childhood savings over to my adult savings account. And then the idea occurred to me. What if I used the money I had diligently saved for my dreams when I was little to actually invest in them today? It would be like my little-self giving my big-self the permission to go for it, to take a chance. After thinking it over for a week, I decided to dive in and become a student again…

I clicked the enroll button this morning and purchased Making Art Work. Ahh!

I’m ready to shift mindsets, think outside my own box, and start envisioning a more sustainably creative future. It’s scary but I feel genuinely excited for the first time in a long time. I’m looking forward to soaking up as much information as I can. There’s always room to grow, and right now change feels comforting and encouraging.

This feels good. I can’t wait to meet everyone in the course! And to all my fellow creative small business owners out there looking for support and insight, enrollment in Emily’s class is open until February 25th. I’m excited, and hopeful that this positive energy will spill over and encourage you to do something to shake things up, make a change, and work towards the vision you have of the future you want. Let’s do this!


6 thoughts on “An Exciting Adventure!

  1. Jill

    You write beautifully, Joanna! I’m glad you are working through things and you are right to invest in yourself.
    Love the doggie tablet, thank you so much…

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