Over the past few weeks, Happy Handlettering (meaning I) experienced a series of epic failures!
I have learned so much and what I think is most important is that I have realized that I knew so little. As part of my grand vision I have a deep desire to not only be a full-time Elements of Authenticity Coach, I also want to fill every day with art, creating, learning and sharing. The pull to share my art literally had me stop what I was doing and immediately start to figure out how to get my Happy Handlettering pieces into the hands of people all over the world.
I have hundreds of pieces in my studio, I have even more pictures of my work as I add most of them to Instagram. I happily sell originals and all that has been great. However, I had a sense that the nature of my art, handlettering, could and perhaps should, be available as downloadable files. I know that if I had the option to print as many copies of a handlettered piece that I liked, I would jump at it. Originals are great and prints are also fabulous.
So okay great Dionne, now what?
Well off I went on a bit of a journey to figure out how to best get my pieces in the hands of people all over the world!
I am not that techy. I am not a photographer. I am a self-proclaimed wordiphile who likes to make fancy cursive writing (as my daughter calls it). I knew very little about how to set up my website shop or whether or not I should go with Etsy. I knew practically nothing about photo quality, although I knew I wanted each piece to look as good as the originals…in some cases better. And I really had no idea who I could ask to help me out.
Bring on the weeks of trial and error, the posting and deleting, the long hours looking at my computer and not really knowing what I was seeing, sizing and re-sizing, adding logos, removing logos and adding them again.
I did it!!!
I figured out how to get my work on to the Happy Handlettering Shop on my website. I have set up Happy Handlettering Collections to help you navigate the hundreds of pieces. I made it simple and priced each piece the same ($4.50) and each piece is photo quality and ready for print (I recommend 8×10 or smaller). I invite you to pop over to the Happy Handlettering Shop and check out the 100+ pieces I have available! (but not yet I have a bit more to tell you before you go…seriously like 100+ so you might get distracted and forget to come back…hehe)
As an outlet for my joy and gratitude for all that I have, handlettering has become my safe place, where I always feel whole and purposeful. When I sit down and pick up my favorite pen the world opens up and I am powerful and vulnerable simultaneously! I get a massive sense of joy and happiness and elation and amazement when I realize that something “of me” has been put out to the world…
I’m not equating it with childbirth here …that’s a bit ridiculous.
However every time I choose to create or write and another human being takes that piece and allows it to have meaning and bring them joy, happiness, elation and amazement I know that the energy of that exchange is powerful.
I don’t share everything I have ever made with the world…
Some pieces are just for me and those pieces hold a different strength…and inner power. When I look at words that I have dedicated to my soul, I am reconnected to the energy that I infused into the piece and I am able to harness it again when I need it.
Often that energy is derived from failing…yep you read that right…failing!
The pieces I keep for my Self are not picture worthy or perfect. They have spelling mistakes and ink splotches. They aren’t centered and show my lack of training. They have mismatched shadows and sketches with no depth. Annndddd…
They highlight every skill I am working on and remind me every fucking day how far I have come.
I love every piece that sits in the fail pile (and there are MANY), because I know that without them I would have nothing. Without the effort and the missteps I would not know where the right path was. Without the trial and error and error and error I would not know how to challenge myself to do more, feel more, be more.
As a recovering perfectionist this idea of seeking out and embracing failure is kind of a BIG deal!
My hope is that every piece that I make is infused with the strength and vulnerability that it took for me to create it, fail and create it again.
I chose to call my art business Happy Handlettering because for me that is exactly what I want to share with the world: the happiness and joy that is found in my artful words. I select each word, quote, statement based on the positive feeling that it gives me. Often the pieces I create “say” something I need to hear at that exact moment to get me through a block or limiting belief I am struggling with. Every time I create a Happy Handlettering piece, I feel “changed”, different, like the words, after flowing from me onto the page, somehow become a part of me.
For that reason I steer clear of words, statements and quotes that chip away at my integrity, diminish my effort or align with stereotypes of keeping women “down”…There is enough of that out in the world (much of which I have purchased, endorsed and succumb to).
As a conscious decision, I have chosen to focus on creating only pieces that lift, empower, validate and challenge me.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all forms of art. It’s that I know that the thoughts I choose to think and therefore the words I choose to use, create my reality. With my power to create words (and therefore thoughts), I choose words that literally create the reality I want!
You may not get all of those feelings when you see a piece I have created, however I hope that you get just one, just a bit of joy or happiness. I truly feel that my purpose on this planet is to share my gifts and to be of service. And as I fumble through trying to figure out how to do that, I will share pieces of me along the way.
Writing, creating, teaching and being…are the ways in which I have chosen to share my light. And I invite you to join me wherever you can and whenever you need a little real, (no-bullshit), authentic, positive energy influx in your life!