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?”

I chimed in with my own experience. I really liked my response and felt like it belonged here on my website, 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 decide for my website as well as 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 that.

Yes, you do have to put in the time and energy to learn website hosting, management, protection, legalities, etc. However, after going through the learning and initial stages of setting things up, I find that having my own website has been personally and creatively fulfilling.

And I haven’t set up shop yet.

For me, it’s not about the money. That’s secondary. It’s about the flexibility to play, create, grow, and further express who I am and allow 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 allow that kind of engagement for me.

I also know I’m in the online business in the long haul, so having my own website feels right.

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

(And if anyone wants to move 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 received from these third-party websites, and then notifying your clients of the change.)

I, on the other hand, will stick with a .com website. Even with the monthly cost of web hosting, not bringing in revenue yet, and the complications of having your own website may bring (and has brought), the beauty, flexibility, and creativity of a self-hosted website keeps me here, nurturing and building my online home. 

Truly,
Tuyet

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. ^_^)

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.

Letting Myself Be Angry

An aside from Being Present for the Past

***

I remember when I was having an argument with my mom and I couldn’t hold back my anger anymore.

I let myself be angry.

I could feel it.

I just let my emotions go.

And yes, even though the neighbors probably heard us,

Maybe my mom didn’t directly acknowledge my feelings,

But I know I did.

I let my feelings be heard and felt.

And that’s all I needed to be happy again.

My mom came back home later that night and didn’t apologize or anything.

But I could tell that she had time to reflect too.

And she actually did listen.

Because she didn’t asked me to do anything I didn’t want to do anymore.

In my anger, I said I was tired of dealing with her responsibilities,

And told her over and over to just deal with her own stuff.

Because I didn’t want handle them anymore.

I had it.

When I allowed myself to be angry, I was aware of what I needed in my “angry” demands,

Now I know that when I do something for someone, I actually have to want to do it.

And she would either respect me or get angry about it.

But just as I let my anger be, I let her be angry too.

And not take her anger personally.

Not to take on the responsibility to calm her down.

That is for her to figure out herself.

***

So given what I know now, is there anything I would do differently?

No.

I wouldn’t hold back my emotions.

I do not regret telling this person how I felt.

I was only honoring my feelings for what they were at the time.

So what am I supposed to do when my emotions do take the best of me?

Forgive myself.

There is nothing to do but to forgive myself.

I am only human.

And when I’m ready,

Be aware of what the past feelings were, what I need, and work THROUGH them where I am now.

What about the other person then?

I just have to be there for their feelings too.

To not take them personally,

Or take responsibility for the feelings others are experiencing.

Whether or not the feelings are being experienced by me or by others,

Feelings are not to be owned.

They are there simply to be felt,

To be observed.

To be experienced.

We are not emotions.

We FEEL emotions.

And as human beings, we have the luxury of feeling them all.

And feeling ANY kind of emotion is BEAUTIFUL.

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