Why I Host My Own .Com Website

A little background:

I came across this artist Facebook group question asking “what is preventing [artists] from opening their own .com storefront. If so many of you are upset about Etsy, TicTail, or whatever site’s business decisions why are you limiting yourself to using sites like that?”

That was the question and chimed in with my own experience and choices. 

I really liked my response and felt like it belonged here on my site, so here it is. ^_^

***

I honestly love having my own .com website. ♥️ The flexibility of it all, (I have WordPress now. I used to have Wix a few years ago but it wasn’t flexible enough for me. I’ve had my own Storenvy and Etsy and have made some sales there but most of them came from people who met me at conventions.)

I love creating my own pages and posts and allowing people to get to know me and my creative self in the color and design I choose for my website in addition to the writings and artwork I choose to share. A .com website for me is like a creative project all in itself and I love everything about it that.

Yes, you do have to put in the time and learn about hosting, creating, managing, protecting, legalities, etc., but after going through the learning curve and initial stages of setting things up, I find having my own website creatively and personally fulfilling. And I haven’t set up shop yet.

It’s not about the money for me. That’s secondary. It’s about the flexibility to play, create, grow, and further express who I am, allowing future visitors and potential clients to enjoy the changes with me. I prioritize personal relationships over sales, and I feel Etsy, Tictail, Storenvy, etc. don’t quite make that option easy for me.

Also, I know I’m in the online business in the long haul so having my own website makes sense to me.

I, of course, see the appeal of setting up shop in an already active marketplace like Etsy or leaning on other websites for ease of transactions and customer support. Nothing wrong with that.

And if anyone wants to move your customers to your own website, it is possible! I haven’t done it myself but I know an artist who has done it before. I would imagine building a solid following on social media first, perhaps making use of the connections you make on these websites, and then notifying them of the change.

But I’m absolutely in love with my choice. Even with the monthly cost of hosting my own website and the complications it may bring, the joy, beauty, flexibility, and creativity of a self-hosted website keeps me here and nurturing my home. 

Accepting Your Artist Skills and Limitations

Just the other day as I was working through my childhood creative wounds.

I have come to realized the source of my frustration and dissatisfaction with my artwork.

The reason for this statement:

“It’s just not good enough.”

At a very young age, I had assumed expectations and responsibilities to be good at, well, EVERYTHING.

Cooking, cleaning, communications, etc. 

But these expectations extended well beyond the chores and obligations my parents had for me at home.

I’m expected be an incredibly MASTERFUL artist.

My art teachers thought I was good. My retired artist dad thought I was good. 

So I thought I HAD to be good.

Or else, I am a failure.

Having turned 27, I HAVE to have the skills of a 27-year-old master artist.

Right?

But I’m not “there yet,” however, whatever is expected of a 27-year-old artist to be at this point.

I’ve looked inside myself and discovered that my inner creative child really is only 12 years old, accompanied with an artistic skill set obtained when I was at that age, give a few more I have obtained as an adult in my college and professional years.

Why 12 years old?

I’m not sure, but I assume that is is because I was heavily encouraged NOT to indulge in any artistic activity at that time.

Hence my inner artist’s confidence and skills are frozen at age 12.

What kills me is that I have been expecting her to perform at mastery level at MY current age of 27.

Expecting a 12-year-old to perform at the age of 27?

Goodness. It’s no wonder I have been so frustrated and heartbroken every time I’ve tried to create something new this year.

“I’m supposed to be as good as my age right now. As an adult. Why can’t I get these drawings done and created right away like the way they should be at my age?”

Realizing the burden and stress I’ve caused my inner artist, I’ve slowly released these standards from her and now meet her at HER level.

“Hello inner artist,

You are a 12-year-old artist in a 27-year-old body.”

It’s actually a very humbling experience to meet my inner creative child as she is, with skills and experiences that are unique to her.

Now that I recognize her limitations and capacities as an artist, I can better gauge and assign her projects that are more suitable to her capabilities and challenge her in ways that I know she can handle and have fun with!

I’ve push her way too hard to meet certain expectations and goals when I haven’t allowed nor assisted her in developing those skills to meet them.

Hence the constant push and pause in my creative process and flow.

She pushes to create. Then pauses to get the rest she needs.

And it’s usually in this pause that my adult professional side comes out and attacks her for being lazy and incapable of meeting adult responsibilities and deadlines.

It’s like expecting a person to run 10 miles their first time when they haven’t built up the muscles and stamina to run 1 mile yet.

It’s not humanly possible.

And we are human beings.

So be kind to yourself.

Go inside and find your inner creative child.

Find her and see where she is currently, in skill, experience and capacity. See her for who she truly is right now.

Has she experienced enough, seen enough, practiced enough to create that project you want her to make right now? 

If not, back track a little. Find something that would suit her level first. And slowly increase the level of difficulty suitable to her capabilities and needs.

(It’s like a video game. Select the level suitable to your current skills. Select too high and you may just want to throw your game out the window.)

It was hard for me to accept my limitations as an artist. And as a human being.

I’ve believed for so long that as long as I put my heart, mind, and soul into it, I am capable of anything.

I still believe this.

But in order to be that person I wish to be, I have to recognize and accept who I am now.

By meeting myself as I am, I can better gauge what I can or can not do in this moment, work on improving skills I know I would love to have suitable to my current capacities, and feel more at peace and joyful with my progression as an artist.

I’m still internally a young artist working towards being a “professional adult” after all.

How about you?

Truly,
Tuyet

P.S. A gentle reminder that today was set to be the last day to register for my artist alley course, Artist Alley for Beginners. Because I’ve been sending reminders later in the day, I will extend the course registration date to Monday, October 8th, 2018 at 10:00 PM, so those who receive this later will have a chance to sign up.

Please note that I currently do not know if I will open this course again. Thus, if you’d appreciate organized and guided assistance for your artist alley journey from me and the 3-year experience I have as a convention artist, this will be the last known time for which I will have this course open.

Thank you again to all who have signed up so far! Your purchase not only assists you on your journey, but it allows me to pay to take care of myself as I have been precariously recovering creatively since the beginning of this year.

You can read more about it here.

From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank you for your support.

Healing from My Creative Injury

While flipping through one of my favorite artists’, Kelly Rae Roberts, stories on Instagram a few days ago, I came across this quote her friend  Brené Brown shared on her Instagram:

“The creative adult is the child who has survived.”  – Julian F. Fleron

This quote hit me so hard on so many levels.

Especially as I was sitting in that moment creating something special for those who have been wounded creatively.

Those who follow me on my Instagram may have seen it in my stories.

I have suffered from a creative injury as a young child, carrying this wound with me unknowingly for several years.

Now as an adult, aware and ready to face it, I am healing and nurturing this part of me, slowly but tenderly.

Not by pushing or forcing artwork out.

But by clearing the my heart so creativity may pass through.

Gently, kindly, and with love.

You may not see what I’m working on.

You may not see any outward progress.

And that’s okay.

I know I am making progress.

And I know this time is for me.

To heal the creative injuries of the past that have left me small, tortured, and traumatized for so long.

I’m taking care of me right now.

And I hope you are too.

Nurturing and saying yes to rest and to your inner creative health.

May we be the creative adults that have survived…

And have healed.

What is your take on this quote?

Truly,
Tuyet

Finding My Artist Way Again

Since the last time I posted a video, I wasn’t really quite myself. Here’s what happened and where I am now. (See video below.)

I hit an all time low at the beginning of 2018. I let go of everything I identified with: a convention artist, a teacher of a course, a creator. Everything I thought was me, I let go.

I wasn’t making money, and I wasn’t creating art, having left the convention scene, closed courses, and stopped taking commissions.

Unknowingly, I entered a very deep depression. Voices in my head were telling me I wasn’t good enough, no one cared, separating me from friends, family, and reality. Things spiraled out of control until I picked up a book sitting on my table since the October before, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.

Since reading and completing the exercises, things seemed a little clearer, I started seeing myself differently, and I began giving myself permission to create and live more soulfully everyday.

*~* In depth story of my experience that year *~*

It Hurts to Talk About This

*~* Course Mentioned in Video *~*

Artist Alley for Beginners

*~* Book Mentioned in the Video *~*

“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron:

Julia Cameron’s Website

(Not sponsored nor affiliated with source. Just wanted to show you the link to the book. ^_^)

Holding On

Holding On

Why does your heart ache?

Because you are holding onto something tightly.

As you already know, I have fallen out of a relationship with someone about a year and a half ago.

While I have recently and actively chosen to move on from this relationship, the ME before wanted to hold on.

I held onto the belief that we would one day get back together again.

All the signs just seemed to suggest it.

We remained friends following the breakup, and the deep, genuine love and connection continued into our post-relationship conversations and visits.

I just KNEW a future was possible.

It just felt REAL.

What I didn’t know was that while I was holding on tightly to this hope of the future, I lost a great deal of focus in the daily happenings of my life: work, family, friends, self-care…the actually moving on stage following a breakup.

I forgot about…ME.

That’s when life reminded me that, Yup, I can’t just WILL things to happen to me.

Because often times they’ll come back with a slap to the face:

He told me he was seeing someone new.

And while we both wanted to stay friends, I could sense avoidance, fear, and distrust emanating from him.

How could you truly be friends with a past lover when there is another person in the picture? Where do you draw the line?

This was new territory for me.

But I still wanted to try.

At first, I was upset from the energy I was receiving from him. “Why would he ‘treat’ me this way?” I asked. “Why would he avoid speaking the truth? We’re friends. He’s a good person. He wouldn’t do this.”

That’s when it hit me.

The beginning of a very subtle but familiar relationship dynamic was slowly playing out.

The expectations and disappointment, the fear and avoidance…

This happened when we were together.

And it was happening again as FRIENDS.

Nope, nope, NOPE, I am NOT going down that road again, I told myself.

I spotted the pattern before things escalated, and I did what I felt was right and respectful for both of us:

I told him I would no longer reach out to talk to him and that he’s welcome to contact me again when he’s ready to talk about himself and his feelings honestly with me.

(In retrospect, I was avoidant, fearful of, and dishonest with my feelings as well.)

While I have not heard from him since, I am internally and externally content with my relationship with him.

The anger, sadness, resentment, and disappointment I had directed at him AND myself…

The memories of delight and despair, love and rejection, acceptance and violation…

I finally sat down and felt them all THROUGH…

Revisiting and honoring all the memories and emotions I had with him…

Lovingly and clearly seeing them for the first time ever…

Speaking words of kindness and wisdom to the abandoned inner child…

And finally recognizing the memories and emotions as not me–nor mine–to keep.

With a moment of silence and gratitude, I bid them all farewell.

And with them, the aching pain in my chest and the tightness on my heart.

After finally being heard, my inner child loosened her grip and released my heart…

It now beats and breathes life with greater ease and capacity to love.

As for the hope…

With little to no pain left attached to this relationship, the hope of a future no longer lives in my mind relentlessly.

I am now free to love with a lighter and fuller heart.

And maybe, one day, he will too.

Truly,

Tuyet

P.S. If your heart is aching and you would like to release it with love, soul, and grace, I recommend the book, “Conscious Uncoupling” by Katherine Woodward Thomas. I went through this book and unraveled so much of the pain I was holding on to, much more than just this relationship.

In going through her steps and exercises, I am implementing it in other areas in my life, like work, family relations, and friendships, to untangle and let go of the things that hold me back.

I wish you all the best in your recovery. <3

Click here for more TrulyTuyet writings.

Click here for more Stories about my Art.

Click here for Videos and accompanying text.

I Can Help You Smile Again

I Can Help You Smile Again

One of my past boyfriends gifted me this panda bear when we were out at a fair. (I whooped his butt at a game, and the concession stand dude made him pay for the prize lol).

I Can Help You Smile Again

A few months later, we broke up and as much as I wanted to forget and move on from this relationship, I still loved him and the bear he had given me.

Our relationship was long distance, so holding this bear when we were away gave me a great sense of calm and peace. She fits in my arms just right, holding her little bum at the crook of my arm and her head at the palm of my hand.

I held her close to my chest–my heart space–nearly every night.

After the breakup, I still held my little friend for comfort and relief as I sorted through the deep suffering and pain from the loss I was experiencing from the breakup.

In my time of healing, I noticed my little bear had lost her smile: the thread pulled out from her small, white muzzle.

“How…fitting,” I thought.

I left her unsmiling for months.

It’s now July, about one and half years since my relationship ended.

With my heart feeling full of the love and life I once remembered from the many moments of solitude and self-healing, I can now help my little friend smile again.