Monday, July 23, 2012

Feeling Like A Failure

Dear Blog Readers,
I wish I had some great news about how fun and fantastic my Fabric Scrap Book workshop turned out, but I don't...

My workshop in making a Fabric Scrap Book did not happen because no one signed up and I found out about this a few days before the workshop was scheduled to take place. I hoped that there might be some last minute students, but there weren't.

It felt like I planned a party and no one showed up

I also felt like a failure and an idiot, I wondered where I had gone wrong, what I didn't do to get students to sign up - maybe my workshop idea wasn't good enough, maybe my Fabric Scrap Book was a silly idea...and on and on.

Those feelings lasted for about one day...

Pages from the sample books I made to promote my workshop

The day after the workshop would have taken place I called the store and spoke with the manager to ask about what happened. She was very kind and told me that there have been other classes they've offered that their clientele do not sign up for. She also mentioned that it is summer time and many people are probably away on vacations or busy taking care of children on summer break.
I realized that she was probably right...

I then asked her about what the next step should be - should I offer this workshop again and if not, how I might be able to get my book samples back so I can take them to other venues to pitch my workshop idea. I also asked if they might be interested in other workshop ideas I have.

The manager said she would speak with the owner since they generate a class schedule per quarter and the next round of classes offered would begin in September. It did sound as if they are open to trying my workshop again and listening to other workshop/class ideas I have for their store and I began to feel better...

In the past few weeks, not only was I preparing for my workshop, I have also been keeping an eye open for other possible venues to teach at and I'm thinking about this venue, this venue and maybe even this wonderful venue for some of my mixed-media workshop ideas.

Friends have also mentioned this well known venue for teaching my Fabric Scrap Book workshop and it has been coming up so often I am sure the Universe is sending a clear message!

Now, instead of feeling like a failure I am looking at what I've learned from this process of pitching my creative ideas and I'm also looking at the fact that I had the courage to even pitch my ideas in the first place - this is so much more than so many other people even dare to dream of...
  • I have learned to approach the right person who is in charge of the venue and speak with them about what I have to offer
  • I have learned that I will need to find more ways to promote my workshops to generate students since some venues are not well versed in promotion or marketing
  • I have learned that not all websites are functioning with online registration abilities and this could be problematic for potential students I may have that are used to such high tech offerings
  • I have learned that I may need to start thinking bigger than I did for this first time out...
One aspect about this experience is that I chose this particular venue because the size of the room used for classes is small and cozy and I wasn't sure I was ready for a large class of over 8 people. I'm beginning to think the Universe was not happy about me thinking small for my first time teaching and that I need to think BIGGER! I'm not sure I'm ready for bigger, but as my Rock Star Designer friend Phyllis would say to me:

"You grow into it"

Now, she was taking about home-owning and the responsibilities that go with that at the time she made this statement, but I find it has always been true about anything I have had no experience with, such as buying and owning my first car, maintaining my own apartment and it will apply to teaching large classrooms of up to 20 people...when I get there!

I'm working on looking into the venues I've located to see if they might be a good fit for me and the creative work I do so I can then prepare to contact the managers, make appointments to meet with them and pitch my ideas.

In the meantime, I am going to make time to play with my own Fabric Scrap Book and add some fun embellishments to it...

 Rubber stamp images can make great embroidery patterns! These stamped scraps will be added to my book pages when embroidered...

I've been meaning to add some written journaling and hand embroidery to my own book, but since I was so busy preparing for the workshop, I haven't had time to play in any of my art journals, let alone my fabric book. I do know that adding to my own fabric book will help people see the possibilities for making their own books, which I hope will encourage people to sign up for my workshop.

I found a place in my fabric book to put this little bird when I have embroidered him...

I've been feeling much better about this experience as I focus on all the things I did and the lessons learned along the way and I look forward to playing in my fabric book and art journals in the days to come...

After all, I certainly don't feel like a failure when I am playing with my creative skills!


Eddie Bluelights said...

Sorry about the initial disappointment, Monica. As in most walks of life we all meet this from time to time. It's hard to do but please keep trying and success WILL come eventually . . . . or even soon! It all depends on them, how they are feeling, what's on the telly, is it too hot or is it too cold, what they had for breakfast, whether they rowed with their partners . . . . etc, etc, OR the competition.

Best of luck in the future ~ Eddie

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

Oh I know that feeling. "If you build it, they will come" and then they don't. It's so disheartening and disappointing. I've been through the same recently with my painting workshop. It's going ahead but only just.

And I'm glad you've worked through your feelings of failure. There are so many factors at play with these things, and I think it's a particularly challenging climate (well certainly in Australia). People aren't spending a lot of money at the moment. Most people don't have a lot of spare money so they are being very discerning with their choices.

Anyway, keep putting yourself out there my friend. Been thinking of you lots and hoping that you're traveling well.

Diana said...

I'm sorry the class didn't come off, Monica, but it sounds like you might be able to pull it off later and at a different venue - hang in there!

Kat @ I Saw You Dancing said...

Ouch! I'm so sorry to hear this, my friend.
Well done on sitting with your feelings, then cultivating the courage to persist. I know it's not easy.
We should call you The Courageous Creative Beast! Though I guess that's an oxymoron, as all creativity requires some courage, no?
There's a lot of hype out there on the interwebs that suggests "if we just BELIEVE ENOUGH it will happen". What's less obvious is just how much hard work and how much hustling is really required to get particular projects off the ground. And then there's the luck factor, particularly where timing is concerned.
So thank you for being so honest about your experience. I know it helped a lot of others to feel less alone and less like a failure.