hello, spriggan!

art & curiosities by Leigh Ann Gagnon

I started the year off with a lot of creative energy but have really found myself struggling to maintain it. My tendency when I start getting depressed or overwhelmed is to clean and organize; sometimes it’s a distraction from what I really need (more creative outlets), and sometimes it is absolutely necessary so that I can work more efficiently and enthusiastically.

My big organizing project right now is giving my website an overhaul. For the past few years, I had a site for each of my businesses— hello, spriggan! (watercolour illustrations) and Wrenegade Floral Design (clay flowers). I felt like these things were so different that they each needed their own website…. and social media… and shop… Even before having kids, I struggled to balance the time I was spending on the admin/business side versus the actual making. Having kids just tipped the scales irrevocably.

I follow a lot of amazing artists on Instagram, and I’ve noticed that many have the same mindset. It’s like we feel a need to apologize for having hobbies or new, different ideas; we start new accounts to keep our content //super focused!!// and then have to start the grind all over again to get views & followers, and give up early on promising work because it’s not being noticed or validated as much as our other work. What I realized this year, in seeing other people do the same thing I was doing, is that I don’t want or expect them to do that. I like seeing all the things my favorite artists are up to! All the things influencing their work, nurturing their creative spirits. All the things they’re trying out, whether or not they stick with it. If I don’t like a particular thing— I can just scroll past it. I’ve never unfollowed anyone for sharing more things.

So yeah. If I don’t hold anyone else to that standard, why should I do it to myself? I’ve felt so apologetic for so long about having varied interests and wanting to do a lot of different things. I’ve been doing a lotttt of unpacking the last few years of emotional baggage from art school, where I felt pushed to try a lot of things but by senior year to pick one thing, and be amazing at it. Spoiler alert, I wasn’t; my final grade from my painting advisor was a C- because I had too many ideas that I “just didn’t follow through on.” (I disagree. I think I did as much work as I could and didn’t start the things I couldn’t finish, no matter how interesting the idea was, but eh.)

I’m tired of apologizing. And I can’t keep up with all the admin stuff as it is now. It’s unsustainable. So! Website revamp! I’m overhauling my hello, spriggan! site to be a portfolio for all my work. I’m setting up shop on Etsy again. I’m going to update my Redbubble shop. 2022 is going to be better, I know it.

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