What is success?
Navigating setbacks with hope and determination
Hello, fellow creative friends…to what has become an occasional newsletter!
Does anyone else feel guilty for missing those self-imposed deadlines and intentions we set ourselves? (I clearly feel I have to apologise for myself here!)
For example, I’d set myself the goal of creating ten larger botanical illustrations by the end of March. Well, so far, I’ve completed 2 - hahaha!
I also said I would post here every week…no…every two weeks…no…every month. Again I find myself laughing! As Anne Lamont says:
If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.
That’s where hope comes in…Hope Florentine.
I asked on Instagram what people might call this lovely lady, the latest botanical fineliner illustration I’ve completed. Two names suggested that I loved the sound of were Florentine and Hope.
The girls name Florentine derives from the Latin word ‘florus’ which means ‘the bloomy one’.
In Numerology Florentine associates with the number 1 meaning determined and independent. It’s said that 1’s are born leaders headed for success.
The name Hope is of English origin and means desire of fulfillment.
So Hope Florentine felt like such an apt name for where I’m at right now.
Hope represents my desire for creative fulfillment and the battle I face with myself not to give up. (Perhaps this feeling of hope has inspired a little colour to creep into this illustration?)
Florentine reminds to maintain determination; to keep going in spite of set backs. To find success.
But what is success?
Well between you and me dear reader, I long to center my days around what I feel is my life’s purpose. One centered around my own creativity and encouraging creativity in others. Small success are creating art, writing here, and organising events (more on that later).
How would you define success in your life?
Very much like Gerald in one of my favourite children’s book ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’, I long to dance to my own tune. I long to cut the ties and binds of working to someone else’s symphoney and compose one that sings to my heart instead.
Planting Seeds of Success
Feeling creatively isolated and a little dispondant, last month I faced some fear and quietly organised a creative social with some like-minded friends in the pub. I called it my inaugural ‘Connect & Create’ event, where we connect (aka: chat over a drink) while creating (aka: make stuff we normally do at home).
After hours working remotely, drawing in my studio, or doodling in front of the telly with yet another Netflix series demanding I watch just ‘one more episode’, I decided enough was enough. I’d had it…. I needed to see people - real fellow creative people!
Well, I can safely say I probably spent more time chatting than drawing, but the buzz and sense of connection I felt afterwards was magic - this felt like (small but significant) success!
Thankfully the others agreed so I’m organising another meetup. I’ll pop the full details below in the inspiration block, along with some more creative recommendations and prompts for your week ahead.
For now, much love and stay creative,
Inspiration to Draw On
Connect & Create in Brighton: an IRL meetup!
- The idea is simple: you bring your creative hobbies to the pub and work on them, but with company, over a glass of wine, water, whisky or whatever your tipple happens to be.
- Bring your colouring, crocheting, knitting, drawing, procreate painting, poetry, writing etc, instead of scrolling mindlessly through Instagram feeling envious of other people's creative endeavours.
- There’s no pressure to be ‘good’ or a bonafide artist…the aim is to have a bit of fun and chat and make time for your hobbies, away from the 9 to 5.
- Importantly, make time for yourself! Engaging in creative hobbies can provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning. They help us unwind, reduce stress and allow us to disconnect from the demands of our jobs and focus on something that brings us joy and fulfilment for a while.
Full details of Connect & Create can be found on the Eventbrite page.
I’d love to see you there 🙂
Music to Move Your Pencil To
I discovered this song on the March episode of ‘As the Season Turns’ hosted by the nature writer Lia Leendertz.
Lisa Lân (meaning pure or beautiful Lisa), is a Welsh folk song. It is a lover's lament, ending when the heartsick lover asks dead Lisa to guide him to where she is, so that he may be reunited with her.
It wrenches at my heart with it’s tragic beauty. I recommend you doodle freely to this or sit back and let the melody take over your quiet sorrow for a while and revel in its melancholy.
I actually prefer Gwilym Bowen Rhy’s version which is sung live on the podcast (go to timestamp 24.08). However this recorded version is still absolutely gorgeous.
And Finally…A Quote to Live By
I came to this quote from Astrid Bracke, (who also has great substack called ‘Female Owned’ aimed at female business owners), a moderator for the wonderful Life Aligned community.
Life Aligned is a place to connect with fellow creatives/business owners who value living in accordance with natural cycles - menstrual, lunar and seasonal. It’s a really love community that has given me a real sense of belonging and hope - there’s that word again ;)
Astrid shared this simple quote, that helps me as I negotiate my way through a lot of uncertainty:
All growth is a leap in the dark.
~ Marloes de Vries, Visual Storyteller
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