emily cline art

gettin' my ya-ya's out

How Big My Brave Is


Holding myself accountable in being brave, I have to say:  This is harder than I thought it’d be.

emily cline art

How big is your brave? (shot taken with my new iPhone, which seems to hate focusing –sorry!)

No one said it would be easy. I am just surprised at how much I tie my own self-worth to money. I’m not making any money right now. And I don’t like it. I’ve earned money since I was 12 years old, mowing lawns, babysitting, shoveling snow, working in video stores, cleaning houses, dishing ice cream, waiting tables. And right now:

  • I feel like I shouldn’t spend money because I’m not making money (– certainly no spending on skin or hair or clothes!)
  • I feel like I’m not a real, contributing member of society because I have no income.
  • I feel lazy — I’m “just” a mom, “just” a housewife.

I’m already quite seriously thinking about going back to modeling so I can make and have money. Then I could justify art classes, supplies, babysitters, travel, and (et hem) beauty products.

On the other hand, I’m loving my freedom:

  • I died my hair!
  • I eat what I want!
  • I exercise for my heart and health not my looks (though my first yoga class in 10 years just kicked my butt).

But. I’m not making any money. So how do I justify what I want? How am I worth it?

Putting this out there is scary. That’s part of my journey, just as much as learning no one else’s opinion matters. Just mine. This is how big my brave is. That and — maybe — going back to modeling again.


5 thoughts on “How Big My Brave Is

  1. Nancy Eaton

    Emily, I know exactly how you feel – I retired a few years ago, and for the first time, was bringing in no money of my own. So – I figured out how to get some. For me, I worked really hard at selling my crafts and art. It brings in a few hundred dollars a month, but I feel so much better. For you, it might be having to take a modeling job here and there. It doesn’t have to be full time – just a little bit makes everything feel better. I just noticed that you are from West Liberty, Iowa! Both of my parents grew up there, and I was born in 1947 in Iowa City! Best of luck to you!


    1. emilyclineart Post author

      Really, Nancy? You’re a midwesterner too! Great place to be from! I think that’s really cool you were able to make money. But how? Are you doing arts and crafts shows? or selling on Etsy? I’d love some tips on how you cracked the code. I just can’t seem to get my prints to move. 🙂


      1. Nancy Eaton

        Emily – I live in Florida now, in the West Central part. There is a town about 1-1/2 hrs away from me, Mount Dora, that has a darling downtown and lots of cutsie shops. Lots of tourists and snowbirds go there. I have my things in a little shop called “Under the Cherry Blossoms” – every thing there is handmade. What really sells there for me are some coasters and bowls that I make on the sewing machine, but my cards that I make from prints of my artwork are my biggest seller. Sometimes, I sell prints of my art and some of my original art – but I find that folks want things that are pretty inexpensive, so that’s what I go with. Quantity!

        I started on Etsy, but was very frustrated there – a fellow Etsyian was opening a shop in Mout Dora, and asked me to sell my things there – so I jumped at the chance. Her store closed after about 6 months, but the shop I’m in now saw my things and asked me to come to her shop. I used to sell prints on Fine Art America — but that cost me $30 for each year, and I only sold a couple of things. I guess I just keep on trying things until something happens!

        You are so much younger than me, so you might want to try to sell your art at art shows or other crafty fairs. I just don’t have the strength to do all that. Also, teaching works, too. I teach a “Creative Collage” class sometimes once a month, and that brings in a few hundred dollars. I know that you are creative – so look around and figure out how to turn that into dollars. There is a way! Sorry, this is so long – if you would like to chat, email me at nbeaton (at) bellsouth.net.

        Good Luck!


      2. emilyclineart Post author

        I’m honored! You’re so generous with your information and story! Thank you! (Coming from the competitive world of fashion, the generosity in the art (journaling) world constantly surprises me.) I’ve been struggling with Etsy and getting nothing. I do love craft fairs for some silly reason, but they’re non-existent in the winter. I’ve tried teaching — I’m dying to reach tweens! — but can’t seem to get people to show. Argh. Frustration. I know there is a way — there has to be! I’m thinking, however, this is not the market for it (Westchester County, NY). For kids, sports are HUGE here, with music coming in at a distant second place. Arts are a complete after-thought. *sigh* I’ll keep plugging!
        Thank you so much for your encouragement, advice, and sharing so much of what you’re journey is! Stay warm in Florida. Be glad you’re not up north!!


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