Yesterday I took the afternoon off.   The beauty of being your own boss is that when the creativity isn’t flowing and no deadline looms large for the day, you can go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon.  Granted, don’t exercise this option often or you may not get anything done, but every now and then is completely legal.

Angela and I went to see “Julie & Julia” – she expected the movie to inspire her to cook.  She does have a strange habit of watching cooking shows – a past time as interesting to me as watching Ultimate Fighting, which I really, really, really don’t like.  What can I say?  I was brought up by a woman who considers cooking a nuisance and if she can’t be started, cleaned up and eating within 20 minutes, she’s not happy.  (I don’t mean to offend mom, if you are reading this, just giving the root of my aversion to cooking.)

Anyway, I said that if I was inspired to cook it would be one heck of a movie!  I left thinking well, maybe I could cook, but expecting I’d have more of the melt-down kitchen scenes than perfect looking dishes.  I left with the desire to make and design aprons.

I also wanted to blog… I hope I remember all the ‘blogable’ thoughts that crossed my mind but I’ll just assume that the best ones will come to me as I type.

Here is what I learned from Julia Child’s story…

  • Julia Child wasn’t always Julia Child. She, like every other successful person, started with a dream and a determination to make it come true.  She faced obstacles, rejection, partners that didn’t pull their weight, and more.  Just like I have and you may have too.  But she kept working towards her goals and eventually got there.
  • Try many things until you find the thing that you can do all day and dream about all night… for years… in spite of the above named obstacles.  She took hat making classes, bridge lessons… who knows what else.  THEN she went to cooking school… find your passion.
  • Surround yourself with a great support system. Julia Child’s husband was a great supporter of her dream.  When she was ready to throw in the towel, he picked her up, dusted her off and encouraged her to keep on trying.  She got rid of the not so supportive people in exchange for her partners and champions who helped her make things happen.  Who are you hanging out with?  People who think they can do anything they put their mind to or those who offer up all kinds of reasons why only “connected” or “rich” or “fill-in-the-blank” kinds of people make it big?
  • I SO, SO, SO want to go back to Paris!

Now what about Julie?  What did I learn from her?

  • Set deadlines. If you know you aren’t the best at following through on your own, set deadlines and announce them to the world.  It is harder to give up if people know your plan.
  • Ignore your mother if she tries to squash your dream. She is probably just afraid her baby bird won’t learn to fly and will get hurt – she’ll come around! (Note to my mom: this actually has nothing to do with you so don’t worry that you tried to squash my dreams.)
  • Even if things seem big, if you break them down into pieces you can achieve a lot more than you think. 365 days – 524 recipes – jinkies that stresses me out just typing it.  But I think at some point she broke it down to how many recipes she needed to do a month to be on track. Much easier to wrap your head around.
  • Set backs and tears are ok. Just keep cooking.  Nothing good ever comes without some stress and disappointment… and even less comes if you give up at the first sign of stress and disappointment.

So my “un-plugging” has turned into quite a blog but that’s ok. You never know what will start the creative flow within you.  Yesterday morning I was doing busy work and getting little done so I stepped away from the studio.  When I came back, I’m all pumped up again.

“Julie & Julia” is another great movie about people following their passion, sticking with it no matter what, and creating wonderful lives for themselves.  I wish this for all of us as well. Here’s the trailer so you can see some clips in case you aren’t inspired to see the whole movie, although I highly recommend it!

[youtube M7pqs7tUgWY nolink]

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara

P.S.  Don’t forget I have a great goal setting program for artists if figuring out where you want to go, staying on track, and tracking your progress are of interest.  Get all the details at

P.P.S.  My friend Barabara Rozgonyi at blogged about the movie from a PR / social media person’s point of view.  CLICK HERE to see what she had to say…