Find Clarity, Purpose, and Direction: How to Align Your Life with Your Craft

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re feeling a bit lost in the creative wilderness, trying your hand at various things, but struggling to find your true direction. We’ve all been there, and it’s okay. We’re in this together and we can also find our way out of this together! 

Today, let’s explore how we can reignite that creative spark, align our lives with our craft, and discover the clarity and purpose we’ve been yearning for.

Picture this: Last month you were all into alcohol inks until a friend told you about a watercolour class on Skillshare, and before you knew it, you were hooked! But then you stumbled across a free class showing you how to draw animal characters in three easy steps. You took this class and loved the results, and you now have an idea for a picture book. But wait! This is character design, and you hear time and time again that illustrators need to know how to put their characters into a scene, and you are not great at scenes or perspective. You read a blog the other day about perspectives, and you’re keen to try this out too. 

You've been working on so many creative projects, and you have so many ideas, but they're scattered like confetti and this colourful whirlpool is pulling you deeper into uncertainty. 

I completely understand how overwhelming it can be with the abundance of information and distractions vying for our attention. In such a fast-paced world, finding our creative purpose becomes even more crucial. It serves as our compass, guiding us through the maze of choices, enabling us to say “yes” to what truly resonates and “no” to what doesn’t align with our vision.

Today, let’s draw inspiration from some fantastic reads that offer valuable insights to navigate this sparkly maze of distractions. Remember, we’re not alone in this struggle; many renowned authors have shared their wisdom to help us find our way.

Let's take a leaf from Jeff Goins’ “The Art of Work”. Every artist’s journey has its twists and turns, but we must recognize that these detours are not wasted efforts; they are stepping stones leading us to our true calling. Don’t feel guilty for one minute! Your diverse experiences and experiments all contribute to the unique tapestry of your artistic expression.

But also, as mentioned in “The War of Art,” Steven Pressfield warns us about the invisible force of Resistance — the foe that keeps us from reaching our true potential. Resistance can be subtle, disguising itself as a distraction and pulling us in multiple directions, leaving us feeling scattered and unfulfilled. So, our first step is to acknowledge this Resistance and name it for what it is — he calls it a cunning trickster, but name it what you will.

Now, it's time to answer the call of “Creative Calling” by Chase Jarvis. Remember why you fell in love with illustration in the first place — the joy of creating art, the thrill of sharing stories through images. Reconnect with that passion and use it as your North Star to guide you back on track.

Finding clarity and purpose begins with introspection

Take a moment to breathe and pause. For the next five minutes, allow yourself to dream BIG. Set aside any doubts or limitations. This is your opportunity to envision the possibilities that you have for yourself. Let go of the need to figure out the “hows” and instead focus on what truly excites and fulfills you. Find a quiet corner, grab a journal and tap into your inner wisdom, and trust that you already have a deep knowledge of what will fulfill you on a profound level. Write down;

  • What are your biggest dreams for your creative journey? 
  • What five things do you want to focus on until the end of the year? 
  • Out of these five, what are your top three? 

You’ll start to connect the dots, and this, my friend, will lead you towards your purpose.

Seeking focus isn’t about narrowing your artistic range; it’s about aligning your efforts with your core vision. Choose a few projects that align with your artistic purpose and devote your energy to them. When your creative endeavors are in harmony with your passion, the push you need will come naturally, driving you forward with purpose and determination.

Remember, it’s okay to say “no” to projects that don’t align with your vision. By setting clear boundaries and making intentional choices, you create space for the projects that truly matter, and this focused energy will give you a straighter runway to take flight and reach your BIG goals. 

Connect with a Supportive Community

Another essential aspect of aligning with your craft is to build a supportive community. Connect with fellow illustrators, picture book lovers, and creatives who understand your struggles and aspirations. Sharing experiences and advice with like-minded individuals can be immensely inspiring and help you stay motivated on your journey.

And finally, give yourself permission to play! As we mentioned in “The War of Art,” play is a powerful tool in unlocking creativity. Let yourself experiment, make mistakes, and allow the joy of creation to guide you. Play opens doors to fresh ideas and perspectives, leading you to innovate and explore exciting new projects.

So, my friend, let’s take a deep breath and embrace this journey with renewed focus and clarity. Trust in your unique path, learn from the diversions, and channel your passion into your craft. By aligning your life with your BIG creative goals, you’ll rediscover the drive and purpose you’ve been longing for — a journey that promises to be both challenging and incredibly rewarding.

Let’s take those scattered pieces and turn them into your creative journey — one that is aligned with your goals. In the words and spirit of “Let’s Play!” by Herve Tullet, “You can run! You can FLIP! You can fly!”

PS – Join me on Instagram! I’ll meet you there. I’m so excited to get to know you! 
The best place to dive right in is by visiting my website

PBIC Live: Join the waiting list for Nina’s 8-week Picture Book Illustration e-Course, commencing on February 2, 2024. By the end of the 8-week program, you will emerge with a well-rounded skillset, a community of like-minded illustrators, and the confidence to pursue a thriving career as a children's picture book illustrator.

Join the Treehouse Membership Waitlist: If you know you have something special to offer the world of picture books and all you need is a supportive community and a guiding hand to help you bring your vision to life, make sure to join my Treehouse Membership waiting list. Doors will open again on April 1, 2024.


Join my free mini-course

As my gift to you, here is my character design mini-course. All I need to know is where to send it. Valued at $20, it is 100% free. No credit card is required. You will also receive Nina news – I love to share, but not too often, not too much, and always in support of your creative journey. And you can unsubscribe at any time.