Finding My Way Back: A Tale of Rediscovery

Finding My Way Back: A Tale of Rediscovery

Something shifted within me last December. A heavy blanket of exhaustion, bewilderment, and a lack of motivation settled upon my shoulders, urging me to pause and reflect. Reluctantly, I yielded to its weight, realizing that I had been unwittingly weaving this blanket for some time. I started to realize I had never, not once, given myself a moment to breathe and truly think things through when it came to my work. I’ve always been in a reactive state, just chugging along and making shit happen. But, I never put any thought into what actually makes me happy. It’s the way I’ve always been, but I started to realize that it no longer fulfilled me. Or did it ever?

Some of you know this story. Five years ago, I took a pottery class at the local studio and soon after walked away from a 15 year career in packaging design. Corporate wasn’t for me, and I figured why not channel my efforts towards my own business? And so I applied my knowledge and experience toward Cloud Commons and hit the ground running. I’ve hurdled over some pretty huge walls since then. Covid happened, of course, and that caused all kinds of challenges. I found myself going to work at the studio at 3 in the morning so that I could be home in time to help my son with remote learning. Being stuck in our tiny apartment during that time, with everyone working and schooling from home, we realized how much we needed more space. 

So we picked up and moved out of Brooklyn to Kingston, a huge life event for my little family. As my son started remote learning, we realized how much better he was doing than when he was in person. Being on the spectrum, a regular classroom setting was too much stimulation for him. And so we decided to homeschool him to catch him up to speed. And so Cloud Commons became a part time gig while I focused my efforts on my family. After 2 years, he’s much happier and was ready to return to school. I was finally able to focus on my work fully. 

I started by recreating the work that was well received in the past while tweaking designs and improving the form and functionality. I allowed myself to fall into the ever-changing demands of the Instagram algorithm. I tirelessly navigated how to share the work I create, which lovingly revolves around our favorite plant ally. I pushed hard for almost a year, and at the end of that year, I found myself completely run down and covered in my heavy blanket. 

I have never slowed down, never taken the time to really ask myself, what do I want my life to look like? How do I want to live it? I grappled with the question of how to truly balance my roles as a parent and an entrepreneur, pondering what kind of work would not only sustain me financially but also nourish my soul. I sat with myself day after day, looking deeply inward, working through a lot of self-healing and shadow work. I wondered if I should abandon cannabis altogether as it proved such a challenge to share my work in every single way. 

This period of introspection has been incredibly therapeutic, enabling me to carve out a new path forward by embracing honesty and self-awareness. I realized that mass producing my work was just not for me. I have complete respect for potters who can throw 50 pots in an hour, it’s incredible to watch. But that type of work does not suit me. I want to play with the clay more. I want to discover new forms as I throw or handbuild. I want to sculpt and be more whimsical sometimes, or more geometric other times. Exploring new forms and techniques as an artist fills me with anticipation and joy, allowing me to rediscover the pure delight of creation. I want to take the right amount of time to create the work and balance that with taking care of myself and my family. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning my previous work with the Monochromes, Terra and Pepa. I’m just taking some time to explore as an artist and it feels really good to do so. 

Reflecting on how to share my journey, I've found solace in knowing that many fellow artists are also on paths of self-discovery, reinforcing our shared pursuit of authenticity. I wonder if there is something happening to us that is beyond our comprehension. This time of reflection felt almost as if it were mandatory, a necessary evolution that I could not talk myself out of. And I’m really happy and excited to say, finally, that I’m here for it. 

Thank you SO much, from the bottom of my heart, for following along and for still being here. I hope you decide to stay for this next part of my journey. It’s gonna be fun. 

That said, it’s four twenty time! We’re offering 20% off your order from today until end of day, 4/20! This will be the last time to get a Monochrome, Terra or Forma for a while. The discount is automatically applied at checkout.

As always, I hope you have an amazing day!

Mel

2 commentaires

  • par Tom Martinez le

    What a great read! Quite the journey so far – truly inspiring, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  • par Chris le

    🙌🙌🙌 we’re pulling through!

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