February 22, 2012

Rising Above the Gossip

There are certain things we can't control.  The weather.  Our real age.  And then of course, we can't control the gossip from others who feel threatened by our success. What we can control, however, is how we react.  Not reacting is a great way to react to this.

People are always going to gossip and spread false rumors to try and bring you down- they are usually feeling threatened or insecure about who they are in comparison to you.   It's far easier to try and hurt, offend or sabotage you instead of take the hard work and focus it takes to get to where you are.

No matter who you are or what you do, you are likely not immune to others talking about you. It seems that the more successful or high profile your job is, the more people talk!  Just remember, the gossip usually has nothing to do with you personally.  It has everything to do with them.    If you choose to participate in that dialogue, then you are choosing to make a non-problem a problem.  You're allowing people with no credibility to have opinions about you affect you.  They have time to waste.  You do not.

The Gossiper is always the inadequate one. The Gossiper wants your reply. Don't.

February 17, 2012

Free Falling Painting

Finished another one!  Inspired by Tom Petty, Shelby Mustangs and this land of America.

And of course, a video of how I did it:

February 1, 2012

It's not easy trying to be the best you can be!

Deep breath. I've signed up for a lot of commitments in the next three months.  I've promised my Miami agency that I would spend time living there during busy season so that I can work with the clients they hustle to book me for.   Modeling is a very demanding full time job- a lifestyle of castings, shoots, networking, staying in Marissa Miller-ish shape, eating well and lots of travel- but it's totally manageable. Aside from being a working model, I am having the biggest and most important art show of my life in New York City in April.  Some of the most influential people in the art industry will be attending and the pressure is on to deliver an impressive show.  This is also a full time job- requiring an enormous amount of planning, organizing guest lists and invites, framing, shipping, press releases, making prints, marketing, sponsors, charity affiliations and oh yeah... actually making the art.  I am my own worst enemy because I believe I can do everything at once... usually.

My stress level was sky high yesterday as I thought to myself... there's just no way I can do all of this at once!  I need to be in Miami next week, I don't know where I'm going to live, I need an art studio space in Miami and I have 24 hours to figure it out. This is impossible.  Someone is going to get disappointed... either my agency or the  people invested in my art show.  If I don't spend time in Miami to honor my commitment I've made to Wilhelmina to model, why would they ever hold me accountable and want to book me?  That is my job and myself and my bookers have worked hard to get to where I am.   If I don't do or postpone my art show, there won't be another opportunity like it, and I will disappoint the network of influential people who are highly invested- gallery curators, the host of my show, and the charity organization involved. I know we have all been here... so now what??!

Here's the bottom line:  no one is going to be disappointed and I am going to honor both of my commitments.  The key is transitioning into a new level of discipline and work on my part.

I had a conversation with two people on my art "team" and they helped me gain some control and remember to believe in myself. They reminded me of the valuable lessons that all entrepreneurs and anyone who has achieved something great have learned.  They pushed me to see something I couldn't see in myself, so I want to share it with you.

First.... mentally prepare for the worst of it.

Yes, these next three months are going to suck. Be stressful at times.  I'm a little scared.  What if I fail? I'm going to be working seven days a week and have not a moment of spare time.  I am going to have 5 am call times, take a million pictures, have no time to eat, might hate my paintings and I might have a mental breakdown.  But this is not an impossible feat.   People are counting on me.  I HAVE to do whatever it takes.  Just do it.  People do this kind of impossible stuff all the time!  So why can't I?

Leaving your mark on this earth takes time, sacrifice, tears, struggle and enormous, dedicated excruciatingly painful effort. I want the big the rewards happen and I am excited to push myself.  You have to be able to see yourself as capable of the impossible, even when others tell you you are crazy (something I am told often).   When eveyone told Orville and Wilbur Wright it was impossible to fly, they refused to believe it.  If they made their vision to fly come true, then my vision to continue being a dependable working model and having a fabulous art show can come true too.    And I am lucky. This is good stress and I have a great team of people around me to support me. At the end of the day, I am able to do the two things I love and I am passionate about.

My hope is that this lesson I learned today can be applied to you and something in your life.  Maybe you are changing careers, you're a single mom or trying to achieve something greater for yourself and are debilitated by the idea of failing or rejection.  I'm not saying to throw caution to the wind, but whatever it is, just do it.

You'll never know if you don't at least try.

My favorite piece of advice... I drew it in my sketchbook.