Self Care & Other Important Lessons from 2018

2018 was an insane roller coaster ride for me.

 My career absolutely took off. I came into my unique, one of a kind style, and I gained more customers than ever before.

 However, while my career took off, I let my personal life take a turn for the worse by working non stop to make my 2018 goals happen.

Here I am in the spring of 2018. I took on many commissions including this giant 6 feet by 4 feet masterpiece. Although I had been throwing my back out during this commission, I forced myself to dance through the pain.

Here I am in the spring of 2018. I took on many commissions including this giant 6 feet by 4 feet masterpiece. Although I had been throwing my back out during this commission, I forced myself to dance through the pain.

 After finishing this commission I then took on another commission for a family in California- 8 paintings and the largest were 4 feet by 8 feet wide. Instead of taking time to rest and heal, I took on more work and stopped taking care of myself. During this time I injured my neck and began going to physical therapy, all while also working a part time desk job.

Me and commission piece “Extraordinary Story” 3 feet by 5 feet

Me and commission piece “Extraordinary Story” 3 feet by 5 feet

The truth is, I spent most of 2018 in an unhealthy relationship- with myself.

When my body said stop, you’re in pain, Leah! I ignored it. When I was feeling down instead of trying to lift myself up, I would wallow in misery.

Although I’m still learning how to cope with chronic pain, I’m no longer treating myself poorly. When I am in pain I stop immediately. When I want to binge eat because I’m stressed I tell myself no, it’s just a distraction from the real issue at hand. Pain.

In late 2018, I started making better decisions. I started seeing a therapist again, which is truly an act of self love. I began giving myself breaks, and not beating myself up if I took the day off to rest.

Me and Life’s a Journey May 2018

Me and Life’s a Journey May 2018

 

 I vividly remember telling my Instagram followers about how poorly I’ve been treating myself, and one statement from a fan really put it into perspective for me.


This fan said “Leah, you need to treat yourself better. This isn’t a race, we want decades upon decades of more art from you.”

This statement really stopped me dead in my tracks. Not only did I feel completely loved from this fan, but it made me realize that I need to slow down and make an effort to have a healthy work-life balance.

Me and some recent works. All available for sale

Me and some recent works. All available for sale


Since 2016 I have been going full-speed “dream career mode”. Looking back, between 2017-2018 I took only 2 weeks of the 2 years off social media. That is insane!!!

With all the 2019 resolution talk going around, it made me think about what I’m going to focus on for 2019. The answer is I’m working on bettering myself as a person, getting back into shape, and listening to myself when I feel pain.

I have to put my health before my career. I need to put my friends and family before social media. No longer should I waste hours on my phone comparing myself to other people. It can only harm me.

2019 will be great because I’m on my way to being the best Leah I can be. I will continue to give 100% to my career, but will make sure to take breaks.

2018 Career highlights

Co-authored a children’s book that featured my paintings “Leah Sees The World”

Became a full-time professional artist

Sold over 63 original paintings

Hit 14,000 followers on Instagram and 17,000 on Twitter

Got a licensing deal with iCanvas

Booked my first solo exhibition (coming March 10th!!!)

Had my greeting card sets sold in stores

Did over 20 coaching calls with artists wanting to do art full time

Became the artist in residence at Ferlitos Grosse Pointe, a local Italian eatery

Had my first successful West Elm Pop-Up in Birmingham, Michigan

Made my first neutral painting collection

Sold 3 paintings the day they were made

Handmade my biggest pieces yet. 6 feet by 8 feet and 4 feet by 6 ft

My book!

My book!


How was your 2018? do you have any resolutions for 2019?

Thanks for reading!

Leah