As small business owners, artists, and parents, we have plenty of experience with making mistakes, failing, flailing, and seeking balance. When we started Kind Aesthetic a few years ago, we were doing way too much, and it makes us laugh now (kind of), but it was incredibly stressful then. Determined to have a successful business from the get-go, we said "yes" way too much and spread ourselves too thin out of a determination to make money and find the balance in our business. For instance, we embarked on a journey to collect art for clients and actually helped them acquire some amazing, amazing work, but the whole time, we knew it felt wrong. As artists, this service was not our passion and utterly stressed us out.
It was after a big collecting project was over that we got the chance to say no. We realized we had the power to move on and concentrate on doing what we love: helping artists and creatives see their amazing work from an outside perspective and transforming their unique stories into compelling, beautiful and genuine marketing materials. We can both say it was like a cloud had lifted, and though it meant that the previous cash flow from commissions was now to disappear, it also meant that we could concentrate on the work with the most impact for us and, especially, for our clients.
One amazing artist we worked with uses ephemeral materials—homemade inks and paper—in her work, and they are absolutely beautiful. She came to us convinced that she needed to alter the way she works because she was questioning the archival nature of her work and its collectibility. The thing is, this work was her breath, her peace, and a part of her as an artist. She never wants to stop making it. So, through the DELVE Toolkit and spending quality time writing about her work, she was able to keeping going and let go. She embraced her materials, used them to fortify the conceptual nature behind her work, and began researching new archival methods for future work. Then, she got an artist residency she was aiming for.
If you are experiencing any moments of struggle of when to keep going and when to let go with your work, consider the list below. We talk to amazing individuals everyday who are searching for balance and we can usually help, so be in touch.
1. Write. We have said it time and time again, but list making and writing about the work that we do is not only practical, but necessary.
2. Find someone to keep you in check. We are lucky to have each other and our smart husbands to help us out on a daily basis, but working alone in an endeavor can be incredibly challenging. A fellow artist or entrepreneurial friend can help.
3. Give yourself a challenge. If you are convinced that you need to move forward with a project because it will improve your practice or your business, do not delay. Stop thinking about it and set up a challenge for yourself. (We are really good at holding our clients accountable!)
4. Fuck it. If you are beating yourself up over some work that you are not doing well, not doing at all or hate doing, then say goodbye. As we discovered in the past, we had the power to say no and it was amazing. Creative individuals are very hard on themselves, us included, and that goes double for entrepreneurs (which artists are just as much as creative business owners are!)
We hope this is helpful. We are not therapists and don't have magic answers but our methods of asking the right questions to help our clients see what they cannot see at first works wonders to achieve clarity. From experience, working towards the "aha" moment leads to getting what you want. Give us the chance to ask you some questions about your practice, learn about all of the amazing things you do, and help you find your answers. Whether you are a candidate for the DELVE Toolkit or a bigger project, email us to set up a totally free twenty minute call that could change your life. Read what other clients have said about us here.