Do you need to give yourself permission to play?

I did. And it hasn’t been so easy.

As I continue my personal journey into claiming the title “Artist” I realize that I feel resistance to the label or identification of artist as my job title. I started making art as a source of bringing more play into my life. I needed to give myself permission to play more and to expand my interests beyond my work life. Do you spend free time doing something you love or do you have a hobby that you are passionate about?

Making art was my hobby.

Now suddenly my art is for sale, gulp. Now making art has new meaning and emotional weight. It’s no longer simply play time but potentially money-making time. No! Stop! My soul is crying out in dread. What about play time? I don’t want art making to feel like drudgery. I want it to feel joyful and relaxing, not stressful.

I know that this is a mindset issue I am wrestling with at the moment. I am overjoyed that people love my art enough to buy it. But I believe in having a hobby that allows me to escape my day to day work and be creative. There is a balance in there somewhere but right now it feels like I am walking a fine tightrope high above the ground.

Definition of Mindset

According to, Mindsets are defined as “the ideas and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation.” Mindsets imply that mental and attitudinal states can assist one in being successful with a given skill set. 

I would add that play is a mindset. When I approach the writing, art-making or coaching from the perspective of play, anything is possible.

mixed media art tutorial

I allowed myself to do this week with some fun playtime with new supplies and a tutorial from Jane Davenport and Ranger. Playing with new supplies is an ongoing delight for.

Today’s Mantra: When I play, I make money.

My mantra this week: “When I play I make money.” I feel this way about my coaching, I love working with my clients and am confident of the value I provide. It’s time to adopt this belief for my artwork as well. That all the practice and playtime will result in joyful abundant money flowing in.

Giving Myself Permission to Play

I mentioned in another post that I am committed to participating in Inktober 2018 this October for a couple of reasons. One, I want to get better at drawing and two, I want to play. These two reasons interwine in my mind and I can get caught up in creating something pretty for social media or judging my play time with “that’s not good enough to share.” I did this to myself last night with an #Inktobertangles prompt. The picture was crappy so I didn’t share it on Instagram. I am sharing it here, it’s good enough for now.

Inktober Tangles 2018

I make art for many reasons and making money is the least of them. The creative process is mindful meditation for me, playful practice and often emotional and therapeutic.

I could create play time around my creative practice and separate that from making art for money time. But really, aren’t they same thing? When I give myself permission to play, I make art that I like. I don’t worry about what others think. I focus on the joy and the creative process.

And this too sells art.

when I play I make money