Lessons Learned Part Two : Self

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Self.

A roundup of lessons that I have discovered on learning how to look after myself so I can create the work I want without suffering burn out.

i.  Have hobbies. My hobbies used to be gardening and art! Which aren’t really hobbies anymore as they are my day to day. I found I needed something that totally switched off my mind so you I have a break. Now a days for me that is cooking and yoga.

ii.   Part time job to combat loneliness. I am a team of one, and found that spending all day by myself wasn’t healthy. And before you ask why don’t’ you have a shared studio, doesn’t work for me I like to create alone. So I have worked in a yoga studio for the past 4 years about 6 hours a week doing their reception and handling their social media. It is a positive environment and a world away from my work. And that little bit of money that comes in means my rent for the studio is taken care of each month.

iii. Work with people who genuinely love your work. My most successful projects, exhibitions and collaborations have been with the people who love my work and understand what I am about.  Shout out to Angela from Botany who picked me up after my first ever show. When you have mutual respect for each other it is a recipe for success.   There is no stress when it comes to showing with Angela. And limiting stress is key to staying healthy.

iv. Speak to other people who have jobs in the creative industry to vent and learn. 

v. Before you ask anyone else about your work. Ask yourself ‘am I happy with it?’ And if you still want to ask other people about if they like it ask why are you doing that? You have to be happy with the work and only you. Because if you aren’t when criticism comes along and it always does you will struggle to take it and move on.

vi.  Improve your time management using daily to-do lists. Allocate tasks for each day. This has helped me so much when I need to block out spaces of time to work on large pieces.

vii.  Eat well. Smoking 80 fags a day may work for Hockney, but for me I have to eat healthy to keep my energy levels up.

viii.  Don’t work from lack, allocate time and money to treat yourself. I set aside £50 a month to buy a massage or a couple meals out, something that treats me. I found when all I did was spend money on the business and work all the time, I started to resent it.

ix. Dump jelllyfishers. See a clip from Bridget Jones on You Tube to understand what a jellyfisher is. I had a jellyfisher friend and found after seeing this person I was so low, and couldn’t understand why. It is because what they are saying to you are backhanded compliments. You need to be surrounding yourself with people who have your back, and don’t bitch about you behind your back.  Common sense, but took me a while to see this was affecting my self esteem.

Picture : Studio Detail by Remco Merbis