So, I really love this quote. For the life of me, I can't find who said it to begin with - anyone know? It's so beautiful and empowering.
This week I was going to go over a few more calligraphy supplies (I'll talk about them on another day!) but I stopped because I wanted to talk about something else. I wanted to talk about this quote and how it's so extremely important when you're a freelancer. Here, I use the word "she" but really it is for any sex. Men alike.
You see - making a living is a crazy roller-coaster ride. You don't need to be a freelancer to have experienced the terrifying feeling of not knowing how you'll provide for your family this month. Or how you'll pay your bills. Put food on your table. It's scary. In fact, this fear is so strong that it limits your idea of what you're capable of. When you're constantly worried about where your next meal is coming from - it's hard to think creatively in any way, shape or form.
In 2011, I made the decision that I was going to freelance full time. Cody and I just moved back to Michigan from California because he was offered the fortunate gift of studying at Kendall College for his MFA on a full ride scholarship. We both were homesick and Cody and I knew that this opportunity was important. In response to my freelance decision.... This wasn't actually a decision out of confidence, or a need for my skills in the industry. It was strictly because Michigan was still in a recession and I couldn't get a full time job anywhere. ANYWHERE. I think the unemployment rate at this time was something crazy like 10%. Sadly, it's still extremely hard to find a job in Michigan. My heart goes out to everyone in this state who has been harmed by this recession.
2011-2012 was a really hard year for us. It was scary because I had no idea where my next pay check was coming from and my monthly income wasn't even enough for us to buy groceries each month. I was lucky enough that my parents lived close by and (of course) always graciously opened up their home to us and made us nice home made meals whenever needed. My mom let me clean their house once a week (even though looking back - she didn't really need me to) because she knew how important it was for me to work hard for any money that I received. She also let me do our laundry at her place - sounds silly, but made all the difference. My sister Becca let me work at her salon once a week too answering phone calls. Looking back, my freelance work alone would have never supported Cody and I at that point. I owe so much gratitude to my family and all the ways they supported and encouraged me. I honestly would not be doing what I love right now if it weren't for them.
Which brings me to that little quote up there...
"She's a dreamer, a doer, a thinker. She sees possibilities everywhere."
I love this. I know I'm talking about my family a lot here, but it will all make sense after you read through... All throughout that year of hard financial and emotional struggles, my dad ALWAYS encouraged me to NEVER be afraid of dreaming big. Even if it seemed impossible because I was hardly making ends meet. My Dad instilled a spirit in me that I can't thank him enough for. My dad worked extremely hard (and smart!) to start his own business to provide for his family and he taught all of his daughters to work hard and think outside the box. To see possibility everywhere.
This philosophy has shaped the way I look at freelancing. I no longer look at my dreams and say "Molly, you are going to be a calligrapher and it looks like this ______."
I don't limit myself to that. I say to myself: "Molly, you are so much more than a calligrapher. You are your father's daughter. You can change what it means to be a calligrapher. You're not going to just do the same things calligraphers have done before you forever. You're going to do that but much, much more. You'll spark new ideas in the industry. You'll form meaningful relationships with people. You'll use your talents in ways that might seem different. You'll be thankful for EVERYTHING you have and always remember that each day is a gift from God. You won't expect success, but you'll keep working towards it."
Thinking this way has made all the difference. I'm encouraging each of you reading this today to use this as your mantra as you seek out work. Work hard and dream big. Continue tuning in here for more tangible ways to succeed. For those of you who are believers, trust that God will provide you with your basic needs. Pray about it. Reach out to someone who you feel would be a positive mentor for you. For those of you who don't have family that encourage you - find someone who will. I'll encourage you, for a start!
Wishing you all the best this week and hoping you can find the courage to see possibility everywhere.
Leave me a comment below, pin it, tweet it, share with your friends! I want to know about your journey as a freelance artist.