I started this blog almost two weeks ago, on October 20th to be exact and couldn’t finish it. I’m not sure why, but something stumped me. When I started to write, I had reached out to someone who works with a letter press machine. I wanted to find out how one actually goes about letter pressing items. She very kindly and quickly responded with options for me to learn about letter pressing from two organizations/institutions here in NYC, but stated that she didn’t have the facility to teach me. Fair enough. At least I reached out.
And so begins the whole concept of today’s blog and asking to learn things from others. Others who have experience, a business, or maybe just a skill that you’re eager to learn.
This is also around the time that I came across the Follow Your Dreams/ What’s Your Path section of the November issue of Oprah Magazine. (Yes. I read Oprah Magazine.) I came across this quiz that asked the simple question, “What’s Holding You Back?” Of course I immediately took it and learned that I’m ready for a change and that I fear success. (You can take the quiz here: http://www.oprah.com/money/Whats-Holding-You-Back_1.) I wasn’t surprised by these answers at all.
I’ve known for quite some time that I’m over my current job. I also am aware that corporate life just isn’t for me at all either. This doesn’t make me unhappy at the least, it just means that I’m ready to a change. A positive change. A new direction. The fear of success wasn’t too much of a surprise either because I also know that I don’t accept my awesomeness. I know that sounds weird and wonky, but it’s kind of true. Hey, awareness is the first step isn’t it? Yep.
And this is where my excuses come in…see, I have no design degree or firm background. I just have a love of color and everything paper. I always have. My ideas come from ideas and while a lot of them require computer software programs like the Creative Suite, I also use my hands and textiles to complete a design.
I also sometimes believe that I can’t be a designer if I don’t know how to deal with printers, etc. That’s just plain silly, I know. (Go ahead laugh at me.) This is where my fear of success comes in–I’m afraid that I won’t be able to do it and learn from it. Furthermore, I’m afraid that if I make a fool of myself, everyone will know that I’m not a real designer and I’ll never be taken seriously.
Pretty steep confession, eh? Yeah. A silly steep confession at that. But now it’s out. My one big success fear is out in the open, which I hope means it cancels itself out because it is just ridiculous! I can learn a lot of new things. I already do. So this fear just needs to go somewhere. I have every faith that it will disappear and it makes it all the more important that I continue to reach out.
There is a lot about paper that I don’t know. Heck, there’s a lot about design that I don’t know. Every order that I complete requires learning a new skill, looking at something I know completely different and finding ways to make it happen. Sometimes it requires that I look at other artists work (not to steal, but to see what others are thinking) and ask them how they came about, or sometimes it requires me reading the history of a technique or attending a class. All good things. After all, before design as we know it came to be, it was a bunch of different people making different things that stood out and made us feel moved in one sense or another.
What I’m doing with paper, requires a lot of different techniques and I’m on board to learn them. I clearly won’t learn all of them or even many of them, but I will learn the ones that I am most interested in and I will also the ones that will help my individual person and unique materials.
That my friend(s) is reaching out. I hope you reach out as much as you can. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur that doesn’t have a certain skill set. The more learning you do, the better business you’ll run and person you’ll be.