view-from-the-studio

My husband's best advice: Do something just for fun.

July 28, 2017 Megan Eckman

I'll be the first to admit that occasionally my husband is r- r- correct but I have to say it is thanks to his prompting that this year has been my most creative ever.

When you're talented at something, it's natural for your friends and family to tell you to sell it. They'll point out Etsy listings and chime that your stuff is way better. Or they'll send you job listings looking for a person with your talents. (Been there for both!)

But, sometimes, no matter if you ARE selling your creative work or not, you need to do something just for fun.

In 2015, I burned myself out. Badly. I had made the huge leap from selling my artwork to selling embroidery kits and it was awesome...and horrible. I needed to take a break from my fine art because I'd spent all of 2014 making work to sell, work that was trendy, work that people had asked for and then never bought. I didn't know where I stood anymore or why I was making art. So I took some time off. I took AN ENTIRE YEAR OFF. Yes, judge me all you want; I certainly did.

Halfway through 2016, my husband prompted me to stop worrying about what to make next and just do something for fun. I hadn't done that in a LONG time. I didn't even know what I liked anymore. I tried making woodcuts. (No missing finges! Yay!) I dabbled in gouache. Heck, I even experimented with oil pastels. (Take my advice and just stay away.)

It took three months until I stumbled my way back to my one true love: ink. I started making these large portraits and everything changed. I felt happy and energized. The world seemed full of more possibilities and I swear the days felt longer. I was back!

I finished that series and am now pitching it to galleries. (If you're interested, you can find the whole series HERE.) My husband took his own advice and finished a photo series of his own. He even started an Instagram account called American Banal where he photographs, well, the banal. Haha. I'm now embarking on another crazy side project and this one is also just for fun.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I think it's really important to try anything if you've always wanted to. Even if it ends up as the ugliest thing you've ever made, at least you made it. (True story: Someone thought my college pottery was stuff I'd made in kindergarten. It didn't matter because she ended up with it as her white elephant gift. Haha. Sucker!) 

So go out there this summer and try sun prints or batik or cross stitch. Be bold and brave and do something just for fun.



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