Sen Mendiola

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My online journal filled with random musings on motherhood, life and my creative journey as an artist.

GROW

It is four in the morning, the whole house is quiet and I find it a perfect time to think of what I want to be this year.

What do I want to achieve by the end of this year, as a creative behind my daily portions of motherhood, professional career, marriage and family?

And I have a feeling that this year is the right time for me to focus on growth. A slow and steady one, purposely and intentionally.

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GROW AS AN ARTIST

Focus Point A: Calligraphy

I am learning and practicing calligraphy for three years now. And I am so proud of what I have accomplished in terms of proficiency. I may not be aiming for mastery but I am also not settling at this point. There is so much to learn and improve!

For two years, I’ve been learning Spencerian script on and off. It’s time that I focus on this new script style, now or never! With this, I am aiming to finish my Spencerian copybooks, to improve my craft and understanding of the traditional script.

My Why:

Learning another script will make me a better calligrapher and would help me improve my style. Having a growing foundation would help me provide a better and premium service to my clients.

My style, aesthetic and discipline on this craft are what they are investing on.

Focus Point B: Illustration

This is a part of me that I have forgotten, unintentionally, because of college and life after that. But starting last year, I rekindled my affair and created floral illustrations - which I loved because it was relaxing and approachable.

This time, I want to challenge myself a bit more by doing illustrations of animals and buildings. 

My Why: 

I would love to think that drawing is a kind of art that is a part of me ever since I can remember. It is part of my identity that I don’t want to loose (yet again).  

My daughter also loves doing artwork and is good in drawing! She learned on her own which is so amazing! And I want to grab that opportunity to be someone that could inspire her to continue, just because.  

I would feel broken hearted to see her give up her pens. So I am taking the lead so that she is always reminded to create and explore. To feel the happiness that comes with it. To not forget art and consciously make it a constant companion for her soul.

GROW MY BLOG

Focus Point: Purposeful and Slow Blogging

Yes, this is the way I want my blog to grow: each post has a purpose and intentionally written for my niche, to give value in their time reading and relating to me. Let’s just say I’m kinda not good at following the norms.

My aim is to publish consistently, at a minimum, of one to two blog posts each month. I believe that having a simple goal like this makes it more achievable and fulfilling for me - which won’t make it feel like a chore and has less pressure. Also, it’s the right amount of push to exercise those writing muscles!

My Why:

Even before I built my website, I really wanted to have a blog, an online journal. I want an accessible place where I could document my thoughts when it becomes overwhelming or when it’s making too much noise and space in my head. I also want to believe that in some way or another, a person out there can relate to me or can have that simple moment to be reminded that they’re not alone.

I want my blog to be simple and direct, and not all over the place, hence I trimmed down my focus early on.

  • On MOTHERHOOD: I will continue to share tips and information that I think will help other parents. Getting ideas from our own struggles, discoveries and needs from day 1 of traveling this awesome journey of parenthood.

  • On being CREATIVE: There are two sides of this, one is the fun part of being an artist (a calligrapher for me) and the serious side of being the business (doing admin stuff, maintaining websites, to name  a few). I want to document my learning experiences and at the same time, help and inspire others who want to grow in this craft. I also want to use this platform to educate clients, local creatives and other industry; to raise awareness and make them understand the value of handmade.

My journey in motherhood and in the creative world will be a slightly open book. I will let my audience take a peek in the hope of leaving them inspired or relieved in finding helpful insight from me.

Yes, I am writing with an audience in mind, to help and connect with them in some way or another. But at the end of the day, my biggest and most important audience is myself.

GROW AS A CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

Focus Point: Education

Say what?! To be totally honest, let me say that I am far from being business-minded. That is my husband’s strength, not mine. But since I started to offer my calligraphy service, now I need to wear the hat of being a creative entrepreneur. Gasp!

I am investing more on education, starting on pricing my work, services and (maybe in the near future) products.

My Why:

Personally, I don’t feel uncomfortable sending a quote proposal and invoice to a lead (prospective client) because I value my time and craft so much. But sometimes, I still feel a teeny bit of doubt if I charge enough.

Yes, I am super newbie in this entrepreneur thing BUT as early at this point, I am making sure that I am making a profit and charging my client fairly. And the most important thing is, I am doing my best to ensure that I am not undercutting other calligraphers in my home country.

There are other corners to being an entrepreneur, and I know that it doesn’t stop with knowing my worth. But, it’s a start, right? I’m taking a baby steps here, slowly but surely. With a mindset and mantra #REAL-ARTIST-DOESN’T-STARVE.


And that’s a wrap of my growth focus for this year. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are tons happening behind the scenes and in between. But writing them out is better than just keeping them inside my head, right?

I hope I didn’t bore you, ha! And if you’re still reading, thank you so much for sticking with me!!


YOUR TURN

What is your focus goal this year? And what is the reason behind them? Do we have something similar?