Welcome to my new journey. Why I decided to create a new creative learning platform to inspire and teach art, photography, techniques, DIY & business principles to hobbyists, creatives, and freelancers. Let me share a little about my path and how I got here.
A year ago COVID-19 became our key focus and life for all of us changed. I would have never thought it would still be a part of our daily lives a year later, but here we are, still wearing masks and still confused about the future. Covid changed everything.
The deep loss in revenue with last year’s income resulting in half of what it is normally is has left an unsettling feeling. The new year doesn’t look much better with assignment work as a commercial photographer. All of these events have led me towards a new path…my new journey. I feel a bit like I did in my early twenties after graduating from college and facing the unknown of what lies ahead. The difference today is that I don’t have 30 years of trial and error to figure it all out.
It has been heartbreaking to watch the career I have passionately built over the past three decades dissolve in a single year.
With my age being a concerning factor I began asking myself “how can I spend my last 20 active years offering something of myself to others while generating a livable income?”
Back in April, in the midst of all the craziness, I started re-evaluating what I had the power to do and what I could change. Like so many others, I felt the need to pivot towards something new using my skill sets. I dug into the things that made me happy, what I enjoyed and what I was already capable of doing.
I wondered “how could I incorporate my knowledge into something others might have an interest in knowing about and how could I monetize those things?”
While money is important, the passion I have for creating and helping others is my driving force to happiness. To do anything else would destroy any joy I have left in life.
I created a list of what I am good at and I evaluated what I have to offer. In the past year, I have gone through my life of creativity by looking through old photos, digging through old journals, and completing unfinished projects. Along the way, I was also able to sell all of the art I had available to pay bills. Each new day has been a whirlwind of discovery as I watched videos, took online courses, learned about online opportunities, and slowly narrowed down new ideas that I could be creatively passionate about.
As these ideas started to simmer and I began getting excited about a new future, self-doubt started to bubble up from out of nowhere. My own self-talk flung me into confusion, depression, and fear. The loneliness of isolation started to play with my mind. As a single woman with no children and no family close by I entered a place of self-pity. The feeling that no one needed me, wanted me around or depended on me hit me hard.
Self-doubt is one of the most destructive things anyone can do to themselves in life yet we all create negative self talk at times. As an older, mature woman I realize I don’t have the time to waste dealing with “imposter syndrome,” so despite my fears and doubts it is time for me to take a leap of faith.
My desire to feel as if I have something to contribute to the world has become very important. As I age I find myself continuously asking what do I have to offer that might make a difference in someone’s life or that I can leave behind? As I continue putting my ideas together despite my struggle with self-worth…and self-doubt, my friends remind me of my talents and I hope that those will be of interest to others.
I have a lot of knowledge as an artist and I know a lot of successful people I want to introduce to you in an effort to grow this platform of creativity and learning. I am free-falling with an idea that I hope will offer valuable knowledge in an effort to give back somehow.
This new career direction will be primarily virtual because assignment work is not as available as it once was. This space is not about me as an individual, it is about the process of learning through creativity and that can only grow when we are truly open and vulnerable to what is on the inside. Creativity is personal, it comes from all that we are and where we have been. To be in a creative space we have to be honest and we have to feel something inside, that process combined with the act of doing is what makes creativity exciting.
Learn and Create is a learning platform to inspire and teach creative methods, techniques, DIY, and business success principles. Whether you are a hobbyist, a creative, or an independent freelance entrepreneur I think you might find something informative and fun with this new space.
The Creative Push will be a part of the Learn and Create learning platform. Each week I will be sharing personal knowledge, tips, advice, interviews, and compelling insight for photographers, musicians, writers, and other creatives.
Using audio, video, and online platforms through the technology I have available to me has proven to be challenging with a steep learning curve but I am up for the challenge. Those of you that are here early will see both the successes and the failures along the way, nothing will be polished. As I learn how to make these things available to you, I genuinely want to offer you something valuable and meaningful. I also hope that this will be a way to help those out there who are in the same boat as I am to learn, share and grow.
Welcome to this new space! I am grateful that you are here, I hope that you will sign up for updates, and feel free to share with me any ideas you might have.
Please share with me what you would love to learn or create, I am all ears!
Thank you for reading, if you liked this story please share it with other creatives. I hope that you will sign up to be a part of this creative tribe!
To read more artists’ interview stories visit The Creative Push blog!
To listen to more interviews check out The Creative Push podcast!
To see my photography visit Sheri ONeal Photography!
There is much more on the way!!
Do you know someone who would make for an interesting interview? Please feel free to reach out via email and social media! I’m always looking to connect.
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