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10 Years of Might Could 🎉
A Decade of Stubbornly Making a Career as an Artist
Last Sunday was my 10-Year Might Could Anniversary. TEN. YEARS. I truly can’t believe I’ve been at this for that long.
July 17, 2012, was the day I chose the name Might Could Studios, bought my web domain, and officially became a business. And each year on that day, I like to reflect on how far I’ve come. And boy, was this year a doozy.
Last year, my anniversary essay was called Can I be both “Might Could” and “Mom”?, and was written while I was in the midst of huge transitions in both my career and personal life. I was struggling with identity changes, time management issues, prioritization problems, and general confusion about life. Even though I was also climbing out of a pretty big failure (ie. a botched marketing campaign where I lost a pretty hefty financial investment), I somehow ended that 2021 essay on a positive note with the intention to “focus on steadily chipping away at creating my own books.”
And so, I began this year of Might Could thinking I was finally clawing my way out of the weeds, turning a page, yada yada yada, but wouldn’t ya know it, this year didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would.
Almost immediately after that last anniversary essay, I crashed and burned. I tried to rebound from my failed marketing campaign with a Kickstarter indie book campaign, and well… that failed too.
Everything became too much, I fell into a depression, and I had to take a step back from basically everything Might-Could-related so I could focus all my energy on just caring for myself and my family. I paused, stopped, or shut down all my projects and initiatives. Throw in a miscarriage and two D&C surgeries a few months later, and I was pretty close to giving up.
Nothing was working! Nothing was happening the way it was supposed to. I was supposed to have two kids by now. I was supposed to have a savvy (but authentic!) marketing funnel that effortlessly brought in passive income. I was supposed to be able to live off my own salary (or at least contribute to a retirement account!) by now. I was supposed to have finished my second (or third!) picture book by now. I was supposed to be back to drawing every day after having a baby by now.
As always, it was writing and drawing that brought me clarity and showed me what exactly was causing me so much pain and suffering.
It was me.
In all my hard-headed stubbornness, I kept thinking if I can just solve THIS problem, then everything will fall into place. If I can just SUCCEED at this one thing, then everything will finally be easy. If I can just FINISH this project, then I’ll have more time and money to do that one. If I can just work on being more productive, more successful, more creative, more, more, more, then… what?
There will always be more to do. More to achieve. More to make. More to learn.
And the lesson I keep learning, over and over, is that the only thing I truly need to do is just be.
As much as I try, I can’t control when I get pregnant, how many years my children are spaced out, or even how many kids I can have. As much as I try, I can’t control how successful any of my projects, books, classes, or essays will be. As much as I try, I can’t control how quickly a book gets finished. As much as I try, I can’t control the ebb and flow of creativity. As much as I try, I can’t control anything about life at all.
To control life implies forcing it to fit into a mold of my choosing. Straining to build up fences and walls and shields to protect that mold and stuff everything inside of it. Trying to control life means closing down and not allowing for outside circumstances, uncertainties, and unplanned situations. Trying to control leads to thinking I know exactly what the future should be like and not being able to handle it when it inevitably turns out differently.
Why would I think that’s a good way to live?
I’ve spent perhaps the last ten years struggling and straining to become something. Attempting to control and force the outcome I craved. But I don’t want to continue to living that way. I want to allow myself to open up to the endless possibilities and fully experience whatever happens.
And so, although I recognize now that this is a lesson I will be continuously learning for the rest of my life, I have made a significant shift in that direction. I’m no longer straining and reaching and trying to be.
I’m stepping into a space where I just am. Where I can just be.
When I started Might Could 10 years ago, I’m pretty sure I thought it (and therefore I) would be bigger and more successful than it is now. I thought I would be making more money by now, would have published more books by now, and accumulated more followers/readers/members by now. Those are the things I thought were most important.
But I think this idea of just being—of accepting, embracing, and nurturing whatever is here right now—really hits on the original philosophy behind the phrase Might Could.
I might could draw today.
I might could draw in this way.
I might could draw in that way.
I might could draw however I want to.
I might could write instead of draw.
I might could paint or scribble or build.
I might could nurture my curiosity.
I might could embrace whatever comes up.
I might could accept my art for how it is right now.
I might could accept myself for how I am right now.
I might could just be.
With all that in mind, I’ve made a few key changes to attempt to better align my career as an artist with this path of accepting, embracing, nurturing, and just being.
And so, if it interests you, here are some of the changes I’ve made to what Might Could offers:
1. Studiomates Community
Our online artist community, Might Could Studiomates is back and thriving after being simplified and streamlined. I cut out all extraneous elements and brought it back to what it is at heart: a space for artists to draw together.
Membership is now free. Not trying to monetize this project makes it so much more enjoyable and nourishing for me, not to mention becoming more available to more people.
I no longer use social media and am using our private community as the space where I share my art now. Studiomates gives me the motivation/accountability to draw consistently, inspiration from other artists, and an outlet for sharing. It’s like social media without the influencers, digital marketing, intense comparison, and endless scrolling! I’m so happy to have this positive, uplifting space and would love for you to become a studiomate too!
2. Might Could Draw Today
In June, I restarted MightCouldDrawToday, our weekly drawing “challenge” with over 150 weeks and 20,000 artworks created. But it’s now no longer a challenge to draw every day. It’s now more of a gentle nudge to draw however you can in this moment.
This too, is free and is hosted inside Studiomates instead of on Instagram.
3. Live Drawing Events (on Zoom)
Inside Studiomates, we host monthly online Zoom events where we draw and chat together. We often draw with that week’s MightCouldDrawToday prompt, but it’s very casual and open-ended.
Our next Zoom event is next Tuesday, July 26!
4. Live Drawing Events (In-Person)
Do you live in or visit Boone, NC? Woohoo, me too! I am now hosting weekly drawing events in-person in Boone. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a weekly artist meet-up group and I’m finally gonna give it a go. Worst case, I get some solo drawing time while I sit by myself in the sun. Best case, you and I get to draw together!
Our first in-person drawing event is TOMORROW Thursday, July 21 at 5pm hosted at Booneshine Brewing Co. No RSVP is required, but you can keep up with all future events with the button below.
So… anyways I know that was all a lot. But it feels so good to finally announce these changes and take a big step forward in this direction. This is and will be an ongoing evolution, as everything is.
Year Eleven may not be the biggest year of Might Could— numerically, financially, or by any other career measurement—but ya know, I think it might just be the most Might-Could-iest.
And that sounds pretty good.