When I first began Delux Designs (DE), LLC back during December of 2010, I was your typical teenager and young adult, full of energy and eager to get out into the real world. I had no idea what was ahead of me but I knew for a fact early on that I wanted to become an entrepreneur. I had just turned 18 years old and was in my first semester of my freshman year of college at the University of South Carolina – Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Money was not necessarily a huge burden at that point starting off but I knew eventually it would be. Something was going to come up financially and of course it did, so I figured why not go ahead and and begin my service while I was still in college to get a head start.
Back then, the demand for graphic designs were high but there was a lack of options in the area of those who could handle the demand along with provide affordable prices with quality work attached to those prices. Not only while on campus, not only in that particular area of South Carolina, but nationwide from what research during my studies had shown. I used social media mainly to get the word out about my services around campus and it soon took off nationwide to other states, some of which I had never even been to before in my life. Everything was great as a start for me. But after a couple years things began to change and tables were shook when it came to keeping consistent support for DE overall.
There were a number of things I ran into as problems for support of DE. Let’s take a look at some of those problems below:
- Close Friendships – For me in the beginning, all of my friends supported what I had going on. I didn’t have a huge group of friends but at the time they were perfect for me and I deemed them as being solid enough to be considered my friend. Not only was my service fun and engaging but I offered something that benefited many of my friends entrepreneurship endeavors and even school projects from time to time as well. Before I could even grasp the true meaning of supporting someone’s business, my friends were the very first to jump and show love without me telling them to. If it wasn’t for them DE wouldn’t have made it this long. But things have not always been smooth and easy in the friendship realm of support over time. Of course you grow as people and overtime things change, but I have just like others run into people who claim to be a friend of mine that weren’t so supportive.
I see many creatives complaining about how their close friends don’t support their art or designs and to be honest with you, those aren’t your real friends. How I’ve dealt with a lack of support for those type of friends is by feeding them with a long handle spoon. What this means is I stay consistent with my kindness and respect, as long as they are respectful to me, but I make sure I treat them how they treat me. For example, if they haven’t attended any events of mine that I have hosted, I won’t break my back to attend theirs if at all. Of course everyone can not make it to your events at every occasion but you can tell who can not genuinely attend and those whom are avoiding being involved all together. Another example would be if they do not repost or share anything that I post or share, then I won’t break my wrists to do the same for them. This is not a way or method of being petty or funny or any of that. This is simply saving my energy for my actual friends who do support and actually do break their backs and wrists to show love to my service. Plain and simple.
- Blood Related Family – Now this has been tricky. When it comes to your family, most believe you are obligated to them which can be toxic on so many levels on both sides of the fence. I am blessed to have a loving family on both my mother and father’s side. A majority of them have supported DE fully and have shown love to me since I was baby with anything I have set out to do. Forever grateful for them. But just like anyone else, I do have family that do not support at all or do not show up when it is needed. They would rather talk trash about what I am doing or just simply envy what I have going on instead of being apart of it and to be honest that is cool with me at this point in my life. You can not please everyone, that is life.
How I deal with this is….I don’t. I simply allow them to feel however they feel and move forward with my life. The main thing you have to remember about shady family members is their main goal is to catch your attention. They do not like what you are doing out of jealousy and will do any and everything to take your attention from what you are doing so you are focused on them instead, ultimately slowing you down or attempting to delay your blessings. The best thing to do here is to separate yourself if you can and do not follow up with anything they say or do. On the other end of the spectrum, you can not expect your family to automatically show up for you just because you are related. We are all still humans and just because you may share blood with someone does not mean that they are obligated to support you. Your goal is to sale at the end of the day. If you are only focused on selling to family members then you will not truly prosper out here in this world. Do not have any expectations for family or anyone for that matter.
- Romantic Partners or Spouses – Now, I am not a married woman and never have been. Hopefully one day that will be a blessing for me. But I do have some experience in the romantic partner realm. This is where I have seen the most lack of support and what has ended a majority of the relationships I have ever been in since freshman year of college. To be honest, this is actually the deal breaker for me period when it comes to seriously dating someone. As a creative, you are already facing some push back for your career decision, that comes with the territory. The last thing you want or need is a significant other that does not support your career decision. In the past, I have dealt with a man that flat out told me that my work was trash, that he had seen better paintings overseas in Europe while vacationing (yes this was a black man to tell me this) and that my work did not amount to anything.
I handled the situation by flat out leaving him. No communication. No interaction. No anything anymore. Your romantic partner and even spouse should be your biggest supporter, even more than your immediate family members. If they are not supporting or at least not even trying to learn about what it is that you do or wish to do, then you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Do not be blinded by love that you become distracted from your goals for your career and dreams.
- Parents – Ok this is another tricky one as it does relate to family members like we discussed in number two of this list. All parents are different and all parents do not parent the same which means all parents do not support their children the same way as well. Some may show more support with monetary things and some may show more support verbally and morally. It all depends on the person, but what do you do when your parents don’t show any support whatsoever? What do you do when your parents refuse to show support or take what you are doing as a creative serious.
Well, first you have to sit back and analyze how old your parents may be. Remember most of our parents were brought up in a completely different time period of life. Back then, there was no internet where you seen a lot of people creating visual graphics daily for a living for example. Back then you did not really see people, especially African Americans, making a full blown living off of painting and if they were it was not advertised too much. Back then there were also limited ways of making money so most depended on plants and factories to make a living. Now, we actually have way more advantages than our parents when it comes to making money for ourselves online and offline. They may not understand what you have going on literally. They may not know what being an Art Director is for example. Try explaining what you do more and actually showing them what you do physically. Sometimes that is all it takes, a simple explanation of your work you do to make a complete difference.
There are many ways to handle a lack of support as a creative:
- Get rid of phony friends no matter how long you have been friends with them and find new friends apart of your niche and have the same goals as you.
- Join more support groups apart of your niche and field.
- Stay away from non-supportive and shady family members, and just stick with the ones who do right by you.
- Do not date anyone who can’t support what you have going on.
- Do not hold grudges against your parents for a lack of support. Just build your dreams on your own. When your dreams begin to take off publicly the will jump aboard on down the road.
- Network at different events apart of your niche or field.
- Travel more to different areas. You would be surprised at the amount of support you will start receiving from areas that are not your hometown.
- Support others. This is so important. If you do not support others you can not expect to have any supporters and no one will support you. Don’t be selfish show love back in return.
Always remember, you can never force someone to support you.
If they don’t want to then they do not have to and they have all the right as a person not to if they do not want to. As a creative you have to be alright with this and move on if this is the case. Do not allow a lack of support as a creative to discourage you from moving forward with your goals and dreams as a creative.
How do you deal with a lack of support as a creative? Leave your thoughts and comments below in the comment section.
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