Earlier this week I was trying to remember what I did last year for New Year’s Eve. I feel so silly that it slipped my mind because that was a pretty monumental day in my life. Instead of getting all dolled up and going out to a party, I spent the night in my sweatpants painting the walls of my first art studio. I wouldn’t have had it any other way! It feels like I’ve been in my studio longer than a year now because 2018 has been filled with one big event after the other. At the end of the year I like to remember the big moments because in our go-go-go culture, it’s easy to forget what you’ve done as you’re conquering the next item on your to-do list. So, I figured why not share my 2018 experiences with you while I reminisce about the year?
The first quarter of the year was almost entirely spent denying that I had homework and studying to do because I was so excited to get everything situated in the studio! It's hard to be disciplined in your studies when you have an art studio calling your name all hours of the day! I graduated from Eastern Washington University in March with degrees in Marketing, Operations Management, and Communication Studies, and have been focusing on my art career ever since. Even though there are a million other careers I could pursue with my degrees, I don’t want to regret not going after my dream!
The next step I took towards an art career was getting business cards, because everything with business cards is more official, right? I used Vista Print to create them and have an image of the first painting I completed after graduating on the backside of the cards. It was my “prove to myself I can do it” painting, so it felt appropriate to make it the image of my business. I shared my cards on Instagram and just a few hours later Vista Print reached out to me asking if I’d like to be one of their Small Business Features on a Times Square billboard! I said yes, and my painting was up in front of thousands of people. The universe was telling me to keep going! You can read more about the Times Square feature in my previous blog post (click here).
In June I sent some prints to the ladies that host my favorite podcast: An Acquired Taste Podcast. I sent the prints as a “thank you for keeping me entertained for hours while I paint” gift, but then these beautiful goddesses talked about me and my artwork during episode 125! The exact time is 36 minutes and 22 seconds into the episode, but who’s counting? They then listed me on their Small Business Gift Guide during the holiday season! I’m still in disbelief about the features and support from these ladies I admire so much. I will be forever grateful to Bethany, Kathleen, and Sam!
This year I participated in three art shows: a group art show I helped host, a King of the Hill themed art show (this, as you probably put together, was not with my floral paintings), and a First Friday art walk at the Liberty Building. It feels so good to get my work in front of new eyes! I’m also proud to say that I have a display of prints up at 1900 House and Home. I’m slowly but surely establishing myself as a professional painter in the Spokane art community.
It took a lot of patience and getting uncomfortable, but I built an e-commerce website. I have to admit, I was surprised the first time I got an online sale. I jumped off the couch and shoved my phone in my husband’s face to show him the notification while shouting, “It actually works!!!” Technology is not my strength, so creating a website sounded like an impossible task. But, here we are! If I can do it, you can do it too!
What feels like the biggest accomplishment is what I did in September. On the 14th I put on my big-girl pants and registered with the State of Washington as a business. With a trade name. An actual business. Me. It still seems unreal and every time I think about it a giant grin grows across my face. Even though I continue to work part-time at a local retail store, I also own my own business as a professional artist and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of saying that!
If you haven’t already, take some time and think back to January 2018. Pull out your day planner, look through your phone’s calendar, read this year’s journal entries, and scroll through past Facebook events. For every big moment you had, think specifically about what made it special. How did you feel when it was happening, and how do you feel now that some time has passed? In what ways do you feel you have grown and changed this year? What challenged you? Reflect on the past and get excited for the upcoming year! Set some goals, fantasize about your dreams, and decide if there any changes you need to make. I have some big juicy goals for myself and my art business in 2019, but I’ll save those for another post!