in the end it was all a gift

I was rereading my Surtex post last night and thinking that I made it sound a bit like it happened all in a few days and that was that. That is definitely not the case as I'm sure you can imagine.

For any of you entertaining the idea of showing your work at Surtex be prepared for weeks and weeks of work and planning and spending probably a bit more than you thought (those taxi cabs, food and every other knick-knack add up—seriously!).

I didn't post anything about my preparation process because it was simply too much to explain and I was in a focused place where I needed to be 'alone'. Now that I'm on the other side I can explain that much of what I did months ago I had to redo. Yeah, yikes. There were designs that I had prepared last year that I simply did not think were up to par—they weren't where I wanted them to be. So by mid-February I finally decided that I was going to shoot for quality and not quantity and I narrowed down my design options drastically. I think that it was a smart move, but it left me with a crazy pace to follow, which included me asking my Mr. Z to understand if for the next few weeks the house was going to look like a big wreck (which it did!!). Bless him for understanding and for taking over some of my 'mom' duties in the process.

The fact that my best work was completed closer to the show left me with little time to really design the booth that I wanted. I think my banners represented me well but I could've done so much better—I know that. I'm not fretting about it (too much) because I know there would be a learning curve that I couldn't avoid and like I said the schedule was tight. C'est la vie.

One important thing that happened was that I managed to get out of my 3D mentality for a bit and think beyond cutting files. I didn't realize that my line of thinking had been so narrowed by my current work. With illustrations the possibilities are endless—with cutting files there are set challenges and barriers. I had to retrain myself to explore further and fine tune my illustration style and tone. Even though at times it was stressful, I loved the breakthroughs and long days with fruitful results. It really was a marathon with ups and downs all the way through and I'm so proud of pulling through it.

Main lesson learned:
Get out of your comfort zone more often—give yourself creative exercises that will make you go beyond what you're doing. In the end the results are a true gift—which may come as a new iphone case as a treat for yourself with one of your own patterns on it—hehe!
(I'm giving Society6 a test run!)

Oh and the fact that I can sleep more soundly these days.. yes, that's definitely a gift too!

• • •

PS - My blog quietly crossed the 8yr mark over the weekend (on the 26th). Crazy!!!!! Where has the time gone?

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