This is how I got started as an Artist. It wasn’t easy. And it still isn’t.
Wayyyy back in 2008 when I started working to be a paid artist, I was fresh out of high school, I had broken up with my fiancée and was in a dead-end rebound relationship (which would self-destruct in a few months, anyway.) I wasn’t entirely confident in my ability to be an adult, since I was only 19, and I didn’t even know how to call and make a doctor’s appointment for myself yet. I didn’t realize that I was biting into a whole new world. I started up an Etsy shop, added about 4 items, and then promptly forgot about it.
Queue the self-destruction of my relationship.
I lost my job, I moved across the country at the behest of my parents, failed miserably in Walt Disney World as an intern, and moved back into my parent’s house. At 21. A HUGE kick in the pants. I had some extra fabric laying around, an old sewing machine and Pinterest, so I started making whatever I saw on there that I thought I could make quickly and sell. It turns out that I can’t actually do either of those things. I don’t make things quickly, and those things certainly do not sell quickly, especially on Etsy. I started to take things a little bit seriously. I didn’t really have any choice in the matter, though, because I was unemployed and a college student and needed to pay for my life. I kept making stupid little things that never did sell. (I have some left, any takers?)
I needed someone to step in.
Finally, a good friend of mine, Frances, who if you follow me on YouTube is the person who did my theme song, signed me up for an art show that she was going to be doing at the Yellow Barn in Ann Arbor, MI. I had never actually done any kind of art show. I didn’t have anything that would be considered “fine art” I didn’t have a folding table, I didn’t have prints, I didn’t have postcards, I didn’t even have any paintings finished. And yet… It was intriguing. After buying my first Copic markers I fell in love with them. I could certainly do a full piece with them, and bring those with me to the show, right? I had to have stuff from college that would be similar enough that I could plug them into the series that I would draw, right?
Turns out, YES! I spent the next month getting ready for the show. It was a pretty low-brow affair, which was fun, exciting and rewarding! I worked my butt off and I totally reaped the rewards. The first show I did was called Venus Rising and it was all women led, all women performers and all women artists show, and it was amazing! It is still the bar that I hold all other art shows to. One day I will write up a play by play of that show, including what I sold, and how much profit I saw, but today is not that day!
Thanks for reading, guys. See you next Sunday.