What do I need to say? Why do I need to say it? What is it that makes my voice important?
I have been waiting for years for the opportunity to explore those questions. This year, I plunged headlong into my art. I painted, I searched, and I returned with renewed gratitude for my husband and supportive family. I found my way with the light of a newfound faith in God.
At the beginning of 2018 I told myself and my family that I would give myself to my art for a year.
I’ve kept a real job - a full-time job - ever since I graduated college. It was with trepidation that I took the steps to work for myself after our family’s move to Anderson. I told myself that if I could make it work, I would proceed. If I could get something off the ground and find a sustainable path forward, I would continue.
If not, I would * deep sigh *..... I would find a "real job."
The first few months of the year I painted flowers. I painted wildly experimental pieces and a few commissions. I bought more than a thousand dollars in art supplies - I tried things that I had wanted to try for years.
I booked a show. I got rejected from a lot of other shows. I watched jealously as other artists in Anderson and on Instagram showed in galleries, craft shows, and art markets. I created 20 pieces - mostly experimental works - in three months.
In the next three months, I created 20 more. I took workshops. I booked more commissions. I rebuilt my websites. I met other artists. What do I have to say? Why is it important? I asked myself those questions over and over again as I worked maniacally and my message found a sharper focus.
In the next three months, I painted less for me. I booked even more commissions. I raised my prices and bought more software. I created a content marketing program. I put that program on pause when I realized I didn’t have time to implement it and complete my commissions.
Now I have more projects than I really meant to take, but there is a plan for each of them. God has brought me to this amazing place and he will be in my fingers as I complete the work. I am meant to be here and I am meant to do this work.
Since I want to focus on creating beautiful art, I’ll let someone else handle the manufacturing, shipping, and delivery. I’ll sell templates, downloads, and of course, my original art on my own site. I’ll still work with a few trusted partners to create things like canvas art and cell phone cases to sell on my own site, but my plan is to shift a lot of the products to places like Redbubble and Zazzle so my international customers can have a better experience with my art.