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  • Writer's pictureLeonie Jonk

Growing Pains & Creating space for creative growth

I promise I’m not sneakily trying to turn this newsletter into a bimonthly one! 🙈

As I’m sure you’ve seen (I can’t imagine you’ve somehow managed to miss it! 😜) I spent my February preparing for and then launching my latest Kickstarter campaign. WHICH WAS SUCCESFULLY FUNDED WOOH!!! 🥳

When March rolled around I found myself completely out of steam with a week to go before the Kickstarter ended. I just couldn’t gather myself enough to put words to paper that wouldn’t go directly towards marketing the collection. The next two weeks were spent wrapping up things up. Sending surveys, trying to recover from the craziness that is a crowdfunding campaign and preparing to order the stars of the show. Today the pins have been ordered, the quote agree on and with a bit of time AND headspace to sit down and write again so that’s exactly what I’m here to do.

Growing Pains

What a rollercoaster these past few weeks have been!

I should know by now how much work a campaign like this is, after all it’s my third one already. Somehow though, I still manage to misjudge just how much time and energy everything will take. Having pushed through a great bout of imposter syndrome to send this collection live, I wasn’t as prepared as I’d liked to be and that ended up adding up during the campaign. Not only that, but for the first time I found myself not only running a kickstarter campaign but also (apparently!) an art business at the same time.

Even though all my socials were directed at the Kickstarter, I still got in orders in my shop (THANK YOU to whomever ordered for keeping the lights one while I was losing my mind in the marketing weeds!) and even a wholesale order. This took precious time away from the Kickstarter, which would not have been a problem if I had either been more prepared, or didn’t need to spend as much time producing all these items on demand with my own two hands.

It’s kind of a funny realization when you realize that your business has been growing and you haven’t been noticing it. When you’re running a small business that grows a tiny bit over a long time, sometimes you just don’t notice that it’s happening. Because it’s not always reflected in that one big statistic (X sales this month!) but in the complexity of your whole little empire.

All this time you’ve just been adding a little product here. Exploring a bit in this direction or that. And then all of a sudden you catch yourself scrambling.

I didn’t always fully respect my own time because there was plenty of it. I made choices so I could have that time to spend on my business (or on client work) at various points throughout the years. But so long as I did something for my business, I didn’t look too hard at how my time was spent. Or how much effort something took because it saved money. But while I was trying to keep multiple balls in the air I found my mindset shifting. If I want my business to grow (and also not burn myself out) I need to start approaching things in a way that allows for that growth.

There is only one of me.

I am very literally the only person in this business that can ;

  • Create the art

  • Design the products

  • Grow as an artist

  • Sell the products

  • Connect to you; my friends, my fans, my buyers, my collectors, my community. My family.

And so I have to look at how I’ll be spending my time in the future. It feels invigorating and hopeful to look at things like that. I just okayed the largest quote I’ve ever seen and will be spending the most money I’ve ever spent but I’m 100% confident that it will pay off. One way or another.

Creating space for creative play

As soon as I found myself with a bit of time to think I felt the deep urge to engage with my creativity in a playful way. I think that’s a very natural development for me. After a period of time where I’m intensely focused on the business side of things, I find I need to nurture the creative side of myself. In the past I haven’t always allowed myself to do so. Feeling like I ‘had to finish’ XYZ or first. But I knew that doing that was a punishment to myself that would only lead to me burning out.

So when I felt it this time, I listened.

I listened to the need to let go of restrictions and the need to grow and learn. I’ve bought my very first course and though I still have to explore most of it. It filled me with such joy to play with all kinds of traditional tools after weeks spend only staring at screens! Paints and pencils and pastels all together in one big colorful mess. What could be better??

If you’re feeling creatively empty I strongly urge you to get away from the screen and play with your tools without a plan. They’ll fill you back up. I promise you that 💖

I feel like this newsletter is dragging on long enough so let me just end by saying a big THANK YOU! To everyone who has helped me spread the word about the dreamers collection. Anyone who has ever read any word of this newsletter, or watched a vlog, or even liked a post.

I love you!

Thank you for sharing your love with me!! 💜💜

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