Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Toot your own horn

It seems silly and braggy to write about how many accomplishments I had last year, but I am a firm believer that if you work hard at what you do, then you should be able to toot your own horn. So here, I'm gonna go ahead and toot it.

In 2012, I worked harder than I ever have. When you are a self-employed artist, there are no guarantees. Every day is a leap of faith. I know that every opportunity that I get is important, and I try to make the most of each of them.

In 2012 I did 15 craft shows, which may not sound like a lot, but it is a lot. There is obviously a lot of preparation involved, and sometimes I have to drive several hours to get to the shows. The more I do them, the more I like them, and I've really come to appreciate the culture that surrounds them. I feel like that's where I belong! I was accepted into Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, which is sort of like the Super Bowl of craft shows. I felt like I had passed some kind of mile mark or something.

Part of my set-up at Renegade Craft Fair
In 2012 I made and sold 262 shadow boxes, 265 calendars, and 653 prints. (These numbers don't include all of the items I sold in stores around the country.) That totals to 1,180 things that came straight out of my head, went into my hand, onto paper, and into someone else's home. Amazing!

One of the tricky things about being a self-employed artist is figuring out how to get yourself motivated and figure out exactly what you need to do and when it needs to get done. I finally figured out a way to make goals and schedule them so that there is some flexibility. It's very simple and probably seems kind of stupid, but it worked amazingly well for me. It involved lots of post-it notes and a wall calendar.

I made my 6th annual Sadly Harmless calendar, which I really love and had a lot of fun working on. It was a big success!

2012 was also a big year for personal growth, revelations, etc... Being in the moment, making plans, having adventures: they are all important. While getting work done is a huge priority, having fun should be an equal priority. I'm still trying to find a balance, but just realizing how important it is for my sanity is a big step!

Visiting a secret beach is very important. Always bring freezie pops.

Thank you to all who supported me and my endeavors in 2012! What an amazing year. 

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