entrepreneurship

Two Speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You Should Hear

I wanted to continue the conversation we started in yesterday's Sunday Summary No. 15 about being emotionally and mentally prepared to leap from your day job into your dream day job. I wanted to emphasize my point about getting clear on your relationship with your current job before deciding to leave it. I wanted to remind you to spend some time this week thinking about whether your day job is an escape, and excuse or an exit strategy?

But you can also just watch the replay.

And then join me in listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preaching and speaking truth to power today. Here are two speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. you should hear.

Martin Luther King Speaks! Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution 

"And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution" - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., "What Is Your Life's Blueprint?

"You have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live. You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody. And so you must be involved in the struggle for freedom and justice." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

in love and art,
cd

My 2017 Word Is Steady

Had you told me that 2016 would be the year I would burn out, take a month long vacation, spend part of said vacation in Santorini floating in the Aegean sea on my back so I could keep the salty water from stinging the stitches I would get after that near death motor bike accident, and quit my crazy but secure six figure salaried day job for my beautiful no-where-near-six-figure dream job, I would’ve said “GTFOH, who me?”

But then it all happened. Twenty sixteen will forever be known as my LEAP year!

 

Adjusting to my new normal - full-time artist and creative entrepreneur - hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been really hard especially managing my mood, being a team of one and dealing with inconsistent cash flow. No book or blog prepares you to leap from the known into the unknown. Sure these tools help with business basics - business models, marketing, and branding - but they do little to prepare you for the non stop emotional rollercoaster.  The constant anxiety, the loneliness, the always wanting to throw up, the sleepless nights, the 15-hour work days, the feelings of nothing being enough, and the never ending to do lists.

Nothing really prepares you for all of that. Knowing why you made the leap in the first place and keeping your WHY squarely before your eyes helps tremendously though.

As I start this new year and my fourth month of making art full-time, I need an anchor, something that I can wrap my whole self around as I chart these new to me waters. I can’t remember the last time I chose a word to ground my year, but it’s time to resurrect the practice. And after lots of prayer, mediation and stillness, my word arrived. 

My 2017 word is STEADY.

Steady adjective | \’ste-dē\

1 a: direct or sure in movement
   b: firm in position
   c: keeping nearly upright in a seaway

2: showing little variation or fluctuation

3 a: not early disturbed or upset
   b: constant in feeling, principle, purpose, or attachment

   c: not given to dissipation

And yes, I’ll take ALL of the definitions. Thank you Merriam-Webster. I love that my word isn't pretentious or full of great expectations. Sure, I'm expecting to thrive in my art practice and business this year but I'm not putting any unrealistic pressures on myself. None of this six-figures in six-weeks non-sense.

When I started my public health practice after getting my MPH in 2006, I earned $51,500 dollars a year as an analyst. When I left my job four months ago, I left as a Senior Director supering growing teams of Directors and junior staff. I earned $112,000 dollars doing so. I say it not to boast, but to remind myself that at the beginning of every new career there's a starting point, a bottom of sorts.  I'm ok with that. I'm OK with the fact that at age 36, I decided to start over, to start a new career as a professional artist pimping her wares and services in-person and online.

My ultimate goal in a nutshell is to have a thriving, prolific and profitable art career and business where I lead a small team of creatives that make fine and commercial art goods that inspire and instigate social change. 

Right now though, I just want to settle into a grove where I’m present in each moment, focused on my own artwork and business, and not comparing myself or my work to anyone else’s. In this new year, I want to be clear about what I’m aiming my art and art practice at, open to new partnerships and opportunities to hone my skills and grow my business, and steady, come what may.

in love and art,
cd

p.s. the art print shop launches on 1/15 with new collages alike the one above. yay #fineartforeveryone and every budget ;)

Sunday Summary: Creative Entrepreneurship Uncensored

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It's midday and I'm sitting in my home studio checking things off my to do list like a BOSS! Because, well, I am the boss now. I'm officially a full-time artist and creative entrepreneur (yep, I wanna throw up and cry tears of joy right now).

I QUIT MY DAY JOB!!!

I know, crazy pants.

I gave my notice on July 26th (and submitted my official letter on July 27th).  My last day in the office was September 2nd. August was one big emotional blur. The hardest part of quitting wasn't the actual quitting part, it was the long process of reconciling my feelings about my decade long public health career and saying goodbye to all my friends and colleagues part.

Lots of tears...most of them happy.

Now that I am officially settled into the grove of working from home and for myself, I can get back to writing and sharing some of the finest works of art I can find and see up close. 

Don't worry, I plan to share this crazy beautiful creative entrepreneurial journey I am on as well. Each week, I take to Facebook Live to share the week's happenings - the uncensored version of quitting a secure six-figure day job and diving head and heart first into entrepreneurship. You can catch up here - Sunday Summary - and watch weekly on Facebook Live at 9pm EST.

Do join me!

in art and love,
cd
 

On Being A Beginner

Being a beginner can be scary but it can also be beautiful. You get to choose.

I've been making art off and on since I was 12 not ever really considering it to be a viable career choice or way of life. While I enjoyed art back then, I excelled in science and math and told anyone who would listen about my plans of becoming a surgeon. In the fall of 2013 things changed. Actually several years ago I put my doctor ambitions to rest and settled into my career as an epidemiologist, but 2.5 years ago I gave voice to the years of resistance, restlessness and seeking and affirmed what I've known since I was 12 - I am an artist. Making things light me up.

Knowing who you are is liberating.

Knowing who you are is way more important than knowing where you are going.

Two and a half years ago I decided I wanted my creative life to be my entire life and not just something I day-dreamt about or did in the evenings after work or on Sunday mornings to soothe and bandage the inflamed parts of my life. Parts left that way because I was just too afraid to quit and start at the beginning. Then, being a beginner seemed scary.

That fall I also stop caring about what other folk thought about me and my coloring ways. I only have one life. You only have one life. What is it going to be? Who are you going to live it for?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? -Mary Oliver

I want to craft stories with my words and my paint brushes and I want to live comfortably doing it. I am not sure who or what coaxed me into believing that a creative life meant an unstable life or a lonely life or an impoverished life. Thank the heavens, I let that go! I stopped believing that and every day since then my belief that my gifts - my divine creative gifts - will make room for me have carried me.

Had I decided to go on to an art conservatory after graduating from high school (I went to Fame school by the way...yep the one where students sing and dance in the cafeteria and paint on walls), who knows where I would be. All I know is here I am, a beginner. An artist at the beginning of her beautiful and brilliant career, perfecting her craft, earning her chops, enjoying the process, and making work that mostly misses the high mark she has set for herself, but an artist nonetheless.

Hearing the words of journalist Ira Glass stirred me enough to share all of this with you. If you have a couple of minutes do watch this lovely and creative rendering of Ira Glasses's pep talk to beginners.
 

Are you a beginner? Come let's hold hands and swap stories. Meet me in the comments.

Tell On,
cd

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What Artist Romare Bearden Taught Me about Commitment

What am I committed to? Who do I need to be to make it happen?

These are the two question you need to answer now. Like right now if you're ever going to have the life you dream about.

March 30, 2026...Ten years from now, when I reflect on today. I want to know that I pursued and practiced my talents fully, without letting up, without apology, and most especially without regret. Hearing what your soul is telling you - pick up the brush and paint, write your story, sell the farm move to the city, leave the city buy a farm, dump the boy, slowdown, down size, make room - is the easier part. Committing to what you hear then deciding who you need to be to make it all happen is an entirely different thing.

Can you imagine ascending to greatness based on how you decide to spend time, your evenings and weekends for example?

Romare Bearden, the brilliant artist, writer and activist, spent most of his adult years up into his 50s working as a full-time social worker in New York City. He made art in the evenings and on the weekends. For thirty years, he created masterpieces in the evenings and on the weekends. Masterpieces. Mind blown? Oh, he took care of his wife and children too. Mind blown, now? I know right! 

Romare Bearden, Mother and Child, 1977, Silkscreen with Photo-lithograph

Romare Bearden, Mother and Child, 1977, Silkscreen with Photo-lithograph

Bearden ascended to greatness based in large part to what he decided to do with the little time he had. He was that committed to his art, to his soul's calling. No excuses. He honored himself, his talents and his commitment.

Can you imagine ascending to greatness - top of the pack, best selling, known for your brilliance and bravery, mentioned in the same breath as the other greats - based on how you decide to spend your evenings and weekends, your "free-time."

Great because you committed to starting your business, launching your blog, writing your novel, learning that thing you always wanted to learn, being brilliant. Great because you figured out who you needed to be - dedicated, responsible, vulnerable, open, present, available, patient - to make it happen.

So ask yourself...

What am I committed to? Who do I need to be to make it happen?

I want to root for you. Declare your commitments in the comments. We're in this together.

Onward!
cd

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