Year One

So here I am, one year since I (hopefully) figured out what I want to be when I grow up.  Originally I thought I would be writing more about my journey into Licensing but found myself feeling self conscious.   I want to be sharing exciting news and pictures of my newest products like all those who's blogs I follow.  More often than not I end up feeling grossly unprepared when I look at my fellow artists and designers that I hope to share floor space with this May.  I thought it might help me to see how far I've come this year.

Portfolio:  I started at square one, no portfolio to speak of, no idea of what I even needed to produce.  Its nice to see a body of work start to develop. I had the goal of creating one full collection per month and I can't say I'm exactly to that point but I have completed 10 fairly extensive collections in addition to ten or so patterns which could be expanded on. 

Pattern:  To say I had given even a passing thought to this is an understatement!  It didn't even occur to me that the patterns I saw every day were coming from individual artist.  I remember looking up a tutorial that showed me how to take a smiley face and turn it into a sort of polka dot repeat.  Yes, this was the start of my journey, luckily I was able to move on quickly!  Thinking of painting in terms of pattern was a very different experience too, one I am still trying to find my way with.  I was lucky enough to be one of ten finalists in Project Selvage this year for Michael Miller Fabrics.  It was exciting going through the stages of competition and fighting through the process of creating a collection for fabric.  All these new concepts were in font of me such as scale and over-all pattern cohesiveness.  To make it that far was an unbelievable pat on the back, a bit of encouragement that I was on the right path. 

Overtime:  If I was only getting paid!  All I know is I've been working some crazy hours!  I have two glorious days, well mornings until my daughter gets out of school, all to myself and making art.  Its sounded alot better when I started but it amounted to a grand total of 10 hours a week.  So the nights have been my studio time; with luck, I was able to get a good 4-5 hours in a night.  Sometimes I was completely exhausted and sometimes burnt out but I still feel like it will be worth it in the end.  I think I need to be proud of myself for juggling my job, part time job, being a mom and wife along with all the daily activities that make up life.  I can't say I'm doing it gracefully but all the balls still do appear to be in the air!

Surtex:  Last year, about this time, I said I would walk 2011 and exhibit 2012.  Walking the show was a wonderful experience!  Despite being a very planned out person, I've been operating on sheer gut instinct this year.  Seeing the show wasn't as intimidating as I thought it would be.  It was more exciting being that close to a world I have only been able to read and speculate about.  What's more is I didn't come home feeling like everyone's art was just like mine.  I truly felt as if there was room for what I do.  I sent in my application earlier this month and am on pins and needles waiting to hear.  I have saved every dollar made from Sundays as an Optician specifically for this show.

Support:  This comes in many forms.  Its hearing my daughter say her mommy's job is an artist, its having my Husband understand when I don't come to bed at a reasonable hour for weeks on end, it's my mother sending dinner over or stoping by to do the dishes.  Also this year I was fortunate enough to join the lovely ladies of FAN (Freelance Artist Network).  I can not express to these women how much they have done for me.  What an amazing support network to be apart of.  I am still in shock to be included.  To be around people who make their living with their talents is truly a gift.  This world is their every day, not to say it is not challenging but it is far from the dream of being an illustrator I had been content with up until now.  I am continuously inspired by the talent, intelligence and drive each of these amazing women poses.

I am very excited and scared about the upcoming months.  There are so many what-if's.  I try to push the part of my brain demanding results, money for my time, and all things practical aside and listen to my gutt.   At points during this process I have had an overwhelming sence that I am doing just what I was meant for.  This is what I work for.  Year one of my five year plan, still at the start but far from the beginning.