Invincible Summer (Watercolor and Ink) by Judy Clement Wall
“Basically, you鈥檝e just got to keep creating.聽Eventually, there鈥檒l be someone out there who your work resonates with.鈥澛燑/em>
Most of us start a new year with all kinds of good intentions and resolutions, but in 2011, writer Judy Clement Wall set herself a very different challenge. It was one that would see her facing down her demons, hugging complete strangers, becoming an artist, learning some often uncomfortable truths about herself, and emerging from it all a different person.
Declaring the 12 months that lay ahead as 鈥楾he Year of Loving Fearlessly鈥? she set about turning the negative emotions of 2010 into positive ones. Having had a very tough year, she set up a blog and started doodling as a way to relax, describing the process as 鈥渕editative鈥? To her surprise, she soon found her mission to fill the world with love struck a real chord with others.
鈥淚鈥檇 had a really difficult time in 2010, and I felt that I needed to put some love out into the world in order to get some back,鈥 Judy explains. Having started her blog thanks to supportive comments from friends, she updated it weekly and invited other bloggers to join the discussion. She also gave herself monthly assignments to keep people up to date with her progress, feeling that 鈥淚f you set up a blog for people to follow, you鈥檙e accountable to them 鈥 you have to keep them updated with what鈥檚 going on.鈥滭/p>
Fearless Loving and Coffee Shop Hugs
The positive ripples she was sending out into society soon began to make waves. In fact, one such assignment, the 鈥榟ug someone every day鈥 challenge she set herself in February 2011, resulted in a coffee shop full of people queuing up to hug her!
鈥淚t all started when I explained my assignment to the barista in the coffee shop and asked if I could hug her,鈥 laughs Judy. 鈥淏efore I knew it, I had about 15 customers lining up to get hugs too!鈥滭/p>
In addition to spreading some love in her community, Judy also started to develop her skills as an artist. Having previously carved out a successful career as a creative writer, she found it refreshing to create something where she had no expectations of herself. 鈥淩ather than calling them illustrations or drawings, I began referring to what I was making as doodles,鈥 she explains. 鈥淭hat way, I had no expectations of myself and could just have fun with it. I kept telling myself that I鈥檓 a beginner and this is OK!鈥滭/p>
Her refreshing approach soon started attracting attention. Having posted some of her 鈥榙oodles鈥 on her Facebook page, people started asking if they were for sale. Feeling encouraged by this, she decided to set up her Etsy store, where she now sells a range of cards featuring her 鈥榙oodles鈥 and her e-book, The (Fearless) Love Essays.
Why You Have to Keep on Creating Art
鈥淪ince setting up the store, I鈥檝e learned a lot about selling your art,鈥 she says. 鈥淚 started reading Etsy blogs from other artists and found them really helpful 鈥 especially one where an artist describes selling your art as like throwing spaghetti against a wall and seeing what sticks! Basically, you鈥檝e just got to keep creating. You never know what will sell and what won鈥檛, so you鈥檝e just got to keep going. Eventually, there鈥檒l be someone out there who your work resonates with.鈥滭/p>
Judy鈥檚 story is a real-life example of how the world has changed for artists and creative thinkers. 鈥淭he old way of doing things isn鈥檛 the only way anymore,鈥 she says. 鈥淣owadays, you鈥檝e got social media and sites such as Etsy to promote your work. You鈥檝e just got to tell yourself that you are good enough and that there are people who will love your work. You鈥檝e just got to put it out there!鈥滭/p>
Her fearless approach to making art is one she鈥檚 been keen to pass on to her son, saying: 鈥淚 tell him that you don鈥檛 have to be the best artist in the world 鈥 you just have to be the one that grabs hold of someone鈥檚 heart and mind and touches them.鈥 Recently, she took the Pencil Kings Figure Drawing Challenge with him in order to improve both their anatomy skills.
Since embarking upon her Year of Loving Fearlessly, Judy has begun making an alternative career for herself as an artist. Having already produced several commissioned pieces, she鈥檚 currently working on some illustrations for a children鈥檚 book. 鈥淚鈥檓 always learning something new,鈥 she says. 鈥淲hen starting a project, I often ask myself 鈥楥an I actually draw this?鈥 I鈥檓 delighted when I find out that I can after all!鈥滭/p>
Listen to this week鈥檚 show and learn:
- How setting yourself assignments can help you reach your goals
- How creativity can help turn a negative situation around
- Why the results of reaching out to people can often surprise you
People on this Episode:
Mentioned in the episode:
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