2016 – Pursue Passion, Not Perfection
I planned to complete this post by 31 Dec and publish it on 1 Jan but hey, spending quality time with friends and loved ones take precedent so… Here’s the post after a 4-day delay. I thought it’s still pretty apt to publish it today since it’s officially the first day of work and school for many of us.
I used to write a whole long list of New Year’s resolutions every year and find myself to have forgotten most of what I’ve written by the 2nd week of the year. So this year, I decided to stop writing resolutions for the new year, but give myself a mantra to follow.
For 2016, my personal mantra is to PURSUE PASSION, NOT PERFECTION.
2015 had been a year of ups and downs, a ton of lessons learnt and a whole bunch of things to be thankful for.
I’m thankful that the people who truly matters are always there for me. That we have drawn closer to one another even though we spent less time together. That they are the ones who I always see when I look around me in fear that I’m alone in bad situations.
I’m thankful that we survived (actually, enjoyed) 1 year of parenthood and for the cheeky, playful and vocal little boy who has brought so much fulfilment to our lives.
I’m thankful for all the amazing opportunities that came through my doors for the past year. Blog collaborations, features, sponsored products, media invites, winning a Mont Blanc contest (I still pinch myself when I see that $1300 pen), the amazing communities of mummy bloggers and calligraphers/ hand-letterers I got acquainted with, and the lovely PR people whom I’ve had the privilege to work with.
I’m thankful that I discovered a new passion. One which allows me to combine my love for words, beauty, creating and inspiration. I have had so many ‘hobbies’ and interests in the past, but picking up, learning and exploring the art of calligraphy and hand-lettering has been one of the most amazing things I’ve done for myself this past year.
I started to show interest in calligraphy and attempted to pick it up when I was still pregnant with Laurent. But quickly gave up after a few bad attempts with the dip pen and being discouraged when I look at all the amazing work others were already creating with their calligraphy and hand-lettering. I chucked my calligraphy supplies aside for almost a year before I had the courage and desire to pick up the craft again.
I told myself to go at it with an aim to enjoy the process (which I really do) and as an avenue for self-development. To pick up something I have interest in and to pursue it with diligence and see where I am 1 year down the road. It doesn’t matter if I’m just slightly better, or I found something I prefer along the way, because by doing so, I know I can look back and say to myself that I am no longer where I used to be 1 year ago. That I have grown, and moved on and stepped through opened doors.
And thankfully, I really have.
It is amazing how much 1 year of learning, growing and developing can do to you if you put your heart at it, without fear of the outcome.
I went for calligraphy workshops, water colour workshops, watched Youtube, read blogs, stalked Instagram accounts of AMAZING calligraphers and hand-letterers, amassed my own collection of tools and supplies, practised, explored and created works of my own.
Sometime last year, I’ve also started designing custom hand lettered artworks under Daprayer Designs. I started by sending out some of my casual works to my friends and some sweet readers and followers to inspire and motivate them with words of positivity. In a couple of months, I started to receive a number of emails asking if I do custom works and what are my charges so I decided to start getting serious with it and worked with my customers to create bespoke artworks just for them.
I cannot explain the joy and satisfaction I feel every time I receive custom order from someone who saw my works on my blog or my Instagram, and the positive comments that they leave me when I show them the artworks I created specially for them. I feel so privileged knowing that my works are waiting to inspire a little child in his or her nursery, bringing some positive vibes and attitude to a birthday party, and sharing words of love and joy at wedding celebrations.
One of the most amazing moments for me, had to be working with Natsuki Photography to create 2 calligraphy pieces to be featured in their styled photoshoot (turned surprise proposal!!). The photos turned out AMAZING and the shoot was even featured on The Wedding Scoop!
Recently, I’ve also been receiving custom orders for artworks to be placed in my customers’ new homes. One of which, I will be sending half way around the globe to Dubai!
Thank you guys so much for your trust in me, for appreciating my work, for working with me to create something unique and for allowing me to be part of something special in your lives – birthdays, weddings, new home, new born! Every order, every piece of artwork and every kind words from all of you are like mega shots of confidence boosters for me and the joy and satisfaction I get creating all the works for you guys, are undescribable 🙂
I definitely still have a long way to go in terms of honing my techniques in both calligraphy and water colour. Sometimes, I still get intimidated when I look at how far ahead many of the calligraphers and hand-letterers are in terms of their hand lettering and water colour prowess, and the intricate and amazing works that they create. But this community has been most encouraging where people are always sharing, giving and showing what they know. And I’m always reminding myself how much I have gained through the past year of learning and exploration, and how much time I have already lost when I turned away from learning the year before, just because I was discouraged and believed that I will never be able to create something I would be proud of.
I’ve committed to spending more time in learning, practising and creating in the new year. I’ve signed up for online classes and summits, exploring some physical workshops to attend and bought better tools to create better works. All with my new mantra in mind –
PURSUE PASSION, NOT PERFECTION.
I have no idea where I will be and what new doors will open in the coming year, but I’m going at it with the desire to learn and be better. If you have something in mind that you have been wanting to try, pick up or devote your time and energy into, do it NOW. Don’t waste time worrying about how much better everyone else is or wondering whether you will ever be good enough. Because once you start learning and practising, you will only get BETTER. Don’t beat yourself up trying to be the best or be perfect, enjoy the process and know that after you’ve come out of it, you will be BETTER, and someone, if not yourself, will look at you 1 year later and be so proud of the process you’ve made 🙂