Wow, I am so excited to be a crafter and shop owner right now! I feel like a year of work on my shop, listings, photo editing and “crafting as a business” is starting to pay off right when I need it the most! Personally, the fact that people want to buy something I made is the best feeling of all. It’s why I craft, cook, write and make art in general!
I remember waffling for days on whether I should even make a shop… I was sure it would fail miserably and I’d be… I dunno, crucified on the art altar for being a bad crafter or something? I was just terrified of “failing,” almost to the point of giving up before I even started! I was sure my friends and family were just humoring me and that no one really wanted the things I couldn’t stop myself from making.
Boy was I wrong! It’s still kind of hard to believe, but I am a fairly logical person so I have to accept the facts. After 3 sales, I have to admit that people who don’t even know me like these enough to buy them! For once, I don’t mind the “I told you so”s and I’m glad I took the chance and put my stuff out there.
It seemed so scary at first, even though I knew that nothing horrible would happen if no one bought anything. It was a huge act of acknowledging my own skill as an artist. I think we all have a hard time with that.
Whether it’s making jewelry, selling prints, recording music or anything creative… someone, somewhere, at some time tried to get us to be “realistic”. Society wants to soften the blow of failure by telling us “maybe you should focus on a real job.” My college counselor thought she was doing me a favor when she said I wouldn’t find a career making my own art, that I was better off going into a commercial art field. Was she right? Maybe, but I could never have put my heart and creativity into it the way I can when self-directed. I wouldn’t be staying up all night covered in bits of paper and glue because I’m excited to see how my project turns out. Ultimately, I don’t think anyone (least of all I) would like the packaged, preprocessed commercial work as much as the spontaneous frenzy of curiosity that begets the work I do now. Someone has to do commercial art, and if that’s your passion, I salute you! I’ve seen wonderful commercial art that long outlives its product. I think that is a sign of an artist tapping into something that is true for him/herself and I believe that is when really great art is made. It just wasn’t going to work for me and I knew it.
What I hope for my friends, family and my baby-on-the-way is that they really embrace whatever passion is in their hearts. I know so many talented people, and I believe if we learn that it’s not only okay to be authentic, but AMAZING… our lives and the world will be better for it. “Failure” is never going to be as bad as not trying at all. In the end, I think what matters more is whether you were really true to yourself and allowed yourself the possibility of success. Am I “successful”? I’m not paying any bills yet… but I feel incredibly proud of myself, and that does a lot more for my quality of life than money.
THANK YOU! To everyone that has helped me believe in myself!!! Including my first 3 shop customers! 😀