Wednesday, August 23, 2017

To Endings and What Comes Next

Yesterday I received my termination receipt from the state of Texas for Made With Moxie. I was both sad and relieved to finally be completely finished with that short lived company. I could have put a lot of effort into it and really tried to hustle in San Francisco to make that little mobile art company happen, but I felt totally fried. I spent a lot of time owning and managing small businesses, sacrificing my personal life, spinning my wheels financially, and being in a continuous state of being overwhelmed. I knew owning a creative business was never going to make me a millionaire, but I loved my work. At some point, the hustle starts to eat you up from the inside. I couldn't help but wonder if I was doing Made With Moxie because I felt like I needed to. Working at pottery studios was most of my adult life. Maybe I was just caught in the flow? Mindlessly ordering pottery and making flyers with paint splatter stock photos because it's all I'd been doing for the last 8 years? I started to lose momentum, but eventually other things in my life started to fill up the space. I wanted to sew all of the time and not just paint. I was working at a preschool and really enjoying interacting with kids on more areas than just art. I did a ton of roller derby officiating and travel. I wasn't really focusing on my business 100%. And when the abrupt time came to move to San Francisco, it just felt right to pull the plug. It was all rather unceremonious. I made a post on Facebook to my friends, but just sort of went about deleting all my website and social media accounts without any real mention of what I was doing on a professional level. Now that my Certificate of Termination has arrived, it feels necessary and cathartic to write this.

Ironically, this weekend is the big Contemporary Ceramic Studio Association Convention. The one I went to for my business. The one I've taught classes at. And friends I made through that industry are posting about their travels and packing on social media. It feels strange not only to not be going, but to not even have realized it was coming up. What's even stranger is I don't really care.

So now I'm back at the beginning. Just me and The Morose Bee.

I'm not sure where to go next. I have a lot of jewelry and I'm working on adding new sewing projects into the mix. Although I've been making so many dang quilts, I'm not sure if I'll ever get to them. No longer being tethered to the ceramics industry means I can do whatever I want and that feels wonderful and terrifying. I know I want to keep making and maybe even do a few craft shows again, but I feel like I need to find my voice as a maker again. What is it that I want to put into the world? The San Francisco Etsy team has a market this weekend and that feels like step one. Take a little time to browse beautiful things made by other people and reassess. It's been so longer since I've been to a handmade marketplace, I don't even what's "cool" anymore! Are people still into owls? Is everyone still making soy candles? What's going on, crafters?!

So that's where I'm at. There's no amazing revelations or conclusions here yet, but I feel hopeful.

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