Typically when a new year rolls around, I make a list of what I would like to get accomplished that year. I get anxious about what will go wrong when I try to accomplish the things on my list, and then I inevitably let the fear of failure paralyze me into quitting before I have even started. Does that sound familiar? I wanted to break that cycle last year, and though it took me until June to start something, I eventually did. How did I do that, you ask? It's a neat trick but it's really simple, and I am sure you've heard it a million times: Just start!
I found a quote by Walt Disney that says: "First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare". I spent so much more time wishing and dreaming than I did actually doing!
I realized at some point last year that I had been stuck at the dreaming stage. I decided that I needed to do something about it.
After consuming an unhealthy amount of YouTube videos and tutorials, I found one thing that I really enjoyed making, and that I was proud of making, and not afraid wasn't good enough. My hand-lettering and calligraphy style. Honestly, I didn't really see it as something I could sell yet at the time, but definitely as something I would be proud to sell one day. That was all the fire I needed. That belief that I could do this was what gave me the courage, and I did what I had always feared. I put myself out there!
I already had a business name in mind, so I bought the domain name, created a website, made a hand-lettered product and started selling it. I updated all my social media to share my work and finally, started a YouTube channel. I am still learning how to manage everything myself, but I can finally call myself an Illustrator without feeling like a fraud, and that feels pretty damn good!
This is not to say that it was all happily ever after from then. No, starting and running a business requires hard work and consistency. I am a hard-worker, but I still struggle with the consistency part. I am a mother of 3 young boys, the oldest of which is only 5, so time to work and be creative is not easy to find. Sometimes I work in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep, other times, I get an idea at the crack of dawn and decide to do as much as I can before someone notices I am awake.
Although I am nowhere near what I am working towards yet, I am so happy with my progress. This time last year, I was only wishing I would have an online shop where I could sell my art and creations. Today, I can happily say that I have sold paintings, stickers, and illustrations that I made with my own two hands in those late nights. I am not sure when my business will become what I want it to be, but I will work my hardest to get there.
I don't do long lists of tasks anymore, but this year I gave myself one major goal. I want to sell at a craft fair. I started creating new designs and products that I want to sell, and I started researching fairs that I can attend. I will document my progress and more in this blog and on my social media if you're interested in reading about it.
I am not an influencer or anyone known outside of my group of friends and family, but I hope that there is another person out there that needs to hear these words. And if you're out there, I want to tell you: You can do it too! No matter your situation, obstacle, or even struggle, you absolutely can make your dream a reality. Pick one thing that you need to do to get you closer to it, and just do that. Then pick the next thing, and do that too. Don't think about it too much or you will talk yourself out of it. Remember, you just have to start!
Until next time!