Self Portrait 2011
How do you start? When I first began I would become overwhelmed by the sheer number of things it seemed like I had to do all at once. As soon as I broke it down and gave myself some time to do the fun things, like create business cards, it became more manageable.
Find Your Niche
Who do you like to work with? Is there a population you are excited to do groups with?
What kinds of projects do you enjoy doing? What materials are interesting and fun to work with?
A great way to start is to answer these questions and then look at Google maps and type in key words. (retirement homes, mental health, women's center, etc.) Find out what organizations are in your area and if there are any therapists already doing work with specific groups of people. If there are, great! You have contacts you can make and resources to tap into. If there are not, great! You have an untapped niche to start working in. Both require hard work just in different ways.
Compile a list of all the facilities, community resources, and people that have to do with your interests. If you can find them make sure to include the name of a contact or head of department, so when you send them a letter later on you will be able to be specific about who should read it. Also, note what the titles of the people or departments are and any specific information you can use to individualize the letter or include key words that will trigger the reader's interest. This list will be ongoing and a place you can make notes or record observations.
- Create a business card with your own art as a logo.
-Write down your dream job. Don't be too realistic and just let yourself daydream on the paper!
-Create two art pieces. The first explores any anxiety, fear, uncertainty, etc. The second explores your excitement, joy, confidence, etc. Use various art materials and let it be abstract or representative. Add words if it feels right. When you have finished look at the art side by side and notice similarities and differences. This is a great way to gain a new perspective and I would suggest looking at these every couple months or doing this exercise again later on in the process.
The important part of the creative break is to give yourself a chance to see things differently and to just have fun! Just because it's enjoyable doesn't mean it's not important and it is still working towards your goals and ambitions.
Next post will be about sending information out to perspective places/people and preparing to offer a free group as an interview tool.
Enjoy the process!!
Starting today I am going to be doing a three month series of posts that touch on the beginnings, middle, and endings that come with contract work. While I hope this is informative and inspiring I also would love to hear what questions come up for you. In May I will spend the month answering reader's questions, so please comment on the posts or email me!
Create the work you love!
Emery is excited that Water & Stone is becoming a reality and hopes this blog will inspire others and be a place to share challenges, success, and exciting moments.