Something that I've always struggled with since my youth has been boundary setting and the word "NO
. I've never been good at constantly giving without thought to my own well-being first. I'd give, give, give, give, and give some more without a second thought. Thankfully in my youth, I was surrounded by people who didn't take advantage of me. While selfless and admirable, as an adult that gets REAL messy. REAL quick. Especially in business relationships.
I've thankfully perfected the art of saying no as a form of self-care in my own life, but it wasn't really refined professionally until this month. On no less than three separate occasions, I was offered the opportunity to share my gifts but at no charge to the person who asked me. Now, this is in no way a means of burning bridges or an attempt to put folks on blast, but I think it's so important for entrepreneurs and artists to hear this.
OUR TIME AND OUR ENERGY ARE BOTH VALUABLE. I firmly believe that our skills are sacred gifts
The first and second situation I outright turned down and thanked them for their time, but no thank you. I am worth compensation, and I will not work for free unless I decide to do so of my own volition.
The last situation, however, turned into a paid opportunity where I negotiated and demanded that my time and skillets be compensated (in a kind, professional way.)
All this to say, you are: valuable, important, and so are your skills! Don't be afraid to say no.
It might just get you to a better place than you'd imagined before. :)
Now that I'm off of my tiny soapbox...check out the other cool things that happened this month!
I had the pleasure of going down by the shore to visit another school to present about my journey as an artist and on Carefree, Like Me! The whole thing was amazing.
Thanks to my family/friend who has known me since diapers Ann and Jennifer, I was able to present at an incredible Day School, and the presentation was tremendous. The kids were SO engaged and attentive, asking some really profound questions about my project. They were mad that my story ended on a cliffhanger and got upset when I couldn't reveal more haha. I even asked them what the Yin/Yang symbol meant, and one boy screamed out "BALANCE!" I was so impressed. One boy was elated as he too wanted to be an illustrator and cartoonist when he grows up.
The sweetest thing though was that at the end of the presentation a bunch of kids came up for hugs and high fives, but one in particular stared up at me and said "When I write MY own book, I will tell everyone that YOU inspired me." Then he ran off. When I tell y'all I wasn't ready? Maaan haha.
(Images shared from the Day School's social media accounts as well!)
Had an incredible time at the Shine and Inspire, Inc. Event celebrating their legacy of philanthropy and good-will in the community! I served as caricature artist for the evening and had an amazing time at my SECOND EVER event!
Altogether I worked on about 11 faces over 2 hours which for a beginning caricature artist is pretty good! :) I was so mad though, because in my last drawing for the evening, I messed up the woman's eye direction which for my perfectionism is a killer haha. You live and you learn. Thanks again Shine and Inspire for an amazing evening.
!Definitely teaches you to be more confident in your lines if nothing else.
I use my eraser as a crutch, so caricature is the ultimate gauntlet run for me.
(There's also a few bonus images from my time at Tulpehaking Nature Center last month too! There were some additional photos that got sent over via email yesterday.)
Thanks so much for tuning in again, and I can't wait to share the happenings next time around!
Lots o' love,