I remember the drowsy feeling after I finished my first book. I had little sleep for a few months to get each illustration and page completed, and I was exhausted afterward. I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for a few more months but my work as a writer wasn't done. I had to plan a launch, promote, and get my work out into the world. Everything was a learning process this past year and I had no idea what I was doing. Everything has been trial and error. Sometimes, I stood there wondering why I constantly created impossible projects and deadlines for myself. Booking events, creating a launch party, and promoting everything was more than enough to drive me crazy but I lived. Most importantly, I learned about the ups and downs about the business side of things. There were times when I heard congratulations and there were times when I heard crickets in the audience. Silence at a showing was worse than the fear of public speaking. My family was my biggest fan club. I was happy to have them near. But it wasn't the size of the crowd that drove me forward. Many creators I know never intentionally thought about the fame or monetary value of their work. Yes, we all do dream of the "big moment" but it's not what keeps us going. We just loved to create. We were and are the the true alchemists of the world. Our minds and hands worked together to form something out of nothing. We molded the objects in our imagination into a living piece of work. A blank page suddenly filled with spilled over thoughts and opinions. A blank sheet of paper became a new piece of art. To those struggling out there, I ask you to shift your focus and move that stubborn eye onto what matters. Remember who you truly are. You are the creator of your own story. You have the freedom to walk down a new path, in a circle, or sway from side to side. Our message, our voice, and our spirit should reflect who we are. Lose your way once in a while but do it only to discover something new. Never lose who you truly are. Sometimes the greatest journeys will only end to tell us that we never needed to travel the world to find a home within ourselves. You belonged the minute you were born.
- Mahieu Spaid writer at mahieustudios.com