I was not always a happy, shiny person. The truth is, I’m still not. I do have a much better outlook on life and I’m a far better person, but I still have my own quirks. Recently that design over there sold from one of my shops, and while I was promoting it to my social networks, I started to wonder about the content of some of my designs. Do I still think they’re funny? Do I still agree with the messages that they send? If I do, what does that say about me?
This isn’t the first time that I’ve wondered if my tastes are in conflict with the lessons that I’m trying to teach. I’ve said before that I’m just not one of those sunshine-and-light people. I enjoy my skulls and horror movies and black clothes and I think all those things go into making me the unique individual that I am. For the most part, I have been able to accept that some things are not “negative” as people tend to brand them, and so they’re not a problem. These designs however, really got me thinking.
A lot of the designs in my “Phrases and Humor” category, which is one of the largest in my shops, are sarcastic and in some cases offensive to some groups or people. In the beginning it was a form of self-expression, and a way of flying in the face of the overly-sensitive, “my way or the highway” type people. I liked the designs I made and thought most of them were funny. Eric saw them all before they went live and only once or twice told me to throw one away because it went too far. But now I’ve changed, and I really do wonder if some of the things I’m selling are in conflict with who I am now and the lessons I want to teach.
Honestly, I still think some of them are funny, but at the same time some of them make me a little uncomfortable. So what do I do? The designs are selling and I need the money, so do I pull them and lose the income or keep selling them and if anyone asks just be honest and say they were created before I became who I am now and I keep them up because people like them? If I keep them up, is the fact that they were made years ago really a justification for the discrepancy between those messages and the ones I teach now?
I’m also worried that I may be losing part of myself, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I think if we were all shiny, happy people who only liked puppies and daisies, the world would become a really boring place. Is liking a little sarcasm a bad thing? Is flipping the bird to intolerant parts of society wrong? Aren’t there times when being a little “in your face” is needed? Can I be a little snarky and dark and still be an amazing person teaching the world important lessons?
Deep down, I believe that there can be a balance, and that we don’t need to become passive, sweet copies of one another in order to create a better world. I just wish I could find a clear answer as to whether the designs I’m selling should stay or go and how I should feel about them. I really believe that it’s a good thing for people to stop and think about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. We have to be sure that our course in life is the one that’s best for us both short term and long. Right now though, I’m not sure which is more uncomfortable: the feeling I get from looking at some of my old designs, or the thought of never being sarcastic or controversial ever again.