Three years ago at this time in 2009 I was painting and selling some of my art locally, and I had a friend who mentioned I should sell on Etsy.
I didn't know what Etsy was or how to spell it.
I had no clue what I was doing. I had no clue about the handmade community.
I just jumped right in and started figuring things out as I went.
I now laugh at some of the things I made and how I tried to do things.
It has all be a huge learning process. It still is.
I went from painting large 18x24 and 16x20 custom nursery art to smaller children's art to quirkly little mustache, sewing, and camera paintings to State Love paintings to no paintings while I took a break. I remember trying to sketch things for custom orders.
My sketches always looked horrible and I would tell customers I don't draw well, but I can paint.
It's crazy how I limited myself. I told myself I couldn't do something so I didn't even try.
Thankfully, I developed relationships with some amazing people. I met Maggie (through email) and she began encouraging me and helping me with ideas. I met Danielle (through email and then in person). She listened to me doubt myself and be afraid of what everyone else thought and she prayed for me and reminded me of my talent and that I was "enough". Then I met Alison (through email and in person four times, but who is counting?). She not only put my paintings in every room of her house but she also encouraged me, sang my praises, defended me when I needed it, and sends me awesome presents like that necklace up there.
Throughout these three years I have met so many other wonderful people who have taught me and cheered me on (the list would go on forever so I'm not naming names :).
Now I am in a whole new place, doing something I said I couldn't do. I have never been told by anyone other than myself that I wasn't capable of doing anything. My parents never said I couldn't do something, they always supported me. My friends never said I couldn't do anything, nor has my husband.
It's always been about me not believing I could do it.
Up until this year I wouldn't even call myself an artist.
I would say I like to paint or create, but to say, "I am an artist," was too much for me to wrap my mind around.
Today though, I can tell you, I am an artist.
I cannot put into words what my dreams are or my plans are, but I can say I no longer believe I am not capable of doing things.
SO - cheers to three crazy years.
Thank you to all the friends and family who have been here the entire time.
Thank you to all the people who support me.
I am very excited about the future!
Now, go buy something (wink) and take 20% off
(what? you know you want to take advantage of a discount).
Use the code CHEERS20 today through Thursday, May 31st.