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How you can turn your creative dreams into reality. Join the #yesyoucandabble challenge

Po Faced Panda by Gill O'Shea

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve heard about someone’s creative accomplishments or viewed their awesome work and thought – “wow I wish I could do that”. When you were little, did you dream about becoming an artist, an illustrator, a crafter or a designer but ruled it out as it seemed an unrealistic career choice? Do you secretly still wish you could make that dream a reality and earn a living from your amazing creative gifts? In this blog, I want to give you some space to revisit your creative dream and invite you to take one small safe step towards making your creative dreams a reality. Yes you can do this; I’ve got you - so lets go!

Daydreaming is one of my favourite guilty pleasures. As an artist, I love daydreaming about what I could build, make, create or solve. It is such a wonderful feeling when a creative idea pops into your head and find yourself suddenly energised, running around like Anneka Rice pulling open draws to gather your equipment and bring your idea to life. Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend more time being creative and over time even earn a living from your creativity?

Well I have great news. You can. You have the power to make your dreams a reality. Think about it. When you look back on anything you have achieved like getting through exams, getting married, going on holidays or getting your first job, remember that you didn’t achieve any of these milestones overnight in a single step. All of these achievements came from a slow process consisting of lots and lots of little steps, which gradually built up and culminated in the end result. They all arose from a journey.

Becoming a part-time or full-time artist, crafter, illustrator or designer is no different. It starts with a tiny creative spark and builds from there. At this stage you might be thinking – no way, I have tons of financial obligations I couldn’t possibly consider pursuing a creative career at this stage in my life. Gill is actually bonkers!!! Well this is exactly how I felt when I first entertained the idea of making a living as an artist. I never thought I could make it a reality but guess what - I’m doing it and so can you if you put your mind to it.

So take a deep breath, you are about to take the first step of your creative journey. We are going to do this together by joining my #yesyoucandabble challenge!

Step 1 - What Would You Like to Create?

This is the fun part. What would like to create? Are you into drawing, design, fashion, painting, sculpture, crafting? Whatever it is, are you already doing it? If you have already created some work, brilliant! If not, can you set aside some time over the next month to create something. It doesn’t have to be the Mona Lisa, it just needs to be something that you enjoy and have fun making. It can be a tiny doodle in pen on a napkin, a collage of paper, a flower arrangement, potato carving, blue-tack sculpture, anything creative that makes you happy.

Step 2 – Document Your Work

You have now made your very own amazing creative work – awesome!!! Its time to share it. This might seem scary but you can do it! Get a clean white sheet from the cupboard and bring your work into a brightly lit space. Arrange a little photo shoot for your piece and take some photos with your phone, ipad or camera. Keep an eye on the borders of your photograph to make sure that you frame your piece in the centre of the photo and your shot doesn’t include anything distracting in the background or around the edges. If you are looking for inspiration just look up some crafts similar to yours on etsy or google and you’ll get lots of ideas for how best to photograph your piece.

Step 3 – Create a Social Media Profile for your Work

You can do this on whatever social media platform you like – pinterest, Instagram, you can add a facebook business page to your existing profile, twitter, tumblr…. The list is endless. Think of a cool name for your crafty self or just use your own name. Now set up your profile. All of the above social media platforms are really easy to set up and they are all FREE so you have no excuse. If you are having difficulty setting them up just google instructions for how to set up a new page or profile on the platform you have selected or borrow any kid over the age of 8 and they will be able to help you!

Step 4 – Share your Work

Now its time to take the plunge and share your creative work with the world! There are tons of people who would love to see what you’ve made. I would love to see what you’ve made – so that’s one person before you even start! Write a short description of your work. This might be a little bit about yourself, info on what inspired you to make your piece, info on how you made your piece or whatever you feel like. Here’s an example to help you – if you can’t think of anything just copy this to get started:

“Hi there, I’ve just joined this platform and I’m super excited to post a photo of a new piece that I recently created. This post is the first step of my creative journey. I would be really grateful if you would like and share my post. #yesyoucandabble”

By adding the #yesyoucandabble hastag (i.e. the words after the # symbol) you will have joined the challenge and taken your very first step to realising your dreams of becoming a creative entrepreneur. This is a huge step and you should be really proud of yourself. How do you feel?

Step 5 – Rinse and Repeat

Now there is no stopping you! Repeat steps 1 to 4 again and share more of your work whenever suits you. Keep it up and feel free to join more social media platforms to extend your reach and make lots of new connections.

Keep in touch by leaving a comment below to let me know how you are getting on. I would love to hear from you and see your awesome artwork. And remember ‘Yes You Can’.

Gill O’Shea is an Irish watercolour artist based in Dublin. Check out her work on or @irish.artforyourhome.

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