Saturday, October 24, 2015

Finding Your Tribe

I wasn't able to go to the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference this summer. But, can I just say, some amazing things came out of it. I am a big Instagram follower. I post twice a day. More than that I follow some pretty great people. As they enjoyed their trip and the classes that #tpt offered that week, I took away quite a bit without being there. One of them was FIND YOUR TRIBE.

At first, I thought it was a cute idea. I joined all the 3rd grade tribes I could find, since that is what I am teaching this year. Then, as I began to see myself as an artist and believe in my own skin, I started to join the clip artists tribe. I take that back, I joined my first group because one of the fellow artists asked me to join. Until that happened, I felt like I was in limbo. A lone ship bobbing around on the giant ocean of the digital world. Days stretched into months as I found my way. That life line was the beginning of something wonderful for me.

I started really seeing myself as an ARTIST. I am. Maybe, I am not Van Gogh or Monet. But, dude...I can wield a paintbrush, sharpie, and bend a watercolor to my every whim. I got this! Being part of that TRIBE helped me to realize this. Soon, one tribe turned into two. Both offer great support, ideas, inspiration and push me to be better.

Photo Credit to the 3AM teacher
Recently, an opportunity came up for me to join in on a collaborative project. I hesitated for a mere 10 seconds. Then, I signed up. It was a #Franken-doodle-stein project and I was last on the list. See each artist was to create a piece to add to the doodle to create one creature. As it progressed it turned into two people. You really didn't know what you were suppose to create until the artist before you was finished.

I watched the pieces come together with trepidation. I knew my time was coming soon. I was working during the week and my doodles are my weekend play things right now. They don't always get my full attention. I wasn't sure how I was going to fit it in when it came my turn. Inspiration hit and I sketched up my doodle to add to the project, hoping there would be a space left for me to add it. The creative angels were on my side. My piece is #12. The background piece. It will be featured on many blogs this coming week. The #tptclipartiststribe has made it into a poster. Each piece can be downloaded for free to make one pretty freaking cool project.

My business is still an infant. I am past the newborn stage and we are learning to crawl. It's interesting even going back and seeing how my art has evolved and gotten better. It has been a dream come true working with these artists. I am self-taught. I have my own process as do all the artists I have met. I recently met one who uses a paint brush still. It's all super cool to me. For me, art isn't just something pretty to look at, or fun to see as someone creates. For me art is a fresh breath from living. I struggle with being down often and there have been times when art was the only thing that could pull me out of it.

Anyway, my point is, that there IS something to be said for finding your tribe. Find people who can support you, who have the same goals and direction. They will push you, inspire you and bring you in on projects that will help you grow in ways that you could have never guessed. I am still so new to this adventure. I can honestly say that it has increased the joy in my life and I am ever grateful every day to be traversing down this path less traveled by. It has made all the difference. (Love me some Robert Frost.)

Note - Monday I will be posting more about the Franken-doodle-stein event. My shops will be having sales as will my fellow artist friends. Exciting event! STAY TUNED. 

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