3.24.2008

the dailies: marisa from creative thursday.



Yay! Another daily today; this one from the CRAZY talented Marisa Haedike from Creative Thursday. Blogger, artist and illustrator extraordinaire, Marisa has the most creative Thursdays of anyone I've ever met, and you, my lucky readers, get to hear what REALLY happens behind the blog... [thank you, my dear Marisa!!!]
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6:45 ~ wake-up and first things first. Small (2 cats) and LARGE (1 great dane) animals anxiously waiting to be fed! Riley's ready as you can see from the photo. (He also wakes me up at this crazy early hour too. But, I have to say once I'm up and the initial morning crankiness wears off, I love being up early. It's so peaceful and quiet and I seem to get so much more done.



8:15 After my morning shower ~ my new thing. I've found that if I shower every day first thing, like I used to when I worked a 9 - 5 job, I'm also more productive and "ready" for my day, however it evolves. And my other new thing is to journal a bit before I jump into my computer, I mean my day. I'm trying to set the tone, so to speak, for each day so that it stays calm and feels easy and fun... I may have checked email already before this....but like I said this is a new ritual, so it hasn't quite taken hold just yet.



8:30 I start my "fulfillment" process of printing prints, signing them and packaging them up to ship out. I usually try to get everything ready the day before so that I don't put myself under pressure while I scramble to get things out. But today's an exception because I have a few things that must go out, and the spring time weather is so gorgeous that Lulu and I are going to walk to the post office today. Oh, but before I do that, it's time to make the first morning rescue of Garbo from the tree. You see, HER ritual is to go outside after eating and climb up on our neighbor's roof and get stuck, then proceeds to meow from the closest tree until someone comes to get her. Yup, she can get up but she cannot get down.


9:00 Sean is up and it's time for another ritual on most mornings. We have coffee together. He sits across from me in my cozy sun room studio and this is how he looks when I chatter on about all that's happening. And, this is my all time favorite mug that I like to drink my coffee out of. It's made by one of my all time favorite artists and friends Outi.


11:00 I finish fulfillment and Lulu and I are ready to head to the post office, where I use one of the best inventions ever~ the do-it yourself postage machine. I highly recommend it versus standing in line...which has sometimes taken me as long as 45 minutes, just the waiting part...which speaking of waiting my fearless Lulu waits patiently outside while I do my shipping.


12:00 After a pleasant walk back, and a little snack for lunch, it's time to actually be CREATIVE on THURSDAY. It's a must! So, I sit down to start my daily painting while listening to one of my favorite inspiring online radio shows, "You can have what you want" with Michael Neill as the host. You can find it over at hayhouseradio.com. I love to listen to podcasts and music when I paint and some days I treasure complete silence when I can only hear the bird's sing. Today's painting is called "oscar among dandelions".


2:30 I send out my painting via email, blog post about it, check email and do a little web surfing, and photograph one of my first LARGE size paintings of my characters, "sock monkeys", to post for sale on my website. And then it's time for my official "lunch break" ~ today I'm taking an afternoon nap. Oh the luxury of taking a nap in the afternoon! All of my life 2-4 pm has been my "tired" part of the day. Now I can actually give into it instead of falling asleep in my English class...



4:30 The second installment of "rescue Garbo from the tree".


5:00 My turn to make dinner. I love to cook actually ~ dishes, not so much. Tonight we're having sauteed scallops and spinach, set against the backdrop of my bright yellow tea kettle by OXO, that I LOVE. After dinner I head off to my weekly yoga class with my wonderful teacher, Leslie. I've been practicing yoga, Iyengar yoga to be exact, for 8 years now. The longest I've ever stuck to one exercise regimen. Speaking of peace and balance (the present theme to my days, if you hadn't already noticed), yoga is one of my highlights of the week. I always feel so good after class. As I drive I notice that it looks like one of those gorgeous full moons is appearing.



10:00 I return home soft and happy from yoga class and close out the night with some laughter while watching the Daily Show and Colbert Report with Seanie. Then it's time for bed. And another good Creative Thursday it was! The BEST!
(Thank you Erin for inviting me to share my day with you and your readers!)

44 comments:

Krissy said...

love the daily paintings! thanks for introducing me to her blog. just lovely...

Diana said...

Great dailies! Many of the people featured on the dailies work from home doing their own art/design. How do they afford to do this? Did they have real jobs before and save up? Just curious...because I would like to pursue a similar life!

design for mankind. said...

Good question, Diana! Anyone? Anyone? Buehller?

lizzyl said...

i love this feature, by the way...this day sounds so lovely...a nap in the afternoon--creativity, time with pets and family, time outside, and yoga before bed! perfect! i love marisa's work too!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Diana - how do they do it??? I would love to hear from people with this life. Maybe some self-employed work-from-home artists would be willing to write in with how they made the transition from "the daily grind" to their own artistic business?

P.S. Thanks Marisa for the daily!!

- Angela

design for mankind. said...

Anonymous and Diana--- I've commissioned a few of my favorite Daily Gals to try to answer your questions, so do check back!!! I'm with you--- how DO they do it?! :)

Kelly Lynn Jones said...

so erin asked me to talk about how i support myself! well i have had little paper planes for 3 years now and just recently have been able to live off it. in those past 3 years i have also waitressed and 3 days went to 2 days and then to 1 day a week which i still do one day a week but will be quitting in 2 months when i move to SF for grad school. i also am really good at my monthly budget and i just know that each month my money varies and to be prepared for slow months so i do save money as well. i also do commissioned type work, gallery shows etc to supplement my income. I am not going to lie, it gets scary sometimes wondering how the money is going to come in but i think things have their ways of working out...anyways i think its completely possible to support yourself as an artist, you just have to have your hands in a bunch of pots so the money comes in from a variety of sources....and budget budget! i dont eat out a lot or spend that much money on stuff..anyhow i am just try to figure it out on a daily basis..if anyone ever wants to ask me any questions, feel free to email me!! i hope that helps a little...xo

design for mankind. said...

Kelly--- This is GREAT advice. Thank you SO SO much for educating us all on the HARD, HARD WORK that goes into the seemingly 'good life.'

mav said...

hi there.
just adding a quick note as erin asked me if i'd like to comment.

port2port press is definitely my "real job" (this includes the various projects i do, not just the letterpress printed cards). up until about 2 years ago i worked freelance (with at least the first 7 years of my career "in house" at various jobs) and i still have a few clients from those years. i piece together my monthly income and it's always hard to know how it will all fall into place. i guess i work hard to make it work because i love what i'm doing and how i'm doing it. financially i keep things in my life very simple ... but i do love to eat out ... and i'm willing to take on a few extra projects each month to allow for those meals and glasses of red wine! :)

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

How do I do it? And how did I do it? Oh, there's so much to say on this subject that I almost don't even know where to begin. I've decided to dedicate the next podcast to this very subject. But in the meantime, here's the quick and dirty of my 8 years of being "self-employed".

After a degree in advertising, I worked as a graphic designer, an interior designer in Florida and launched a design related internet company in Colorado and also pursued acting here in Los Angeles. The acting, specifically studying Improv, finally opened me up to my creative self and I began to trust that this was the path I was supposed to be on.

Now, how did I support myself. Once I left my regular day job (8 years ago) I took out an equity loan on my home to fund my internet venture. Then I was married and my husband supported me in my ventures for 2 more years. Then I got divorced, sold my house and lived off of the proceeds for 2 years. Then as my money slowly ran out, I began to panic, actually I had a quiet anxiety the majority of the time because all of my attempts to make money seemed to hit dead ends. I started to waiver, wondering if I really was doing the "right thing". I began applying for jobs but found I was too entrepreneurial for most employers to hire me, and I couldn't imagine squeezing myself back into that box again either. I had come so far, I couldn't go back now. So then I bit the bullet, committed totally to my dream and went into debt, taking small freelance jobs, booking some acting jobs on the side, and even working as a production assistant several times to make ends meet. My art did begin selling during that time and little by little ...somehow, I'm still not exactly sure why it all came together when it did, but it did, just in the nick of time. I had decided that I believed so much in what I was doing that I was willing to keep going no matter what. Also, I think as an artist that simply the more people who know about your work, the more likely you will sell it and the more likely you will begin to sell more and more of it. Here's where the beauty and brilliance of selling on the internet comes in! A whole other topic of conversation.

Now, I've consistently made a living exclusively from my art in the last year. I too, keep a pretty tight budget, save a bit for some peace of mind, and am finally starting to pay down my debt. I held my breath every month and took it one day at time. I still hold my breath sometimes, but relax much more than my former, often, sleepless nights of anxiety, but I still always take it one day at a time. I trust that my business has finally gained a momentum of its own and will keep going and growing.

And I also agree with Kelly Lynn Jones ~ I heard this once from another entrepreneur, a clothing designer ~ she said, "to sleep at night as an entrepreneur you have to have your eggs in a lot of baskets, multiple streams of income." And she's right. I've done that and it helps. I license my work. I sell from my own website. I sell on Etsy and I sell at brick and mortar shops, and other online shops. Everything works together to keep the whole going.
Hope this helps. I'm happy to share and will share more on this subject for sure, as I still remember how desperately I wanted to know the answer to this question from all the artists and their lives that looked "so good on paper" and now on blogs :) There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful to live the life I once dreamed of having.

design for mankind. said...

Amen, sister! :)

Kelly Lynn Jones said...

I forgot to mention, that having a support system is important...meaning your friends that are artists...It is so nice to have other people in the same boat that you are so you can share, bitch and enjoy the hustle of being an artist. Your friends are not only your support system but they are your community which what do you do in a community? You help each other out!! I know I try to help other artists out all the time. If I have a contact for illustration work , gallery contacts, magazine contacts, store contacts, etc., I am always glad to refer other people! Friends help friends. In the end of the day, work hard and it will eventually pay off. I would like to think it does and a positive attitude helps too! (though trust me, I have some days where I feel hopeless and broke...but then the next day something will pop up and its all better)

Anonymous said...

Kelly Lynn, Mav and Marisa - thank you so much for your responses! I find this really interesting and your advice very helpful. Multiple income streams, networking, budgeting, faith and hard work seem to be the key ingredients.
Thanks again ladies and Marisa I will look for your upcoming podcast on your site :)

- Angela

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

Yup, I agree with Kelly Lynn again. I too forgot to mention how vital support is. None of us do this alone. I wouldn't have made it without the support of my loved ones. You have to have the support of people, especially other creatives, who you trust to confide your successes and your fears to, who will be there to reassure you that everything will come together and work out beautifully. Every time I worry, my friends are there for me and Sean especially, reminds me of the last time I worried and how it did work out just fine ~and then he tells me that it will be just fine this time too! Sometimes all you need is a little reassurance to take a deep breath and keep on keeping on!

design for mankind. said...

Awww, I just love you gals! Thanks for lifting each other up; it makes me oh so proud to be involved in such a supportive community.

Love to you all! :)

kelly said...

thank you so much for this subject. i can't tell you how
kind miss marisa has been to me. she is a true creative spirit. always giving. i really REALLY needed to read this today. i am a freelance graphic designer and while that pays the bills [a few]
i have a husband who has to take up a lot of slack for my desire to work at home to pursue my art and be here for my kids. this past week was a bit of a hairied slump and this re-lit the fire.

to each of you. go live the life you know you are meant to live. c'mon you know you want to!

peace.

Diana @ PleaseSir said...

WOW - I'm amazed at how much feedback this question got. Thank you for every one's kind advice and input. I'm also glad this topic has transcended into new avenues and hopes for others - looking forward to the podcast. We all need a little motivation, and hearing success stories helps to keep our spirits high. Thanks again!

alyson said...

Kelly nailed it when saying budget! I am still not self supporting but I think I am getting closer. Hopefully. I have a great month and then a really slow month. It is really scary, but also self rewarding. I nanny 3 times a week to pay the grueling student loan, car insurance,gas and health insurance. Then with what I make from selling my art or from my small clothing line, I save 50 percent of it right off the bat. Then I reinvest the other half back into my work. More so into the clothes since that involves the most over head. It takes a lot of hard work, sometime tears and a lot of support. I have a superb fiance who pays the mortgage and in return I do a lot of the cooking so that is a huge relief! And yes, friends and fellow designers is a huge backbone. Don't be afraid to ask someone who is doing something similar to you for help. Most likely they will give you something to work with.
It's beyond a full time job working for yourself.
I think that you can be self supporting with it, but you have to allow it to take time and go with the flow. Fingers and toes crossed.
Many thanks to Kelly for having the Lovely Little Paper Planes and Erin for her lovely blog.

design for mankind. said...

Thank you, dear Alyson--- you are a wise, wise gal! :)

JLC Studio said...

Wow!! Thank you gals so much for your advice and sharing how hard it is to do the artist thing full-time...I'm really not there and never thought I would want to be there, but my thoughts have been changing over the past few months and I can totally see myself going out on my own sometime in the future (probably not for quite a while though). I love that you are all so open and honest about how hard, yet rewarding it all is! Kudos to you and keep up the good work!!

*~Niki~* said...

I really enjoyed reading about your day Marisa, thank you for sharing. Thank you also to all especially Marisa for sharing HOW with us, it really means a lot. I am working my way to earning a full time income from my art and this helps me to keep going. Can't wait for the podcast Marisa!

cindy k said...

the daily and the postings about making a living from your art are so great today. thanks for your generosity of time and experience.

i had my own stationery business for a couple of years and it was hard work, but different than working for someone else. i think is was because i made the decisions about how i spent my day. i jumped out of bed early rather than crawled out kind of late.

i lost my mojo after a personal loss, but i'm getting back to it again thanks to blogs like this one.

best ... cindy

ps marisa's day did seem busy, but peaceful at the same time. i love the antics by her cat.

j said...

what a fantastic post and amazing comments.

thanks to Erin for putting Diana's question out there, and to Marisa, Kelly Lynn Jones, Mav, and Alyson for their thoughtful and helpful answers.

I'll look forward to that podcast, too. and I'm happy to have Diana's blog, Please Sir

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

Oh and one more thought...now you can see why I want to do a podcast on this one :)
I want to be really clear about the idea of "struggle". I don't advocate it at all, nor do I think it is necessary to pursue a career that you love, or one in the arts for that matter. I know a lot of people like to convince of you that, just ignore them. (They probably haven't followed their dream) I would say that challenge is certainly a part of every day life whether you work for yourself or someone else or neither. In the end it all cames down to how much graciousness you can manage through the ups and downs, how much joy you can find through it all ~ to me you've made it when you decide to have more happy days than not regardless of your career choice. Let me just say I still had anxiety working for others. I never felt secure financially with a job (I've since learned that this is a "state of mind") I cried a lot because I hated my work sometimes and because I worked for some people with no integrity or honesty who did not recognize my potential or honor me as an employee. I would say those days felt like more of a "struggle" than these days, even with the heightened feeling of "uncertainty" which also is simply a part of life. All entrepreneurs go through this, and all entrepreneurs have to find security within themselves eventually as well as make peace with uncertainty.

With all of that said, you do have to be willing do the work. My days are super busy and the list never really gets done, but the motivation to do the work never goes away either. The love I have for my present work pales in comparison to even the strongest sense of fulfillment I ever had working for someone else. This is SO WORTH it!!! Every bit of it. The fulfillment, the sense of peace you have from following your dream. There's nothing like it.
I'm so glad my rambling on about this subject is making a difference for some of you! Thank you for your kind notes. YOU can do it :)

cindy k said...

i agree with you marisa when it comes to the struggle and have experienced the same situations working for some of my employers.

something that i think you lose when you work for yourself is the ability to be the "victim" or to blame someone else for your tough times. when you're the business owner it's all on you and that may be the issue that keeps people from doing it. you're ultimately responsible and should be realistic about it from the outset. it's hard, but the upside is so great as we see from all of you who have been successful.

Emma said...

A big, big thank you for everyones advice. I'm hoping to leave my job in June to be an artist.......arghhhhhh! Which as you can tell is VERY scary for me! And advice like this has been priceless especially in those moments when you feel like chickening out.
Can't wait for your podcast Marisa!

Vega's said...

I think what is most interesting about the dailies series is how much perspective I get on my own life choices. When I was young for me it was a given that I would go to college and get a "job" work and then retire. Now that I am here I miss all the freedom of my days and the ablity to use my brain. These posts and the people that share show really that there is a different ways to live that is simple and honest. I am struck by Ashely G and Marissa that they value THEIR time and make the most of their days in the best way that they see possible. For those of us asking the question how could we could do the same……the posts bring of sense of realism that we might find to hard to believe in but in reality works.

Krissy said...

The response from this is amazing! Thanks to everyone for all their advice on taking the big jump. So glad I checked back in- and Erin, you have such an awesome group who reads your blog!

design for mankind. said...

Ditto to just about everything Marisa added--- I'm so grateful to be part of this loving community. Wait, have I said that enough? :)

THANK YOU, ladies. And please keep the comments going if you have more questions--- I'll be turning this comment section into a post soon for easier access/archiving.

LOVE TO YOU ALL. You are so, so inspiring to me.

cindy k said...

and, thanks to diana for asking the questions that got this party started!

Browningtonforest said...

Wow, so much great and inspiring input about being and becoming and artist..I think some people just don't belong in an "office" or 9-5.
It's like a calling you just have to follow..I am glad so many artists work hard at fulfilling this destiny...The world needs artists and poets..
and those artists and poets need to live a different kind of life to be able to notice the little things.
Thanks Marissa for sharing, I can't to hear the next podcast :)
I loved hearing everyone's point of view, thanks for sharing:)

decor8 said...

Here are my .02

I worked in corporate for nearly 10 years and planned my escape around year 8. I knew I wanted to write for a living - either chick lit books or for magazines about design (or both). I also knew that I wanted to be an interior decorator but had no formal training as I did not attend art school (at that point).

What did I do to get 'there', or shall I say 'here' as a self-supporting writer/decorator?

When I was in my 8th year, I knew corporate wasn't the world for me. I climbed the ladder and realized that I did not like how much back stabbing went on and how many people's faces you were asked to step on as you make that climb. I'm not a person who likes to hurt others or to steal their ideas or to copy their work. Corporate was all about that and so I knew I had to escape. Not all 'real jobs' are like that, but that way my experience. So while I worked full-time, I started taking night and weekend classes at a nearby art school and jumped into their interior design certificate program. I remember how hard it was to balance work with school and my marriage but my supportive husband stood solidly by my side as he was the one who encouraged me to leave my job. I started reading all the trade publications I could, I attended writing workshops, I took on an artist friend to help her promote her work so I managed all of her communications, I started reading Apartment Therapy, I purchased 20+ magazines a month to get totally into the design world, I mean when I want something I usually go for it with all 100% that I have. And trust me, after working in an office for so long, I knew that to have the life I truly wanted I would need to kick my self in the butt pretty hard and do it all on my own. Back then, few design blogs existed so I didn't have resources online to help me and all of my friends at work thought I was nuts. Despite that, I kept working on my design studies, then I started taking on design clients (I took an ad out on craigslist), and from there, my confidence grew.

In the 9th year of my employment, I resigned shortly after I crossed over year 9, so I worked in corporate exactly 9 years and 8 months. It was HARD to walk away from those benefits, 401K in which I was 100% vested, and all the perks of working for the company I worked for. My cell phone was discounted 20%, gym was 50%, etc. just from flashing my work card. I also had a very hard time leaving my friends behind because I had a ton of close friends at work.

My husband cared for us financially as I got started, the first year I made very little income but now that I'm writing full time, I earn more money than I ever did in a year at my 'real' job. I couldn't believe it when I filed my taxed for '07. When I left my job, I gave myself one year to build everything up and if I couldn't do it, I knew I would have to go back. I'm not a "going back" kind of girl, I don't believe in that.

Another thing I want to mention is that my heart knew what I wanted to do and that I followed it 100%. That's important because if you KNOW what you want when you do jump out of your job you will go for it with a passion you yourself never realized would translate into such progress. Trust me. Plus I paid off 100% of my debt so that when I started decor8 I was 100% debt free and today, I still am.

Sorry for rambling Erin. I think Marisa should do a podcast on the financial thing and I'll write on decor8 on the topic of "finding your voice" because I think that is really the first step needed to find success in what you do.

Lovely post Marisa and Erin!!!

xo
Holly

*~Niki~* said...

Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story Holly!

amy said...

what a great day this is! it is as if everyone heard me questioning everything i am doing, and here you all are, answering and filling me up with the fire i needed. i can do this. we can do this! thank you for sharing!

Amy said...

Thank you so much for this discussion, and for all the wonderful advice from everyone. I quit my job early this month and am now serving out my notice (2 months!). I have to admit, there were days when the highs are high, but when it rains, it pours. The financial bit worries me, but I plan to get through it by freelancing, but being someone who is safe, I worry.

Yesterday, the whole day I was thinking about finding another full time job to sustain myself. I was thinking to myself that I need the money to fix up the new house before moving in (I made my mind to resign before I bought a house with my fiance, and still went on to resign even after I knew about my added liability). I was feeling a little lost, and scared at the same time. I never did slack off, even after uni. And when I couldn't find a job 4 years ago, I was devastated and was a little depressed even.

But now, NOW, I am actually throwing caution to the wind and am actually choosing to not find another job. The idea is so alien to me sometimes that I find it hard to describe. I guess this is what society does to you sometimes -- they condition you that you are only worth something when you're on someone else's payroll.

So I went home and brought this up with my fiance. I had tears in my eyes when I told him how scared I was, and that I worried that I could not pay for the new house, the renovations, etc, stuff like that, and that I will look for another job.

He looked at me and held me hand, and told me that we will go slow with and that I don't have to worry about financial matters. He said that he will take care of it, and that I should only worry if he decides to quit his job to do the same thing.

He brought out one of the toys I made 3 years ago, and asked me what it was that I worked so hard for all these years. He said he believes in my vision, and my passion. And he said that he knows I will be able to shine because now I will be able to focus on one thing and to push with everything I have (I sleep at almost 2 am every night, replying emails, research and writing).

I know remember what I'm doing this for, and that the rewards at the end may be even more wonderful than I could ever imagine -- even if it's not monetary. Right now I'm taking it one step at a time (like a recovering alcoholic) to break away. I take things to heart, which i must learn not to, especially when you're going to venture into a new unknown territory and everyone else wants you to turn back to where it's safe and normal.

Alpha Shanahan said...

I am so glad i visited decor8 tonight. That's how i ended up here. I have been a silent fan of Creative Thursday blog and it's wonderful that you, Marissa, share how your day goes by. As an artist myself, my day is quite topsy-turvy. I have layed aside my art for some years when i twin boys were born. It is only last year when i have reall given it much time and attention again. And this year, i have hopes and plans of getting the word out and sell, too. I wish to remain a stay-at-home mom and having a home studio is perfect for me. I just have to organize my day a bit so i could be more productive and reach my goal.

Your paintings are lovely! I love the simplicity and freshness of each design. AND i love the life-filled colors of your home and studio!!!

all the best... alpha

Kelly C. said...

i always love reading "the dailies," but this one REALLY got me since Marisa's blog was the first I ever read. She is such an inspiring soul, and I'm so glad to see her featured here, Erin!!
*
kel

mizu designs said...

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your experiences on how you worked through the rough patches in the beginning of your new lives. I feel very inspired and much better after reading your stories. I went part-time at my 'day job' 2 months ago to give me more time for creative work (printmaking specifically) and I can't tell you how many times I've wondered if I should go back to 5 days. It's funny how the panic can set in. I just heard Marissa's podcast on her blog about 'trusting in the process' and can really recommend it if you're feeling a wee bit worried about your choices or decisions. Thanks again to everyone for being so real.

Cathy Nichols Art said...

I just want to add that Marisa is one of the most inspiring people I know... thank you for sharing your story of making it work financially as well as the highlights of your Creative Thursday!! What a beautiful and balanced life!

By the way, I would love to see a 'daily' for an artist mom!

mia@oblik-atelier.com said...

I've been slowly entering the world of blogs as I call it and what I find is that you ladies have created a super tight support network for each other and it's almost a self-sustaining business of its own. You all feed into it and you all gain out of it.
I am so appreciative of these honest answers because I ask these questions all the time.
The mind is a very powerful thing and "retraining" it is what it takes to allow yourself to fully embrace what your life is always meant to be.
Thank you so much for this! I will take these thoughts into my studio time today!
Mia

trudette, said...

Hi all, I love reading about other artists lives, you are a great inspiration to me. I live near Maastricht in the Netherlands, and I love internet it makes the world of artist so very small.

Happy creating all of you !
love,
trudette

laissezfaire said...

had so much fun reading this. Thanks for keeping everything so real and inspiring!

Alyice said...

How does one go from full-time employee to home business owner? How does one go from full-time mom to owning a business? The answer lies within. It's about dreams and passions and belief in one's abilities and definitely a support system. It's hard work, it's often more work than working a traditional 9-5 job. And it's scary--really scary.

I have worked from home for years but always had the luxury of my husband supporting us and my income being pocket change. But that all changed when we moved to Wisconsin for hubby to return to school full time.

My original plan was to get a job--a dreaded job (something creatives aren't always good at). But after taking in the costs of childcare, work related expenses, and increased gas and car insurance it was evident that I would have better luck starting a new business. I couldn't do what I did in California because I needed to be a resident of the state for one year before pursuing a notary license. So I got creative.

I did basic web design, I wrote for small businesses, I expanded my website into an online magazine, and I pushed my e-books.

I started with meeting people on forums, offering to do some free work in exchange for them plugging me to friends and family and business relations. Then I sent out press releases. And finally, I began marketing every aspect of my business using article marketing.

We lived on savings and selling off used items in the beginning. Time were tough but thanks to the $700 hubby got every month from the VA we at least had rent covered.

I was working 12 hour days. I lived on the computer. Working, marketing, advertising. I used every free resource at my disposal because I didn't have the extra cash flow for paid advertising.

But even though I was working those hours, they weren't all at once. I had time to spend with the kids and hubby. We took breaks and play dates--something I couldn't do with a 9-5. I worked late into the night most nights just to have that free time with the family but it was so worth it.

Eventually things started picking up but I had gotten into such a habit of working that I literally didn't know how to stop. That's a trap you have to worry about when working from home--knowing when to walk away for the day.

Today, things work at a much slower pace. I actually only work about 5 to 8 hours a day.

Hubby graduated after three years and we relocated wherever the jobs took us. Luckily, my business travels well and I've been able to keep the momentum.

Today, I can honestly say that I can never see myself working another "job" again--though sometimes it's tempting because I tired of all the marketing.

Today, I can say that my writing business is successful and in time, I hope to say the same with my art business.

The thing with art, it seems, is that it is all subjective to one's personal tastes and interests. So it's vitally important that you market your art and creative talents to the right audience. Not doing so can set you up for complete failure. Doing so can slowly lead to success--whatever success means to you.

And here's something very important that I learned and have to constantly keep reminding myself of: SUCCESS IS NOT WHAT OTHERS BELIEVE SUCCESS IS...SUCCESS IS WHAT YOU BELIEVE SUCCESS IS.

If you feel successful making a profit of $250 a month. Then you are successful. It doesn't matter that your colleague or mentor is making $5,000 a month.

If you feel successful knowing that you have sold 10 items this month, then you are successful. It doesn't matter that your competition is selling 1,000 items a month.

If you feel successful knowing that you have done your best and still have time at the end of the day to spend with your family and are making a small profit...then you are successful.

It's easy to hear about all the successes other creatives have had and think of yourself as a failure but you've got to put things into perspective. Their goals and dreams are not your goals and dreams. You can be inspired by them, you can learn from them, but you should never allow their successes to make you feel less than you are.

Alyice.
www.thedabblingmum.com
Free online magazine and e-books.

design for mankind. said...

Amen, Alyce!!! :)

welcome.

because beauty lies in the details of design. in the pencil shavings, in the blueberry waffles. the vintage dress, framed portrait, old postcard.

design is inevitable. celebrated. design for mankind.

3.24.2008

the dailies: marisa from creative thursday.



Yay! Another daily today; this one from the CRAZY talented Marisa Haedike from Creative Thursday. Blogger, artist and illustrator extraordinaire, Marisa has the most creative Thursdays of anyone I've ever met, and you, my lucky readers, get to hear what REALLY happens behind the blog... [thank you, my dear Marisa!!!]
---

6:45 ~ wake-up and first things first. Small (2 cats) and LARGE (1 great dane) animals anxiously waiting to be fed! Riley's ready as you can see from the photo. (He also wakes me up at this crazy early hour too. But, I have to say once I'm up and the initial morning crankiness wears off, I love being up early. It's so peaceful and quiet and I seem to get so much more done.



8:15 After my morning shower ~ my new thing. I've found that if I shower every day first thing, like I used to when I worked a 9 - 5 job, I'm also more productive and "ready" for my day, however it evolves. And my other new thing is to journal a bit before I jump into my computer, I mean my day. I'm trying to set the tone, so to speak, for each day so that it stays calm and feels easy and fun... I may have checked email already before this....but like I said this is a new ritual, so it hasn't quite taken hold just yet.



8:30 I start my "fulfillment" process of printing prints, signing them and packaging them up to ship out. I usually try to get everything ready the day before so that I don't put myself under pressure while I scramble to get things out. But today's an exception because I have a few things that must go out, and the spring time weather is so gorgeous that Lulu and I are going to walk to the post office today. Oh, but before I do that, it's time to make the first morning rescue of Garbo from the tree. You see, HER ritual is to go outside after eating and climb up on our neighbor's roof and get stuck, then proceeds to meow from the closest tree until someone comes to get her. Yup, she can get up but she cannot get down.


9:00 Sean is up and it's time for another ritual on most mornings. We have coffee together. He sits across from me in my cozy sun room studio and this is how he looks when I chatter on about all that's happening. And, this is my all time favorite mug that I like to drink my coffee out of. It's made by one of my all time favorite artists and friends Outi.


11:00 I finish fulfillment and Lulu and I are ready to head to the post office, where I use one of the best inventions ever~ the do-it yourself postage machine. I highly recommend it versus standing in line...which has sometimes taken me as long as 45 minutes, just the waiting part...which speaking of waiting my fearless Lulu waits patiently outside while I do my shipping.


12:00 After a pleasant walk back, and a little snack for lunch, it's time to actually be CREATIVE on THURSDAY. It's a must! So, I sit down to start my daily painting while listening to one of my favorite inspiring online radio shows, "You can have what you want" with Michael Neill as the host. You can find it over at hayhouseradio.com. I love to listen to podcasts and music when I paint and some days I treasure complete silence when I can only hear the bird's sing. Today's painting is called "oscar among dandelions".


2:30 I send out my painting via email, blog post about it, check email and do a little web surfing, and photograph one of my first LARGE size paintings of my characters, "sock monkeys", to post for sale on my website. And then it's time for my official "lunch break" ~ today I'm taking an afternoon nap. Oh the luxury of taking a nap in the afternoon! All of my life 2-4 pm has been my "tired" part of the day. Now I can actually give into it instead of falling asleep in my English class...



4:30 The second installment of "rescue Garbo from the tree".


5:00 My turn to make dinner. I love to cook actually ~ dishes, not so much. Tonight we're having sauteed scallops and spinach, set against the backdrop of my bright yellow tea kettle by OXO, that I LOVE. After dinner I head off to my weekly yoga class with my wonderful teacher, Leslie. I've been practicing yoga, Iyengar yoga to be exact, for 8 years now. The longest I've ever stuck to one exercise regimen. Speaking of peace and balance (the present theme to my days, if you hadn't already noticed), yoga is one of my highlights of the week. I always feel so good after class. As I drive I notice that it looks like one of those gorgeous full moons is appearing.



10:00 I return home soft and happy from yoga class and close out the night with some laughter while watching the Daily Show and Colbert Report with Seanie. Then it's time for bed. And another good Creative Thursday it was! The BEST!
(Thank you Erin for inviting me to share my day with you and your readers!)

44 comments:

Krissy said...

love the daily paintings! thanks for introducing me to her blog. just lovely...

Diana said...

Great dailies! Many of the people featured on the dailies work from home doing their own art/design. How do they afford to do this? Did they have real jobs before and save up? Just curious...because I would like to pursue a similar life!

design for mankind. said...

Good question, Diana! Anyone? Anyone? Buehller?

lizzyl said...

i love this feature, by the way...this day sounds so lovely...a nap in the afternoon--creativity, time with pets and family, time outside, and yoga before bed! perfect! i love marisa's work too!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Diana - how do they do it??? I would love to hear from people with this life. Maybe some self-employed work-from-home artists would be willing to write in with how they made the transition from "the daily grind" to their own artistic business?

P.S. Thanks Marisa for the daily!!

- Angela

design for mankind. said...

Anonymous and Diana--- I've commissioned a few of my favorite Daily Gals to try to answer your questions, so do check back!!! I'm with you--- how DO they do it?! :)

Kelly Lynn Jones said...

so erin asked me to talk about how i support myself! well i have had little paper planes for 3 years now and just recently have been able to live off it. in those past 3 years i have also waitressed and 3 days went to 2 days and then to 1 day a week which i still do one day a week but will be quitting in 2 months when i move to SF for grad school. i also am really good at my monthly budget and i just know that each month my money varies and to be prepared for slow months so i do save money as well. i also do commissioned type work, gallery shows etc to supplement my income. I am not going to lie, it gets scary sometimes wondering how the money is going to come in but i think things have their ways of working out...anyways i think its completely possible to support yourself as an artist, you just have to have your hands in a bunch of pots so the money comes in from a variety of sources....and budget budget! i dont eat out a lot or spend that much money on stuff..anyhow i am just try to figure it out on a daily basis..if anyone ever wants to ask me any questions, feel free to email me!! i hope that helps a little...xo

design for mankind. said...

Kelly--- This is GREAT advice. Thank you SO SO much for educating us all on the HARD, HARD WORK that goes into the seemingly 'good life.'

mav said...

hi there.
just adding a quick note as erin asked me if i'd like to comment.

port2port press is definitely my "real job" (this includes the various projects i do, not just the letterpress printed cards). up until about 2 years ago i worked freelance (with at least the first 7 years of my career "in house" at various jobs) and i still have a few clients from those years. i piece together my monthly income and it's always hard to know how it will all fall into place. i guess i work hard to make it work because i love what i'm doing and how i'm doing it. financially i keep things in my life very simple ... but i do love to eat out ... and i'm willing to take on a few extra projects each month to allow for those meals and glasses of red wine! :)

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

How do I do it? And how did I do it? Oh, there's so much to say on this subject that I almost don't even know where to begin. I've decided to dedicate the next podcast to this very subject. But in the meantime, here's the quick and dirty of my 8 years of being "self-employed".

After a degree in advertising, I worked as a graphic designer, an interior designer in Florida and launched a design related internet company in Colorado and also pursued acting here in Los Angeles. The acting, specifically studying Improv, finally opened me up to my creative self and I began to trust that this was the path I was supposed to be on.

Now, how did I support myself. Once I left my regular day job (8 years ago) I took out an equity loan on my home to fund my internet venture. Then I was married and my husband supported me in my ventures for 2 more years. Then I got divorced, sold my house and lived off of the proceeds for 2 years. Then as my money slowly ran out, I began to panic, actually I had a quiet anxiety the majority of the time because all of my attempts to make money seemed to hit dead ends. I started to waiver, wondering if I really was doing the "right thing". I began applying for jobs but found I was too entrepreneurial for most employers to hire me, and I couldn't imagine squeezing myself back into that box again either. I had come so far, I couldn't go back now. So then I bit the bullet, committed totally to my dream and went into debt, taking small freelance jobs, booking some acting jobs on the side, and even working as a production assistant several times to make ends meet. My art did begin selling during that time and little by little ...somehow, I'm still not exactly sure why it all came together when it did, but it did, just in the nick of time. I had decided that I believed so much in what I was doing that I was willing to keep going no matter what. Also, I think as an artist that simply the more people who know about your work, the more likely you will sell it and the more likely you will begin to sell more and more of it. Here's where the beauty and brilliance of selling on the internet comes in! A whole other topic of conversation.

Now, I've consistently made a living exclusively from my art in the last year. I too, keep a pretty tight budget, save a bit for some peace of mind, and am finally starting to pay down my debt. I held my breath every month and took it one day at time. I still hold my breath sometimes, but relax much more than my former, often, sleepless nights of anxiety, but I still always take it one day at a time. I trust that my business has finally gained a momentum of its own and will keep going and growing.

And I also agree with Kelly Lynn Jones ~ I heard this once from another entrepreneur, a clothing designer ~ she said, "to sleep at night as an entrepreneur you have to have your eggs in a lot of baskets, multiple streams of income." And she's right. I've done that and it helps. I license my work. I sell from my own website. I sell on Etsy and I sell at brick and mortar shops, and other online shops. Everything works together to keep the whole going.
Hope this helps. I'm happy to share and will share more on this subject for sure, as I still remember how desperately I wanted to know the answer to this question from all the artists and their lives that looked "so good on paper" and now on blogs :) There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful to live the life I once dreamed of having.

design for mankind. said...

Amen, sister! :)

Kelly Lynn Jones said...

I forgot to mention, that having a support system is important...meaning your friends that are artists...It is so nice to have other people in the same boat that you are so you can share, bitch and enjoy the hustle of being an artist. Your friends are not only your support system but they are your community which what do you do in a community? You help each other out!! I know I try to help other artists out all the time. If I have a contact for illustration work , gallery contacts, magazine contacts, store contacts, etc., I am always glad to refer other people! Friends help friends. In the end of the day, work hard and it will eventually pay off. I would like to think it does and a positive attitude helps too! (though trust me, I have some days where I feel hopeless and broke...but then the next day something will pop up and its all better)

Anonymous said...

Kelly Lynn, Mav and Marisa - thank you so much for your responses! I find this really interesting and your advice very helpful. Multiple income streams, networking, budgeting, faith and hard work seem to be the key ingredients.
Thanks again ladies and Marisa I will look for your upcoming podcast on your site :)

- Angela

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

Yup, I agree with Kelly Lynn again. I too forgot to mention how vital support is. None of us do this alone. I wouldn't have made it without the support of my loved ones. You have to have the support of people, especially other creatives, who you trust to confide your successes and your fears to, who will be there to reassure you that everything will come together and work out beautifully. Every time I worry, my friends are there for me and Sean especially, reminds me of the last time I worried and how it did work out just fine ~and then he tells me that it will be just fine this time too! Sometimes all you need is a little reassurance to take a deep breath and keep on keeping on!

design for mankind. said...

Awww, I just love you gals! Thanks for lifting each other up; it makes me oh so proud to be involved in such a supportive community.

Love to you all! :)

kelly said...

thank you so much for this subject. i can't tell you how
kind miss marisa has been to me. she is a true creative spirit. always giving. i really REALLY needed to read this today. i am a freelance graphic designer and while that pays the bills [a few]
i have a husband who has to take up a lot of slack for my desire to work at home to pursue my art and be here for my kids. this past week was a bit of a hairied slump and this re-lit the fire.

to each of you. go live the life you know you are meant to live. c'mon you know you want to!

peace.

Diana @ PleaseSir said...

WOW - I'm amazed at how much feedback this question got. Thank you for every one's kind advice and input. I'm also glad this topic has transcended into new avenues and hopes for others - looking forward to the podcast. We all need a little motivation, and hearing success stories helps to keep our spirits high. Thanks again!

alyson said...

Kelly nailed it when saying budget! I am still not self supporting but I think I am getting closer. Hopefully. I have a great month and then a really slow month. It is really scary, but also self rewarding. I nanny 3 times a week to pay the grueling student loan, car insurance,gas and health insurance. Then with what I make from selling my art or from my small clothing line, I save 50 percent of it right off the bat. Then I reinvest the other half back into my work. More so into the clothes since that involves the most over head. It takes a lot of hard work, sometime tears and a lot of support. I have a superb fiance who pays the mortgage and in return I do a lot of the cooking so that is a huge relief! And yes, friends and fellow designers is a huge backbone. Don't be afraid to ask someone who is doing something similar to you for help. Most likely they will give you something to work with.
It's beyond a full time job working for yourself.
I think that you can be self supporting with it, but you have to allow it to take time and go with the flow. Fingers and toes crossed.
Many thanks to Kelly for having the Lovely Little Paper Planes and Erin for her lovely blog.

design for mankind. said...

Thank you, dear Alyson--- you are a wise, wise gal! :)

JLC Studio said...

Wow!! Thank you gals so much for your advice and sharing how hard it is to do the artist thing full-time...I'm really not there and never thought I would want to be there, but my thoughts have been changing over the past few months and I can totally see myself going out on my own sometime in the future (probably not for quite a while though). I love that you are all so open and honest about how hard, yet rewarding it all is! Kudos to you and keep up the good work!!

*~Niki~* said...

I really enjoyed reading about your day Marisa, thank you for sharing. Thank you also to all especially Marisa for sharing HOW with us, it really means a lot. I am working my way to earning a full time income from my art and this helps me to keep going. Can't wait for the podcast Marisa!

cindy k said...

the daily and the postings about making a living from your art are so great today. thanks for your generosity of time and experience.

i had my own stationery business for a couple of years and it was hard work, but different than working for someone else. i think is was because i made the decisions about how i spent my day. i jumped out of bed early rather than crawled out kind of late.

i lost my mojo after a personal loss, but i'm getting back to it again thanks to blogs like this one.

best ... cindy

ps marisa's day did seem busy, but peaceful at the same time. i love the antics by her cat.

j said...

what a fantastic post and amazing comments.

thanks to Erin for putting Diana's question out there, and to Marisa, Kelly Lynn Jones, Mav, and Alyson for their thoughtful and helpful answers.

I'll look forward to that podcast, too. and I'm happy to have Diana's blog, Please Sir

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

Oh and one more thought...now you can see why I want to do a podcast on this one :)
I want to be really clear about the idea of "struggle". I don't advocate it at all, nor do I think it is necessary to pursue a career that you love, or one in the arts for that matter. I know a lot of people like to convince of you that, just ignore them. (They probably haven't followed their dream) I would say that challenge is certainly a part of every day life whether you work for yourself or someone else or neither. In the end it all cames down to how much graciousness you can manage through the ups and downs, how much joy you can find through it all ~ to me you've made it when you decide to have more happy days than not regardless of your career choice. Let me just say I still had anxiety working for others. I never felt secure financially with a job (I've since learned that this is a "state of mind") I cried a lot because I hated my work sometimes and because I worked for some people with no integrity or honesty who did not recognize my potential or honor me as an employee. I would say those days felt like more of a "struggle" than these days, even with the heightened feeling of "uncertainty" which also is simply a part of life. All entrepreneurs go through this, and all entrepreneurs have to find security within themselves eventually as well as make peace with uncertainty.

With all of that said, you do have to be willing do the work. My days are super busy and the list never really gets done, but the motivation to do the work never goes away either. The love I have for my present work pales in comparison to even the strongest sense of fulfillment I ever had working for someone else. This is SO WORTH it!!! Every bit of it. The fulfillment, the sense of peace you have from following your dream. There's nothing like it.
I'm so glad my rambling on about this subject is making a difference for some of you! Thank you for your kind notes. YOU can do it :)

cindy k said...

i agree with you marisa when it comes to the struggle and have experienced the same situations working for some of my employers.

something that i think you lose when you work for yourself is the ability to be the "victim" or to blame someone else for your tough times. when you're the business owner it's all on you and that may be the issue that keeps people from doing it. you're ultimately responsible and should be realistic about it from the outset. it's hard, but the upside is so great as we see from all of you who have been successful.

Emma said...

A big, big thank you for everyones advice. I'm hoping to leave my job in June to be an artist.......arghhhhhh! Which as you can tell is VERY scary for me! And advice like this has been priceless especially in those moments when you feel like chickening out.
Can't wait for your podcast Marisa!

Vega's said...

I think what is most interesting about the dailies series is how much perspective I get on my own life choices. When I was young for me it was a given that I would go to college and get a "job" work and then retire. Now that I am here I miss all the freedom of my days and the ablity to use my brain. These posts and the people that share show really that there is a different ways to live that is simple and honest. I am struck by Ashely G and Marissa that they value THEIR time and make the most of their days in the best way that they see possible. For those of us asking the question how could we could do the same……the posts bring of sense of realism that we might find to hard to believe in but in reality works.

Krissy said...

The response from this is amazing! Thanks to everyone for all their advice on taking the big jump. So glad I checked back in- and Erin, you have such an awesome group who reads your blog!

design for mankind. said...

Ditto to just about everything Marisa added--- I'm so grateful to be part of this loving community. Wait, have I said that enough? :)

THANK YOU, ladies. And please keep the comments going if you have more questions--- I'll be turning this comment section into a post soon for easier access/archiving.

LOVE TO YOU ALL. You are so, so inspiring to me.

cindy k said...

and, thanks to diana for asking the questions that got this party started!

Browningtonforest said...

Wow, so much great and inspiring input about being and becoming and artist..I think some people just don't belong in an "office" or 9-5.
It's like a calling you just have to follow..I am glad so many artists work hard at fulfilling this destiny...The world needs artists and poets..
and those artists and poets need to live a different kind of life to be able to notice the little things.
Thanks Marissa for sharing, I can't to hear the next podcast :)
I loved hearing everyone's point of view, thanks for sharing:)

decor8 said...

Here are my .02

I worked in corporate for nearly 10 years and planned my escape around year 8. I knew I wanted to write for a living - either chick lit books or for magazines about design (or both). I also knew that I wanted to be an interior decorator but had no formal training as I did not attend art school (at that point).

What did I do to get 'there', or shall I say 'here' as a self-supporting writer/decorator?

When I was in my 8th year, I knew corporate wasn't the world for me. I climbed the ladder and realized that I did not like how much back stabbing went on and how many people's faces you were asked to step on as you make that climb. I'm not a person who likes to hurt others or to steal their ideas or to copy their work. Corporate was all about that and so I knew I had to escape. Not all 'real jobs' are like that, but that way my experience. So while I worked full-time, I started taking night and weekend classes at a nearby art school and jumped into their interior design certificate program. I remember how hard it was to balance work with school and my marriage but my supportive husband stood solidly by my side as he was the one who encouraged me to leave my job. I started reading all the trade publications I could, I attended writing workshops, I took on an artist friend to help her promote her work so I managed all of her communications, I started reading Apartment Therapy, I purchased 20+ magazines a month to get totally into the design world, I mean when I want something I usually go for it with all 100% that I have. And trust me, after working in an office for so long, I knew that to have the life I truly wanted I would need to kick my self in the butt pretty hard and do it all on my own. Back then, few design blogs existed so I didn't have resources online to help me and all of my friends at work thought I was nuts. Despite that, I kept working on my design studies, then I started taking on design clients (I took an ad out on craigslist), and from there, my confidence grew.

In the 9th year of my employment, I resigned shortly after I crossed over year 9, so I worked in corporate exactly 9 years and 8 months. It was HARD to walk away from those benefits, 401K in which I was 100% vested, and all the perks of working for the company I worked for. My cell phone was discounted 20%, gym was 50%, etc. just from flashing my work card. I also had a very hard time leaving my friends behind because I had a ton of close friends at work.

My husband cared for us financially as I got started, the first year I made very little income but now that I'm writing full time, I earn more money than I ever did in a year at my 'real' job. I couldn't believe it when I filed my taxed for '07. When I left my job, I gave myself one year to build everything up and if I couldn't do it, I knew I would have to go back. I'm not a "going back" kind of girl, I don't believe in that.

Another thing I want to mention is that my heart knew what I wanted to do and that I followed it 100%. That's important because if you KNOW what you want when you do jump out of your job you will go for it with a passion you yourself never realized would translate into such progress. Trust me. Plus I paid off 100% of my debt so that when I started decor8 I was 100% debt free and today, I still am.

Sorry for rambling Erin. I think Marisa should do a podcast on the financial thing and I'll write on decor8 on the topic of "finding your voice" because I think that is really the first step needed to find success in what you do.

Lovely post Marisa and Erin!!!

xo
Holly

*~Niki~* said...

Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story Holly!

amy said...

what a great day this is! it is as if everyone heard me questioning everything i am doing, and here you all are, answering and filling me up with the fire i needed. i can do this. we can do this! thank you for sharing!

Amy said...

Thank you so much for this discussion, and for all the wonderful advice from everyone. I quit my job early this month and am now serving out my notice (2 months!). I have to admit, there were days when the highs are high, but when it rains, it pours. The financial bit worries me, but I plan to get through it by freelancing, but being someone who is safe, I worry.

Yesterday, the whole day I was thinking about finding another full time job to sustain myself. I was thinking to myself that I need the money to fix up the new house before moving in (I made my mind to resign before I bought a house with my fiance, and still went on to resign even after I knew about my added liability). I was feeling a little lost, and scared at the same time. I never did slack off, even after uni. And when I couldn't find a job 4 years ago, I was devastated and was a little depressed even.

But now, NOW, I am actually throwing caution to the wind and am actually choosing to not find another job. The idea is so alien to me sometimes that I find it hard to describe. I guess this is what society does to you sometimes -- they condition you that you are only worth something when you're on someone else's payroll.

So I went home and brought this up with my fiance. I had tears in my eyes when I told him how scared I was, and that I worried that I could not pay for the new house, the renovations, etc, stuff like that, and that I will look for another job.

He looked at me and held me hand, and told me that we will go slow with and that I don't have to worry about financial matters. He said that he will take care of it, and that I should only worry if he decides to quit his job to do the same thing.

He brought out one of the toys I made 3 years ago, and asked me what it was that I worked so hard for all these years. He said he believes in my vision, and my passion. And he said that he knows I will be able to shine because now I will be able to focus on one thing and to push with everything I have (I sleep at almost 2 am every night, replying emails, research and writing).

I know remember what I'm doing this for, and that the rewards at the end may be even more wonderful than I could ever imagine -- even if it's not monetary. Right now I'm taking it one step at a time (like a recovering alcoholic) to break away. I take things to heart, which i must learn not to, especially when you're going to venture into a new unknown territory and everyone else wants you to turn back to where it's safe and normal.

Alpha Shanahan said...

I am so glad i visited decor8 tonight. That's how i ended up here. I have been a silent fan of Creative Thursday blog and it's wonderful that you, Marissa, share how your day goes by. As an artist myself, my day is quite topsy-turvy. I have layed aside my art for some years when i twin boys were born. It is only last year when i have reall given it much time and attention again. And this year, i have hopes and plans of getting the word out and sell, too. I wish to remain a stay-at-home mom and having a home studio is perfect for me. I just have to organize my day a bit so i could be more productive and reach my goal.

Your paintings are lovely! I love the simplicity and freshness of each design. AND i love the life-filled colors of your home and studio!!!

all the best... alpha

Kelly C. said...

i always love reading "the dailies," but this one REALLY got me since Marisa's blog was the first I ever read. She is such an inspiring soul, and I'm so glad to see her featured here, Erin!!
*
kel

mizu designs said...

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your experiences on how you worked through the rough patches in the beginning of your new lives. I feel very inspired and much better after reading your stories. I went part-time at my 'day job' 2 months ago to give me more time for creative work (printmaking specifically) and I can't tell you how many times I've wondered if I should go back to 5 days. It's funny how the panic can set in. I just heard Marissa's podcast on her blog about 'trusting in the process' and can really recommend it if you're feeling a wee bit worried about your choices or decisions. Thanks again to everyone for being so real.

Cathy Nichols Art said...

I just want to add that Marisa is one of the most inspiring people I know... thank you for sharing your story of making it work financially as well as the highlights of your Creative Thursday!! What a beautiful and balanced life!

By the way, I would love to see a 'daily' for an artist mom!

mia@oblik-atelier.com said...

I've been slowly entering the world of blogs as I call it and what I find is that you ladies have created a super tight support network for each other and it's almost a self-sustaining business of its own. You all feed into it and you all gain out of it.
I am so appreciative of these honest answers because I ask these questions all the time.
The mind is a very powerful thing and "retraining" it is what it takes to allow yourself to fully embrace what your life is always meant to be.
Thank you so much for this! I will take these thoughts into my studio time today!
Mia

trudette, said...

Hi all, I love reading about other artists lives, you are a great inspiration to me. I live near Maastricht in the Netherlands, and I love internet it makes the world of artist so very small.

Happy creating all of you !
love,
trudette

laissezfaire said...

had so much fun reading this. Thanks for keeping everything so real and inspiring!

Alyice said...

How does one go from full-time employee to home business owner? How does one go from full-time mom to owning a business? The answer lies within. It's about dreams and passions and belief in one's abilities and definitely a support system. It's hard work, it's often more work than working a traditional 9-5 job. And it's scary--really scary.

I have worked from home for years but always had the luxury of my husband supporting us and my income being pocket change. But that all changed when we moved to Wisconsin for hubby to return to school full time.

My original plan was to get a job--a dreaded job (something creatives aren't always good at). But after taking in the costs of childcare, work related expenses, and increased gas and car insurance it was evident that I would have better luck starting a new business. I couldn't do what I did in California because I needed to be a resident of the state for one year before pursuing a notary license. So I got creative.

I did basic web design, I wrote for small businesses, I expanded my website into an online magazine, and I pushed my e-books.

I started with meeting people on forums, offering to do some free work in exchange for them plugging me to friends and family and business relations. Then I sent out press releases. And finally, I began marketing every aspect of my business using article marketing.

We lived on savings and selling off used items in the beginning. Time were tough but thanks to the $700 hubby got every month from the VA we at least had rent covered.

I was working 12 hour days. I lived on the computer. Working, marketing, advertising. I used every free resource at my disposal because I didn't have the extra cash flow for paid advertising.

But even though I was working those hours, they weren't all at once. I had time to spend with the kids and hubby. We took breaks and play dates--something I couldn't do with a 9-5. I worked late into the night most nights just to have that free time with the family but it was so worth it.

Eventually things started picking up but I had gotten into such a habit of working that I literally didn't know how to stop. That's a trap you have to worry about when working from home--knowing when to walk away for the day.

Today, things work at a much slower pace. I actually only work about 5 to 8 hours a day.

Hubby graduated after three years and we relocated wherever the jobs took us. Luckily, my business travels well and I've been able to keep the momentum.

Today, I can honestly say that I can never see myself working another "job" again--though sometimes it's tempting because I tired of all the marketing.

Today, I can say that my writing business is successful and in time, I hope to say the same with my art business.

The thing with art, it seems, is that it is all subjective to one's personal tastes and interests. So it's vitally important that you market your art and creative talents to the right audience. Not doing so can set you up for complete failure. Doing so can slowly lead to success--whatever success means to you.

And here's something very important that I learned and have to constantly keep reminding myself of: SUCCESS IS NOT WHAT OTHERS BELIEVE SUCCESS IS...SUCCESS IS WHAT YOU BELIEVE SUCCESS IS.

If you feel successful making a profit of $250 a month. Then you are successful. It doesn't matter that your colleague or mentor is making $5,000 a month.

If you feel successful knowing that you have sold 10 items this month, then you are successful. It doesn't matter that your competition is selling 1,000 items a month.

If you feel successful knowing that you have done your best and still have time at the end of the day to spend with your family and are making a small profit...then you are successful.

It's easy to hear about all the successes other creatives have had and think of yourself as a failure but you've got to put things into perspective. Their goals and dreams are not your goals and dreams. You can be inspired by them, you can learn from them, but you should never allow their successes to make you feel less than you are.

Alyice.
www.thedabblingmum.com
Free online magazine and e-books.

design for mankind. said...

Amen, Alyce!!! :)