Last night I watched this TED talk (it's about 12 mins. long and totally worth your time!), and hearing Amanda speak made something finally click for me. She talked about the importance of more intimate and micro connections - about the exponential force of looking someone in the eye, and saying "I see you."
It is so true. It's something I have experienced over and over again first hand. Once you reach out and make that one-on-one connection, and it doesn't even need to be in person it could easily be a connection made virtually, people are so much more inclined to look back your way and see you and want to support you in return.
I think this is where I have felt a lot of the hesitation lately - that it's not so much about whether or not I want to monetize myself as an artist, but rather how much of that intimacy in my creative work I am willing to exchange in order to cast a wider net to make the wheels of a business run. It's about the energetic resonance of relationships, the one with the people in my community as well as the one with my own art, work and purpose.
One thing that I do well is make these connections. I am pretty fearless in asking people who I think might not even know who I am (or care), and saying hi, I see you and you really inspire me. More often than not I'm pleasantly surprised and get an answer in return and that is really how I have built my community, one hello at a time. I think what happened in the last year of the former Wishstudio is I lost that intimacy and it became more about the industry of it all and GSD (getting shit done). My type-A drive got too loud and in the way. I want to, need to, be able to maintain both or my work will never be sustainable, in the long run.
I am happier in a smaller crowd of closer companions than in a bigger sea of chaos and possibility. To some degree I do need both in my life, but I definitely lean towards the latter as my more comfortable mode of operating. I crave the relationship more than I crave the business, and I need to figure out a way to honor and sustain both.
What I realized too is that I love to know and share the stories of people's passion and truth, and dig into the heart and marrow of what makes up an individual or business. It's why I love memoirs and magazine articles about real people and real experiences. This is where so much of my own creative juice comes from and what truly inspires me - it's about the process, not the product - and I have known this for a very long time but have never really thought about it in pragmatic terms.
We all know that the best businesses convey a compelling story - a very personal and true story because that is, after all, where all businesses begin. This is what I ultimately want.... to tell a compelling story, my unique story, and for my work to touch people's lives in a very personal "I see you." kind of way.
This is why I want you to have your wishes, to feel validated, to be inspired, to honestly hear and fearlessly offer truth. I can clearly define my, Why.
I see you. You see me. And we all are connected and invested in one another.