sharing my heart-break...

It's been a while since I last sat at my computer to compose a blog post.  About 6 weeks!! Can you believe how quickly time is passing these days?!

I took the month of August off to help me focus more on my family, my art and design portfolio.  Among enjoying some great family adventure (follow along on Instagram to get the full scoop) I did have an experience that kinda broke my heart - I promised to be candid here so get ready for some candid sharing...

Early this year I set out to learn how to use technology, create illustrations and art designs that I hope to have licensed one day.  I have come a long, long way!!! I've cried, celebrated, sighed with relief and pushed-on as I learn to draw, scan, create texture and colourize my hand sketched designs. I enrolled in an online art portfolio building bootcamp and through this experience I learned about the Global Talent Search by an art agent whom I have a lot of respect and admiration for - Lilla Rogers.  I decided that I wasn't ready yet.  I still had a lot to learn and experiment with.

Butttttt.... at the very last minute, I found the courage from somewhere and decided "what the heck" and I signed-up and was determined to give it my best shot.  I prepared the family, explained what I was committing too and asked for their support but also their understanding if I was chained to my desk for long periods and was unable to offer them food or clean clothing!!!

When the assignment brief was released - I then thought again - what the heck?!!

We were to design a piece of wall-art (no probs there) and it had to include terrariums and at least one word or words.  The colour palette was our choice and were instructed to just play and have fun with it.  There were a total of 999 people who also jumped in and decided to put their skills to the test! After all, the winnings are HUGE!!!

It took me a few days to connect with the assignment.  I sketched a little.  I thought about it a lot.  I wasn't pulled in - but I pushed myself to get to work.

Here is a peak at my process...


I sketched the elements that I wanted to include in my design then I spent hours and hours playing around with textures, patterns and placement.  In the process I enlisted the opinions of a few loved ones and by the time I was ready to submit my piece, I was ready!!

nicki's desk and designs

As you may be able to tell from this photo, I agonized over which piece was the ONE.  I created this design for the masses.  I had to think about whether or not someone would connect with my creation.  Whether it would make them want to hang it in their home.  But most of all, would it be the judges "taste".  There was so much to consider.  I normally create art that I love and would hang myself, and to be honest, I have no emotional connection to terrariums... so I just went with my gut and hoped for the best.

By the time I was ready to hit submit I was confidant, happy, excited and was sure it was in the bag!! I was going to make the top 50 hands-down!! I had champagne in the fridge and was ready for the next brief!!  Here is what I submitted...nicki-traikos-terrarium

The morning of the announcement I was ready!!! I work-up early in anticipation, I reached for my iPhone and I clicked on the live link anxiously looking for my design.

I saw lots of beautiful work.  Designs that I WOULD buy myself and hang on my wall.  I looked and looked. Scrolled up and down. Looked some more.

Then, in my morning fog, it hit me like a jolt of caffeine.  I didn't make the cut. My design wasn't good enough. I wasn't to proceed.  My journey was done.

What did I do?! What any normal person does.  I teared up, felt defeated, and moped.

I allowed myself the day to be disappointed.  I think the hardest part was explaining to the kids that I didn't make it.  :( They were sooo incredibly empathetic and supportive.  I still enjoyed a glass of bubbles and we celebrated the fact that I put myself out-there and gave it my best shot.  Afterall, that's what we encourage the kids to do every day!!!  I learned a lot more about the process and did my very best in that moment.  Those small facts in themselves were a win-win in my heart.  My EGO pouted the rest of the day and even into the next morning.

After a few days, I went back and had a good look at the designs that did make the cut.  With a fresh perspective - I looked at my design again and realized that my minimalistic attempt looked more amateurish than I realized.  I was ok.  I got it.  I am extremely proud of what I produced and know that I will look back at this design in a few months and will have grown ten-fold.  That's just life.  With experience and practice, you get better - Malcolm Gladwell explains it best!!

I chalked up the experience as one that I learned from and one that helped me grow thick skin.  I am so glad I put myself out there, I rewarded myself for doing so and I am recharged and am working away at new designs and creations!!  I have also had a few successes that I am equally grateful for and will share here one day maybe.

Soooo, the heart-break was short lived but stung nonetheless.  As I type this, the Top 50 finalists of the Global Talent Search have been posted, their designs are fabulous and I ask you a small favour, that you click-over and vote on your favourite design!

These artists have worked their butts off and didn't get to where they are over night.  I'm sure they too suffered a heart-break or two and didn't stop when their ego urged them to.

Vote now!!

Then come back here next week and the week after! I have another fabulous and inspirational Interview to share as well as a fab new printable that I am dying to share with you!!!

Back to weekly posts, sketching in my sleep and living a life that I design!!

Candidly yours,