First of all, I’m so happy you are here. Recently I started this Q&A series, which is all about sharing peoples stories. I believe stories can impact, empower, change the world, encourage and even set us free. Today I’ am so happy to feature Kercia Jane, who you will get to know a lot better today. Enjoy.
If you could describe the women that you are, what would you say?
*Takes a deep breath* oh gosh, how do I even begin to answer this. I’d definitely say that I’m a dreamer and a child at heart. I love exploring, going on adventures, and trying new things. I have a heart for all things creative and encouraging other creatives along their path. I love watching other creatives step into their creative path and chase their dreams. Everyday I try to live a life of a woman of faith. It goes without saying that I ultimately fail, which is why I’m incredibly thankful for the grace of God. Know that God gives me grace helps me give myself grace when I make a mistake or am feeling anxious about my future.
What gets you so excited and fiery that you cannot stop thinking about?
Living a creative life and cultivating creativity! Living a creative life to me that means creating because I was created to create, despite the fears or doubts I may have. It means trying, experimenting and maybe even failing. It means keeping your eyes wide and having an open heart. It means being curious and exploring. It means telling my story and listening to others. It means connecting and encouraging others. It means giving myself grace and embracing who I am, flaws and all. Henri Matisse said that creativity takes courage and I think he’s totally right. Our creativity can be a fragile, fragile thing. We must take care of it and cultivate it, so it can flourish, so we can live a creative life. I want to create freely because I enjoy it, because I have to, because I feel it in my heart and soul…and I want to encourage others to do the same.
You recently launched something new. Tell us about it.
I did! *giddy giggles* I just launched the online Kercia Jane Design Shop in December. I’ve learned that in order for me to go after my dreams, I need to make decisions from the heart as opposed to making them from my ego. This means jumping in before I’m ready or when the opportunity presents itself, which can be difficult with my often debilitating perfectionism. Since I had extra bundles of 8-pack holiday cards from a previous project, I decided to challenge myself to launch a shop within two weeks (I think) with the deadline of or before Black Friday. I also wanted to use this opportunity to ease into the online shop business. To my surprise, I did it. It’s there. It’s live. And people bought them. I have to pinch myself sometimes. Now the challenge is to update the shop with new prints, greeting cards, postcards, etc.
What was one of the hardest things you had to overcome with launching Kercia Jane Design?
It sounds silly but one of the hardest things I had to overcome was actually starting. I was excited and inspired to start a blog and then a business later down the road. However, I kept stalling because I’m all sorts of a perfectionist. Overwhelmed with all of the ‘rules’ and ‘do’s and don’t’s’ of blogging and business, I felt frozen, unable to make the ‘right’ move. I began to doubt my worthiness and abilities. ‘Who I am to have a blog, I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m not an expert’ were just some of the thoughts I had before starting. Then one April day in 2014, I had enough. I realized I wouldn’t be able to grow until I planted the seed – I just had to start somewhere…even if that meant showing the world my far less than perfect work. Terrified and with my ego shouting at me to wait until it was the perfect time…until I had a clear vision…until this or that, I wrote my first blog post. It was about conquering the fear and just going for it. I’m learning that there will always be fear but doing your thing regardless of the fear is the important part. I still have to conquer my fears and doubts everyday; some days they do get the best of me, but I’m not allowing fear to keep me from working towards creating and living a creative life.
Describe some of your happiest moments that make you smile?
For me it’s the simplest of things. It’s those times that I look around, realizing how overabundantly and undeservingly blessed I am. It could be anything from laughing so hard we are crying during family game night or those 2 a.m. conversations with my sister and/or cousins to those times when you embrace who you are unapologetically. There’s also those bigger moments that I look back on can’t help but to smile and thank God for; like that one summer I spent surrounded by so much history and beautiful art, while laughing, eating and getting lost throughout Rome, Florence, and Capri with a group of gals I met while studying abroad. Witnessing, celebrating and standing next to my sister as she married her high school sweetheart was a day of overwhelming happiness that will always be some of my favorite memories.
If you were scheduled to give a speech to 10,000 dreamers, what would you say?
Oh man, that’s a lot of dreamers! I would say don’t let anyone – including yourself – tell you that you need permission to follow your dreams. Don’t worry about being good enough or being a beginner. Be patience with yourself and with your work. If you feel it in your heart, do it, go for it. Work hard, be curious, learn from every experience, even your struggles and mistakes. And most importantly, give yourself grace and keep going.
What has been some of the best advice you have ever received?
hmmm, that’s a hard one! My parents used to tell my sister and I that there will always be someone one better but that doesn’t mean to stop trying or doing something we enjoy; just do your best. As I’ve gotten older and gone into the creative field, where it’s so easy to compare yourself and your work to others, their advice stuck with me. There are so many talented people out there, but don’t let that stop you from following your heart. Only you can bring your experiences and stories into your work, embrace that.
What’s next for Kercia Jane?
I’m always dreaming up new ideas and making plans, so I tend to get a little scatterbrained and admittedly a little sidetracked at times, but it keeps me busy and inspired, so I’ll take it 🙂 In 2016 I’m planning on expanding the print shop, starting some creativity campaigns, engaging with more creative through collaborations and client work. While 2015 was a fantastic year, I really beat myself up over finding a clear vision, feeling the pressure to niche down, and feeling ashamed for being interested in too many directions and forms of work (like photography, hand lettering, illustration, and branding). This year I am focusing on creating because I am called to create in whatever direction that may be. So, I am working on creating a cohesive place where I can house all of my different interests and create a community where creatives can come to feel encouraged and inspired. Needless to say I’m pretty excited for what’s next!
Visit, http://blog.kerciajane.com/ to check out Kercia’s Blog and Shop.