I recently got an email from a very intelligent woman who is about my age. She wants to start a creative business or 'side hustle' as I lovingly refer to them in the beginning. She's not tired of her day job, it just seems.... blah. She asked how I found flowers & then turned it whatever all of this has turned into.
I'll admit I struggle with these inquiries. How on earth do I tell someone that I can't put my finger on it? Or that when I do explain it, its better to be in person and have a glass of wine in hand and be sitting outside under the stars? I often blabber on for a few paragraphs before settling on my one tried and true line of advice...
Immerse yourself in creative shit.
You are not going to come up with a business idea that lights a fire in your soul by watching the Kardashians all day Saturday. You may come up with an idea to sell Lip Kits but Kylie already did that. Or was it Kendall? Whatever.
However, if you pack a Saturday with a trip to a museum, read a weird book, walk around a shopping district in a small town, cook a new recipe, buy a freaking watercolor paint set from Walgreen's, walk the dog on a path you've never taken, those kinds of things- that engage your senses, that break the routine, that just may do the trick.
I have not watched TV since April. I'm not saying this to be all 'oh I don't watch tv it melts your brain" no no. I love TV. Please, I got so addicted to LOST this winter that I sobbed when Boone died. (that is NOT a spoiler, trust me.) Or I LOVE a good Sunday afternoon spent in a binge on Netflix. But we got so busy this spring that it all sort of came to a halt. But this week, just yesterday, I sat down and watched an episode of The Chef's Table. It was such a fulfilling break from watering, planning, designing, cleaning, harvesting, to sit and watch someone ELSE BE CREATIVE. To watch some of the best in the world at what they do talk about how they do it, why they do it, I loved that. It was like creative candy.
You have to immerse yourself in creative shit. If you want to design jewelry, start reading blogs, following designers you love on Instagram, check out books from the library on jewelry in ancient Egypt.
There is a fine line with immersing yourself, and driving yourself crazy. When I started in flowers I was OBSESSED with following every amazing floral designer in the country on Instagram. I would look at my feed and see their amazing work and compare. This is not healthy. I would get all in a tizzy about how they were so ahead and their stuff was SO good and how it looked perfect. Comparison isn't creative. It will suck your soul away.
I finally trimmed way back on designers I follow & instead started focusing that comparison time on creating time.
Owning and operating a small creative business is not for the faint of heart. It's truly the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but the freedom to create is what keeps a lot of us going. When the studio looks like a bomb went off, and the frenzy of getting ready for a wedding is like a hurricane swirling all around us, the fact that a bridal bouquet comes out of that- is my favorite part. A bride, so elegant in her dress, carrying a piece of art. Art that I created, that someone likes enough to carry! And when she walks down the aisle, its such a quiet, sweet, special moment. The insanity that leads up to it in a ramshackle studio attached to a barn is forgotten. Its immersing yourself in the creative shit that leads to the most rewarding product.
Go create something today.