Self Made Creative: The good, the bad, and the really really hard!

I am so excited to bring you the first in a series of articles designed specifically for those of us who did not get a secular education for the skills we are pursuing. Whether you are a Calligrapher, Photographer, or are learning to play piano in your basement, we all have common struggles. Many of us also have similar strengths! In the first article in the series, we will discuss some of the challenges that come with being a #SelfMadeCreative!

Here is what some of you have said. As you read these comments, see if any of them sound like you! 


Question: Was there anything that held you back from pursuing a creative skill more fully? 


"Time, balancing a full time job and family life. Also, just doubt and comparisons. Lastly, not knowing the steps to create a small side business such as starting an Etsy shop or a website."

Nikki Cargill (@blueheartcalligraphy) Calligraphy & Watercolor


"A LOT! My own feelings of inadequacy definitely held me back a lot. As well as having limited time and finances (being a stay at home mom with a student husband.) But I think the biggest thing that held me back was my fear of failure. Which I know is not really reasonable, but it's very real in my mind."

Anonymous (Calligrapher)


"Feeling like I should pursue a "normal" job that would offer security and stability. That's why I got a degree in elementary education instead of design."

Jessica Leyva ( Interior Decorator


"I grew up with the idea promoted that creative pursuits could never be more than a hobby. I was encouraged to learn practical skills that could be relied on to provide a steady income. Therefore, I work full-time in accounting and office management. I am good at what I do, but I dream of being able to work at my art as my main income source."

Amber Woodrum (@airsteam365) Acrylic Painting and Photography


"Fear. I never imagined owning my own business. I just knew what my dream job was and unfortunately realized I was going to have to create a position for myself since no one else seemed to want to hire me. But that's a terrifying thought, realizing that you're now in control of your own success and failure."

Shelby  Ferguson (@thedaysdesign) Wedding Planning/Design & Floral Arranging


"Of course! Fear of rejection, fear of being judged, fear of being good at it!"

Cacky Bastian (@lovelettergraycalligraphy) Calligraphy



Question: What have been your biggest challenges in teaching yourself a skill or in starting a creative business?


"All the typical stuff, I feel like as creatives and WOMEN especially, we really believe we have a defined 'role' or 'expectation' from our families, friends, community, etc. So in teaching myself I've found that money, time & fear are my biggest hurdles."

Kalin Shiek (@stemsandsprigs)


Taking risks. I'm a huge planner. And I've had to take risks when trying new supplies, creating new designs, etc. Also, meeting other creatives who can help. Right now, I have so many questions about paper, printing, etc. and only google to help answer those questions.

Shelby Pipken (@shelbynickeldesigns) Watercolor & Calligraphy


Questioning whether what I'm doing is the right way to do it. I've talked to very well established and highly successful sculptors, but without proper education I feel I am only emulating or mimicing what I think is right.

Joseph Esparza (@joe_esparky) Stone Carving & Sculpting


When I started my business, I didn't know anyone who had started a successful business. The whole thing has been a learning process. At times, I have no idea if what I'm doing or trying to do is the right thing or if winging it will make me fall flat on my face.

Genevieve Ali (@ladygpaperie) Calligraphy & Bookbinding


IS it worth all this effort? 

Ok, so after reading these comments you may be wondering if it is really worth the uphill battle of teaching yourself a skill and starting a creative business from scratch. The point of featuring these comments is to show you that you are not alone. Yeah, the whole creative thing is no joke, and everyone is afraid from time to time. But you'll hear from some of these same people what has helped them overcome these challenges.We are just getting started! Here are some of the questions which will be answered in the next journal entry: 

What kind of community or support system do you have & what impact does this have on you?

What has helped you the most in taking creative leaps?

What resources did you use to educate yourself?


I thought I was the only one!

Did any of these comments sound an awful lot like you? Have you found ways to overcome fear of failure or imposter syndrome? I'd love to hear from you. If you would like to contribute to the next article, even anonymously, click the link below and share your voice! 


What's Stopping you?

Are your creative aspirations on the back burner because you are paralyzed by fear of failure? How do you create a support system for when things get tough? Follow the link below to watch the Self Made Creative Skillshare Class: Taking Creative Leaps, & receive 3 months of Skillshare Premium Membership for just $0.99!