As the year comes to a close, I'm so grateful for the way God has provided for Brent and I. Going full-time "freelance" was such a leap of faith, but God has totally confirmed that He not only supports this endeavor, but He ordained it.
With that being said, I couldn't have done it without Etsy either. (I could actually say, "I couldn't have done it without the internet", but then this post would be way too long).
When I first opened my etsy shop back in January, I won't beat around the bush, I thought Etsy sucked. Not for anything they did, but because my expectations weren't met. I had hastily created a series of illustrations to sell, and when I opened my etsy shop, I thought that "viola!", the sales would come pouring in and I'd be rich.
That didn't happen.
In fact, I didn't sell anything for 5 months.
I looked at other etsy sellers and thought, "How do they do this?". So I emailed them. I researched. And didn't really get any answers. The only thing confirmed was that they were selling, and well, I was not.
Was my stuff not "good" enough? Was I doomed for failure? Did my lack of success on etsy foretell my success as a freelance artist in general? These of course were the nagging thoughts in my head. Constantly.
Then, this past summer, I took up hand lettering. I'd always admired some fancy envelopes I'd seen on Pinterest and thought, "I could do that - but cooler", but didn't really try. So I started trying. And trying. And trying.
Eventually, I developed some signiature styles and I put them up in my etsy shop.
That was the start of an entire new business for me...brides were my new clientele.
If it wasn't for etsy, and the business it brought me, I'd probably have had to go out and get another job. I had planned on maybe having to do that, but deep down, I just wanted to work out of my studio! Getting another job pained me. I wanted to proved to myself, to my husband, to my friends and family...that I could make it as a freelance artist.
Have I been doing what my heart TRULY desires (which is PAINT what I WANT and SELL it)?
No, not yet. But it's coming.
Once my lettering started selling on etsy, my paintings started selling. My shop started getting more views, and things just took off. Now I'm actually able to say no to some jobs I just don't want or have time to do.
A year ago, I looked at other etsy shops with a lot of sales and thought, "How the heck did that happen for them?"
But today, as we get close to the end of 2012, I'm so thankful to have 55 sales.
It is so flattering to see people write reviews telling me they were happy with my work. It is exciting to see people come to my blog and see my paintings, because they were directing their through my shop.
I may have jumped on the etsy bandwagon a few years behind, but I am grateful to them for the opportunity to sell my work to a worldwide audience.