New learnings, reaffirming experience

Many of you who follow me on social media channels know that I participated in a spring market in Downtown Los Altos last month.

I would’ve loved to just sit at a table and do arts demos but they wanted product — understandably since it’s a market — so, I ended up painting 50 individual gel-plate printed double-sided wooden discs that were varnished three times over; 80 unique roses on wooden slices to be used as gift tags or keepsakes; 30 intricately-detailed 3D-gold laced mini wooden tags; and 50 alcohol ink prints on metallic paper mounted to create beautiful frame-worthy cards.

The paintings were fun to create … it was fantastic to build three completely different series on wood (a substrate I usually don’t work with) and a wonderful feeling to know that these tangibles would make someone’s day.

But in the weeks leading up to the market and the four hours there, I started to realize just how much of my soul was not in the finishing process or the marketing of merchandise. The hours spent varnishing and sanding, deliberating over display aesthetics, purchasing props and simply guessing whether this would be a “successful endeavor” or not … it gave me reason to introspect. 

It also helped to have a myriad of conversations with those who stopped by … an informal survey helped me understand how much people want to see the process, understand what goes into creative process and feel encouraged when I tell them they are artists as well!

It’s taken me almost three weeks to fully recuperate from the event and in this time, I’ve had a lot of interesting, quiet conversations with myself:

What do I love most about art? Why do I yearn to make time for it? What brings me a deep sense of satisfaction, not just the temporary high? What fuels me, challenges me, engrosses me? What makes me want to show up every day? What feels empowering and fulfilling?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I needed this experience to:

  1. Validate that I enjoy teaching more than mass-producing products
  2. Push me to create mini project- and technique-based online courses
  3. Create an online store so that whenever I do have tangibles to share, you have a place to purchase them

It’s been a wonderfully enriching experience stepping out of my comfort zone and giving myself the opportunity to tune in, listen, and continue on my path of creating and sharing.

So, thank you for continuing to be part of my journey and I hope to see you, soon!

Published by mansimakes

Hi there, I am Mansi, a self-taught artist based in Silicon Valley. I was a full-time communications professional for two decades, with a desk job and a six-figure salary until I decided to become a mom. Motherhood, as many will attest, can be extremely exhausting, especially in those first years. Art became my quiet place. It restored my sense of self. It gave me renewed energy. It helped me become a better mom. I was led down the path of creation by instinct and “discovered“ in early 2019 by a fellow kindred spirit at one of my art pop-ups who asked me to join her entrepreneurial venture. While I immersed myself full time in the role of CFO and co-founder of this women-led venture supporting local women makers, I missed experimenting with mixed-media. So, in 2021, I've decided to focus my energies full time in finessing my craft, producing more online tutorials and offering in-person art workshops for both adults and children. Thank you for joining me on this adventure as I experiment, learn and continue creating custom pieces of joy.

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