my self

Saturday, January 19, 2013

more wintry scenes from the last few days avec my most excellent companion Miss Winnie Dixon

We search for happiness everywhere, 
but we are like Tolstoy's fabled beggar 
who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, 
under him the whole time. Your treasure - 
your perfection - is within you already. 
But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion
of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego 
and enter into the silence of the heart.

Elizabeth Gilbert

I've been told by at least two therapists, with a lilt of surprise in their voices I might add, that I am incredibly self aware. I wonder how related self awareness is to narcissism, but only fleetingly do I wonder this - and then I'm on to some other wonder. Wondering is one of my most favourite activities.

I am self aware, and I'm also aware that I'm increasingly self aware. It's fun, it's helpful, it's a relief to discover some of the things I'm discovering lately about this ol' self of mine. It's exciting to think that this world of self discovery just keeps on happening, endlessly & forever I suspect. Suddenly I have a brand new understanding of so many old habits & quirks of mine, so many things make much more sense to me. Pieces of the puzzle begin fitting together perfectly. And with understanding, thankfully, comes acceptance. Be myself ... it's really who I want to be, always.

This week, all week I've been working on 3 new card designs for Madison Park Greetings, holiday cards for next season. I work with a fantastic client, in fact she is near perfect in the how's your client category of a designer's life of being art directed life. She'd easily score 10 out of 10. She's a pleasure & a joy to work with/for. She's clear, she directs me in ways that accentuate or celebrate my existing style, skills & talent. When she makes a small suggestion or tweak it's always a big improvement, it's a why didn't I think of that but I'm so glad that she thought of that. But ... it is for me a strangely painful process designing specifically for a client. I make it painful ... I'm realizing.

Madison Park Greetings has already licensed 10 of my designs which will be available for sale later this month (you can be sure I'll let you know all the details the moment I know more). They simply chose 10 existing designs, mostly botanical collages. Work I created for me. Work that I'm not saying was easy to produce but I'm discovering it is easier to create for myself - and that's a good thing I'm pretty sure.

When I'm designing for Magnet Works* or Madison Park they're giving me pretty free rein, they're just throwing out a few parameters - themes/motifs. We love what you do Susan, can you design us __ new pieces to fit under the umbrella of Garden, Home, Holiday, Typographic ... & for some reason I instantly begin to try too hard when I'm working for a customer. So hard I'm catching myself going backwards, trying so hard I hold my breath, I dither, I fret & worry about every minute decision. Colour, composition, drawing ... yikes ! It drives me crazy and I know LOUD & CLEAR that it's a big thing I need to work. Be myself ... it's already working.

I catch myself forgetting that I don't need to try to be myself.

I am myself. Just be myself.

Fascinating stuff.

* mid page, New Spring/Summer catalogue, click on new designs here to see me and my stuff page 18


  1. Thank you for this post - I'm going through some self-awareness discoveries at the moment as well, and I find them to be a profound relief, but difficult to articulate.

    So happy about your upcoming projects, and I'm doing cartwheels inside my head that my next concert is going to BE one of your projects!!! I know it's not until June but I'm so happy already!

  2. ps & I'm thrilled at the prospect of working on your upcoming gig-alicious poster

  3. Yours rocks too! Plus you made it yourself so even better!

  4. I know ...I'm lovin' my new avatar

    want to change yours anyone ? go here

  5. Now "we" know that's stretch Sybil ... ;-)


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