Work You Love has teamed up with Side Arts to offer creative consulting services which includes creative, strategic and experiential coaching. This article is part of an introductory series on creative growth. Follow along at sidearts.com/blog.
Life as an artist can often feel like an uphill battle. There are dozens of adversities that can attempt to derail and distract you from your passion. We here in the Side Arts community know how vital it can be to find support in your artistic journey. Professional, mental and emotional support are integral to succeeding as an artist. Carlee Myers of Work You Love recently sat down to speak to a fellow artist and friend on how a Work You Love workshop provided her the space she needed to find a sense of artistic direction. Through creative personal development, she found a way out of a state of stagnancy and into a fulfilling career in art.
Back in October 2017 Naomi Fesseha, a friend of mine who I went to college with, bumped into one another at an event at Moore College of Art & Design. At the event Naomi put her arm around me and proclaimed “I need to do something!” I happened to be running a Feeling Salty workshop the next day so I insisted that Naomi get her butt there! And of course, she did. Feeling Salty workshops provide the space for you to figure out what you want and have fun doing it.
Prior to the Feeling Salty workshop Naomi was in a space of having to let go of some of her pride. She was at a point of feeling stagnant in what she wanted to do. Naomi shared that she has a lot of ideas but finds it difficult to sometimes separate those ideas and focus in order to take the steps towards making her ideas a reality. One of her ideas was to move out of Philadelphia and out of Pennsylvania altogether.
“I was at my wits end with myself…it was time to reach out…” – Naomi.
Naomi needed a new approach so the timing of us meeting was indeed synchronistic. Initially, during the workshop she felt a sense of embarrassment in having to admit that she was ‘feeling salty’ – a term used to describe someone feeling angry, upset, lost or out of place.
“The experience was very therapeutic…we got to communicate in a very vulnerable way. Carlee gave a lot of guidance and direction in navigating that vulnerability. You’re in a space with strangers therefore forfeiting control and releasing that” –Naomi.
Through a process of positive affirmations and ‘playing with salt’ so to speak, Naomi felt like something was lifted from her and that she walked out of the Feeling Salty workshop feeling a sense of direction.
“I had too many things on my mind…I was cluttered. I felt like I walked out with one thing to focus on, which was really important. I came out with an actual step.” – Naomi.
Naomi kept following her step in order to avoid punishment for not following it! In workshops I sometimes get people to sign contracts with themselves and an accountability partner. In the contract, some actions deserve rewards if you fulfill them and other actions (or lack thereof) yield a punishment (the kind that suggests you’re getting on the island and burning the boat, the life vest, the bridge and any other vehicle that will let you sink back into your old ways).
“My contract was to dedicate 2 hours a day to apply for jobs in a place where I wanted to be. So from 2pm-4pm every day, no matter where I was, my fingers needed to be typing. My accountability partner was a full-blown adult! If I did not adhere to my contract, I would have to spend all of my savings on Make America Great Again – which is NOT fly at all! ” – Naomi.
In addition to her self-imposed, bridge-burning punishment, Naomi would not have to use her entire savings on these shirts but also have to punt and ‘sell’ Make America Great Again. …her worst political nightmare. In accordance with her contract, Naomi regularly sent her completed resumes to job opportunities, CC’ing her accountability partner on each and every email.
“It’s different when you have somebody watching you…” – Naomi.
Three weeks after Naomi continuously applied for jobs, she heard back from one and got the job in LA! Once she got the job, she continued with the same discipline, developed during the application process, to look for a places to live as well continue to applying for bigger and better jobs.
Now Naomi has healthcare, does yoga, is meeting new people and is really enjoying her new work…in her desired field, the arts!
“Know where you can afford to learn about new ways of learning about yourself”- Naomi.
Keep a lookout for the next Feeling Salty workshop to figure out what might be your next step towards living your best life and adulting like a pro!
Carlee is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression and experiential activities.