Times of pain and struggle can be definitive moments. They are moments of choice: how will I choose to react to this situation? Will I let the pain and struggle define me, or rise above?
Unfortunately I cannot divulge the entire story to you of why I had to change my name from Artist Think to Artist Strong. But it was in my legal best interests to make this change. And had I known sooner, I may have changed Artist Think a long time ago when it was a wee little blog without a clue about what it was to become. Regardless, there came a day where the choice had to be made.
I was scared. I finally built the community I hoped to create and you wonderful people motivate me to create quality webinars, e-courses, you name it. You know me as Carrie, but you also have known me as Artist Think for just about two years now, because that’s when I really started promoting and building this community. If I changed the name, would it still hold the message and spirit I want it to? How will my community respond?
Of course, you guys went above and beyond. As you do.
When I wrote my article about Silver Linings, it was heartfelt and still a bit raw. I am my brand in so many ways and I felt like I was losing a part of myself having to change my name. But I began to see it as an opportunity. Maybe a better name was out there for us. Maybe I could use this experience to bring our brand and community to another level.
The emails, comments, shout outs I got from all of you made my heart sing. It was all the fuel I needed to search and search for the right name. And boy did I search:
I was fighting to find “it” even though I know it’s often in the quiet moments that insight comes. But I wanted so badly to find the name and find it yesterday.
After a week of obsessively brainstorming names all it took was one email, from one of you.
“I am so sorry this has occurred for you, Carrie… I haven’t been a part of this community long, but I already know how strong it is. It made me think Artist Strong.”
It was like lightning struck. My eyes filled with tears and I realized the name had been there right in front of me all along. We are Artist Strong.
I was so excited I couldn’t focus the rest of that day. But I decided to sleep on it just to be sure. I kept it in my mind, like tasting something for the first time, rolling it around on my tongue to really get all the flavor. In my heart I knew our community had a new name to describe our home.
Now that I had a name, I wanted to bring the brand design to another level. I sought help. Enter Nicola of Quirky Twist Designs. We pow-wowed and realized just how attuned we were to each other in terms of style and interest. It was a no brainer to seek her help and hire her. I knew it as soon as I saw her website. Skyping confirmed it.
She gave me a bunch of homework which involved Pinterest. (Oh, sigh. How troublesome. I must pin pictures of things I like?! 😉 ) I waited with baited breath to see what she saw in me.
All the while, there were many things to accomplish: Change company name, business accounts, email accounts, hundreds of blog posts, every single click to tweet in my articles, all of my branding imagery, design a new website, create new free e-course to accompany launch, create launch party, write artist creed, hire designer to letter creed, switch all social media names… man, I could keep going. I decided to take December off from webinars and articles so I could focus on these things.
Then I got this:
It was a breath of fresh air when I saw it. My eyes welled up (Again. There were many tears as I rebranded. Thankfully, most were for joy and hope.). I realized sometimes having outside perspective helps you see what you can’t always see in yourself. Nicola got it. She got our brand. She got our community. And I knew I’d found home again.
I welcome you. We were once Artist Thinkers, focused on process, getting started, and understanding the artist’s journey. Today we are all Artist Strong. We choose the creative life, understand the artist journey through our active exploration and risk taking, and we lift everyone up together. It takes strength and courage to share our creativity with the world and help others to do the same.
Thank you for being here and being Artist Strong with me.