If your life is at all like mine then you sometimes feel like a juggler. Working on marketing efforts, following through on commitments to gallery and portrait clients, preparing to travel, being away, and getting home and back into the groove, teaching classes and workshops, and just life's ordinary course can all make it seem impossible to be at the easel!
And as much as I hate to admit it, there is often less than optimal news at many of these junctures. Gallery sales and commissions are not great despite incentives and diligent marketing. This or that sale or commission are on "hold", the six charcoal portrait sittings you thought you were doing on your trip are now three, the painting that went out on approval has made its way back to the gallery, the workshop is not filling up... statistically things are not looking great.
So you redouble your efforts; a new resolve to blog or send email newsletters more consistently, more effort to stay in touch with your sales team, increased commitment to get to the pesky last things on your to-do list; the ones that you've really been putting off because you know they will truly suck you into a black hole of time and expense. Things like a new website, or brochure, or redesigning your business materials.
Well, I'm here to tell you the best therapy (in my humble opinion). After finishing my new FASO website last Monday, I painted a still life demo at our first painting class here on Tuesday. Geez, that felt good. Then I had three full days to work on a new portrait. Somehow those days at the easel have released some needed substance into my brain. I have new resolve that this is what I do, what I am meant to do, what I have been doing for many years, and will be doing until, well... you know. Getting in touch with that inner core which has been sparking since the start is a powerful way to get past those nagging fears and doubts that can just suck the wind out of our sails.
Not to get all Pollyanna-ish on you. The world is still here, and it can be tough. But we too are resilient creatures. The marketing and travel and such are critical elements of our careers. They are 'work' and we can't beat ourselves up for giving them the time they require. But be sure to make time for what's most important. By spending time doing what we were put on Earth to do, we are administering some of the best therapy there is.