I'm writing this post from where this journey all began: South Florida.
Yep, after two + years in Virginia, we've relocated back to the Fort Lauderdale area where Makewells will continue on without any major changes. It's good to be back, but I will miss so many things about Virginia. I'm sure I'll be blogging about these things soon.
Now, on to the updates/news from the past month or so:
I am just LOVING being a part of the Minted Community! I entered my first contest with them in February, and since then have been growing and learning so much. Thank you to everyone who voted in the Holiday Challenge especially. Two of my designs were chosen to be sold on Minted's site: A Whimsical Noel and Joy Peace and All Things Merry.
You can view all my products for sale through Minted by clicking here.
I'm also excited to be offering Christmas/Holiday photo card designs through my etsy shop!
These will include not only some designs from the Minted challenge, but new designs as well. These will be offered in as digital files for you to have printed. Below is a peek of what I'll be offering:
Oh man, Well I'm only about a month away from the 365th day of my 365 Project, and well, yeah...I'm at number 65.
I've created a ton of things outside of this project that I could have included. Patterns, prints for Minted, invitations, all sorts of things. But I wanted this to be exclusively for my etsy shop - as an incentive to stock my shop with new work. And in that aspect, it's definitely been a success!
Here are illustrations #64 - 66, all available as 8" x 10" prints in my shop.
It's been two full years now since I "quit my day job" as an art teacher to take on the adventure of being a full time artist. Wowzer. I've written two posts previously about being a "novice" freelancer (you can check them out here and here), where I shared what I was learning on this journey.
Journey is a perfect word to describe the past two years. And now that I've put some distance between those first few months and where I am now, I feel like it's time to confess a few things.
Sometimes I have no clue what I'm doing.
Yep, I said it. And it's true. But guess what? I figure it out.
Two years ago the only thing I knew how to do in Photoshop was change the contrast on a photo and pop some writing on top of it. I was a graphic design major in 2000 for about 5 minutes, so I'd never taken a single class in Adobe anything. But all of a sudden, my lettering was getting me jobs designing invitations, creating logos, and a vast array of other opportunities that I had never done. At the time, I couldn't have told you the difference between a jpg and a png if my life depended on it. And Illustrator? Forget it.
But I figured it out.
And soon things got easier. I got used to my Bamboo tablet. I learned how to take my scanned images and clean them up. I bought an artograph lightbox and took my lettering to a new level. I watched videos, read tutorials, spent time researching at the books store, but mainly, I just figured it out.
A few months ago I started entering design contests through Minted. The only problem? I'd never used Illustrator. Then a few of my designs started getting selected, and guess what, I had to figure it out.
(Speaking of, I'll have a few new art prints for sale from the "Eye of the Beholder Challenge" which is really exciting. Here's a peek at one of them:)
And that's what, after two years, I think I've learned the most - figuring out things may be stressful, overwhelming, and scary, but it's the best way to grow as an artist.
If, in the beginning of this journey, I had just stuck to doing the things I was comfortable with, I'd never have the opportunities I'm getting now. And I'd never feel that thrill of discovery - which is the essence of creativity.
So next time you get stuck on a project - don't give up. Keep pushing yourself, and sooner or later, you'll figure it out.