The Thing About Creative Vulnerability

There's a hard lesson that we all learn when it comes to creativity - that of vulnerability and integrity. I remember the first time I created a calligraphy piece for someone and they were upset with the end result. I was SHOCKED. I have so many pictures of my work on my website and my Etsy shop that it shouldn't be a surprise when I create an order with my signature whimsical style. It hurt. Why wasn't my work good enough for them? They chose me for a reason - was it just because I was the least expensive? Because they couldn't find anyone else? Because I was the only one that could (and would) accommodate their slightly ridiculous demands? 

I've been doing this thing for a little while now, and it still sucks when people ask me to change my style. I'm not talking about edits to what I create for them, but my actual style and taste. It happens in all aspects of my business - my calligraphy, my design work, my planning style, my blog, and even my writing.
I'm learning a lesson, still, about creative vulnerability and integrity. I don't know that I'll ever get to the point where it doesn't suck to be questioned and told that my work isn't good enough, but I do need to realize something. I'M good enough, and my work is good enough. They did hire me for a reason, you know. It just might not be right for them.

Accommodating  clients is just part of life, but that doesn't mean we need to sacrifice our creative integrity. If you have a vision, stand your ground. It's your vision and you need to learn to trust your instincts. If you don't, you'll never realize your creative potential because you're constantly questioning yourself and imitating others' work rather than discovering your own. Now if I could only take this lesson to heart. 


Joelle Duff said...

Loved this post. Resonated with me. x

Joelle Duff said...

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable with something so personal can be scary! I know for me, I channel so much emotion into my writing it is difficult to share with others because I'm so close to it.

Joelle Duff said...

yes, we've all been there... and in the end, you hand them a lifeless, dry design and they're finally happy and you just want to run to your room and cry!
Thankfully, most people aren't like that and your vulnerability is rewarded!