For many years, I’ve “mucked about” as an artist.
I took countless art classes in High School and early on in college, but I never thought that art could be my passion. I was told so often, by people I respected and loved, that I needed to find a job that would pay my bills. I took their advice and I went to business school for a B.B.A with a minor in Entrepreneurship.
During that process I went back and forth with myself on whether it was the right path for me. (Turns out, it was!) I continued to draw in my spare time, but I was focused on learning everything I could about having my own business.
When I was 21, I was back living with my parents after a really bad breakup. I was unemployed, freshly home from living out of state, with a healthy dose of humility gained from a failed attempt at moving across country. While sitting in the basement trying to figure out how to pay my student loans, I stumbled upon Etsy.com. That summer I jumped in full tilt making cutesy little things that I thought I could sell to housewives with young children. (Turns out, I couldn’t.)
I found a job (finally) but I continued in the same young child vein for about a year and a half. I tried a lot of different handicrafts during that time, though. Nothing was sacred. I rediscovered myself as an artist; mod podge, scrapbooking, water color, quilting, perler beads…
Finally, one night I was sitting at my sketchbook when my best friend, Frances, called me. She had gotten her own work into an art show, and was seeing if I had put any work into it. I figured, “Hey! Nothing else has worked!” and I submitted my illustrations into the show. I noticed that the group was offering merchandise tables for a small fee as well, and I thought, “Why the hell not?!” so I bought a table, too.
Oh… Did I mention that I didn’t have ANY merchandise ready, exactly 0 paintings made to display in the show, no way to display anything on my table, and no understanding of how to get ready?
I had a month to get ready. 1 month. I took some time off of work and began planning fervently. I knew that in order to be a success to myself I would need to look professional and like I’ve done a show before. So, I took to the internet, pouring over guides, walkthroughs, photos, Vlogs, blogs, and everything else I could find. And I made it happen!
By the end of the show I looked to my fiancee (now husband!), tears streaming down my face, and said, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life!” I knew that I had finally found my passion, and now I want to share that passion with the world.