When I tell people I am an artist, I often wonder what thoughts immediately scroll through their internal ticker tape. Do they imagine me sitting in front of a pottery wheel spinning clay? Do they think I drink wine and wear a cute apron while painting on canvas? Do they just think I am sitting around in my pajamas hoping to get lucky and sell a mosaic table I made from trash in the neighborhood? Nope. None of the above. Well, I am often wearing my pajamas which usually consists of a cut off t-shirt and some oversized shorts. Sometimes, I even stay in my gym clothes and sneakers all day - it's like uniform roulette around here.
The real story is this - I make stuff and I get to do it for a living. I am not a starving artist at this stage of the game, though throughout the last 10 years, there have absolutely been times I have called on my mom to throw me $20 to eat. I am incredibly fortunate from the simple aspect of time and I own this privilege with gusto. Note - I may not be starving but I do still work incredibly long hard hours for what I earn making said 'stuff' and licensing my art through my agent. Licensing is not a lucrative business by any means but it sure is rewarding emotionally and it never (ever) gets old to see my work in retail stores or hotels.
I have a small print shop that I run from my home that consists of a large format inkjet, a color laser printer, a dye sublimation printer and two heat presses, a paper creaser, a 36" Rotatrim, which is the one thing I would miss the most should I change careers, and don't forget the 30 or so bins of neatly organized things on shelves and in the closet. I am never bored nor without something to do. I am disciplined, yet I often procrastinate. I am ambitious and creative but mostly, I humbled by everyone who continues to choose me for their art and home decor needs.
I started this business without a single cent. I bootstrapped my first print order which came in to my Etsy shop just 3 hours after opening in June 2011 and built on that $15.00 profit to where I am today. If you are struggling...that is okay - just work harder. If you are unsure...that is okay - just keep making the decisions that challenge you and don't for one second let fear stop you from wandering until you find your destination.
I'll be wandering for a lifetime.