Friday, June 9, 2017

Minimalism and creativity...

Hi guys... Wow, it's been a month since I haven't shared my thoughts here. Maybe because I have been thinking a whole lot about my life, my craft, my future...

And to be honest, I have been a little weary to talk about this topic here because I'm afraid I might offend someone even if I didn't mean to, or maybe the idea of possibly losing people in this little community was scary. But I just have to be brave enough for my resolutions. This I think is crucial for my future, and my life in general.

2010, I guess?

See, I have started my adult doll collecting in 2010 with my first two Momokos. Well, the first Barbie in my adult life was bought in 2009, so maybe that was technically the start of it all. From then, I have amassed quite a number, a good mix of brand new/dressed, nude and second-hand girls. I had been really happy, don't get me wrong. But this took a toll on my bills. For the past several years, I have to admit that I am not buying anymore for the right reasons.

Initially, I wanted to buy dolls because they make me happy. But as I go about adding and adding to my pile, I told myself I had to do something to sustain the activity (financially). So I tapped my other passions, doll clothes making. This is also great because I bought a lot of nude dolls and they better get dressed soon! So I made them a wardrobe to share, and eventually decided to open a shop.

Fast forward to seven years, however, the fun had been trailing along with some kinda burden. I felt the need to buy more fabrics because I had to dress up the ever increasing number of different characters (and varied "fashion styles"). I felt the need to also give them (all) a safe haven. I felt the need to get more and more materials to make them accessories. I felt the need to come up with back stories for each one of them. I felt the need to add more dolls because they had to have friends, too! I felt the need to add more so I keep on dipping and dipping into my disposable income then eventually my credit cards. Simply put, I lost control of my finances. 

The past 2.5 years had been I must say the most awesome part of my life. I learned so much, not only the skills in making doll clothes and diorama, but also the necessary business acumen to run my Etsy shop - alone. Those were crucial for the financial part of my life, partially, it took me a long while to learn about the other part - how to be wise with spending what you earn. 

Most importantly, I have been learning about perseverance. I had been neglecting this aspect of my craft despite having it side by side with me from day one. I have only started recognizing its presence in the past few months. And I'm learning so much from recognizing it. In life, happiness isn't the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is the tiny bits in our daily lives, on top of perseverance, patience, hard work, among other rock-solid foundation to truly call it a meaningful day.

So from there I realized that I don't need much, to appreciate the tiny bits everyday. Some of you may have read about my Utilitarian post recently. I can now connect why I had those thoughts. I wanted a simpler life. Less stuff to stress about. More on the more important things that bring in tiny joys everyday.

I am not selling all my dolls, or closing my shop, my dearies. But I will slowly be downsizing everything, including the dolls that have given me joy in the past, but I don't get to see anymore. Some were in my drawers, nude, for at least 6 months. And that bugs me, because I think I got lost in the forest. I forgot about the purpose. I started collecting for the joy, and now, the joy is buried from under the many responsibilities brought about by having too many sources of joy. I only need those tiny bits, I realized. Those are enough.

This is what's been on my mind, recently, and I will continue to come up with creative ways to downsize. I have already started one resolution and that is to not buy another fabric unless I use up five different kinds from my stash. I have not bought a new fabric for a month or two now. That was a big accomplishment for me because in the past, I used to get so weak and immediately buy what I find that tickles my creativity over at the fabric store. Bad idea for my finances. I don't even have the time to make all my designs!

I also will slowly convert some of my dolls into OOAK ones, that I plan to sell on Etsy in the future. I don't want to just sell them away nude or something. They gave me so much joy, so when they move out, I would want them to be as adorable as they have been to me in their new homes. 

I am planning to keep a maximum of 10 dolls hopefully. A number that I can get to play with, with equal amounts of love. There's no reason for a beautiful doll to be in the box for six months. 

I may come up with new ideas in the future but that's all I have for now. This isn't just about my taking care of my finances. It's about having less stress, more meaningful time for life. It indeed is short. I'm 36 now and I have yet to learn so much about life. I am excited to create, so I need more space for clarity. I hope I'm on the right track, but of course there's always a place to detour and rethink.

Hugs and kisses to you, my dear dolly friends. I'll still be here to document this new journey and I hope you will stick with me on this.