14.6.20

Stop Putting Yourself in a Box

Be Your Own Creative Niche and Don't Put Yourself in a Box

One evening, I received a personal message from a fellow creative. It was someone whom, on an on and off basis, kind of got along but not really because we both have different beliefs. I am okay with that, because it was just one of those friendships that were just meant to be the way it is. Some people get a long, some people just don't. 

We chat about a few things, mostly about the only thing we have in common- arts and craft. In the midst of the conversation, I noticed that this person was trying to enforce her opinions on me. It was starting to feel as if I was caught in the middle of a pissing contest so to speak, and then very quickly, came this statement, "You know, it is confusing to see you dabbling in different crafts. I don't even know what you do for a living! You should just pick one and focus on that craft!"
I paused for a moment. I heard it, I admit that I allowed it to sink in, maybe a bit too long. For a moment there, I tried to explain myself about what exactly I do because I wanted to give this person the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, it is because we were more of online acquaintances. I started to overthink what I do, and because I am an analytical person- I started to mentally dissect what this person said and what I do for a living as a creative person and even tried to find ways to validate why I do what I do. It was all kinds of messy, but you know what, thank god for this person's opinion. It opened up a whole new perspective and I had a mindset shift. I learned a couple of valuable things and one of it was the courage to see that, what that person said was just a personal opinion which was probably stemmed from their own self-judgment. After all, I know myself better than anyone else.


Looking back at how I started out, I started off with one interest: arts and craft, and I was very passionate about it. Sure, I picked up a niche craft which was fabric painting, and then painting on wood, and then art journaling and intuitive painting, and then mixed media and so on and so forth. But I had all the craft knowledge and art skills, and with it I set sail on the course as an arts and craft explorer. I made full use of what I know, and because I love to share, people naturally come to me for advice, tips and where to buy this and that craft supply or to learn a new craft skill. I am in the position to talk about what I am passionate most- creativity!

Remember that people will always have opinions and they are entitled to their own opinions, but it doesn't mean that you should attach yourself to those opinions especially ones that make you feel uncomfortable, and intuitively you know you are not okay with it.

Focus on the people who understand what you do. Look for your tribe, build your own community. There is a reason why leaders and inspirational people say, "surround yourself with the right people." This is because, these are the people who will lift you up and connect you to the right audience.

"I make art. I make crafts. My life is whole. My brand is my whole life. It doesnt fit into a niche. It doesnt fit into a box. It cant be categorized, labelled and put on a shelf." - Lillian Connelly

I wrote this because I was inspired by artist and writer, Lillian Connelly. I was mind-blown by the fact that someone out there wrote a blog post that I can resonate with. I have often questioned myself too because I can't find a niche that I belong to. But you know what, it's okay! I don't want to be categorized because I am my own niche. 

I want you to remember, that you are an artist, a crafter and more importantly a creator of your creative life. Be your own niche.

We are truly blessed to be given the freedom to leverage on a variety of online platforms to promote ourselves as a creative person. Practically spoiled for choice! Today, creatives can celebrate their own artful lives and business on social media and share it with the world. The only problem is, we have also made it our world- to worship or be worshiped.  But used correctly, social media can do wonders for your brand and business. So, stop making it your world, instead use it as a tool! Treat everyday as if you have an important message you want to share through your post or your art and offer valuable content with your audience.

In some of my creative business consultation sessions, I have had a couple of creatives who share the same doubts about whether or not they should include another craft just because they are already focusing on one type of craft. These are some of the common questions: "I am a watercolor artist, but I also enjoy embroidery. Should I mix these two up? Or should I create another Instagram page for embroidery?" I would usually answer them with a question, "Why do you want to split yourself up as an artist, when you can find a way to combine these two together?" Now that's how you create a niche for yourself to stand out! (Unless you want to create two accounts for branding purpose or separating your travel adventures and your business, apart from that, you don't need to box yourself up)

Most self-created obstacles are often caused by self-doubt and being overly self-critical. I get that, I have done it to myself too. It's okay to be self-critical, that means you are just checking in with yourself and where you stand. But as a creative, my advise is do what you do best and more importantly focus on the fun. If what you do is no longer fun, then you will never be able to spread joy through your art.

So, coming back to my story. Do I regret my actions of trying to explain myself and validate what I do just because of ONE person's opinion? No, I don't. Thanks to that experience, I developed the clarity in what I want, in what I do, and in what I do best. Personally, I think that I named my business The Artsy Craftsy for a reason, because deep down inside I knew that I was not going to box myself up but instead, focus on my creative calling and the core value behind the brand which is to inspire creativity and cultivate arts and craft making.

Remember to keep doing what you do best.

If you are thinking of exploring a new craft skill that you have never tried before, click here to see the online craft activity that we offer or learn how to  build and elevate your creative brand with our highly recommended online classes.

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For creative content such as sponsored posts & reviews, collaborations & partnerships and creative lifestyle event invites, or to hire us for craft activities and creative services, email theartsycraftsy@gmail.com
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