I never was any good with numbers.
I never was any good at numbers. Now before you look me square in the eye and give me a pep talk about self-confidence, allow me to explain. I remember taking Trig/Pre-Cal in high-school and some weeks getting close to two extra hours in the day just for tutoring and homework. And still making it out with only a C. See, I told you I wasn't good with numbers.
So although the minutes and hours that have passed since I bravely declared myself an artist almost a full year ago are too many to count, I AM confident I've grown leaps and bounds. I don't need a calculator or a good grasp on math to tell me that. I remember last December buying my first pack of watercolors. I just knew we'd be snowed in around the holidays and wanted plenty of new things to do to keep my creativity thriving, for you see that's when I'm the best version of myself.
I felt entirely brave and bold the first time I simply added colored lines to the paper, letting the brush do the talking. A year ago I had no idea how to splatter paint, different types of paint mediums, or what gesso was. I just knew I was onto something.
Many painting sessions, YouTube video tutorials, trips to the local craft store, and emails to "real" artists later....I find myself here. These peeks into my art journal show all stages of my process...beginning, middle, and end. Some days I simply add a bit of paint or paper collage to a page and then let it sit 'till the next day. Other times I paint, stamp, doodle, and dream the page away...'till it looks "done" to me.
I'm forever grateful to the sweet community of artists on Instagram and Blogger who have taken the time to write me back when I've written with a question. Artists who aren't afraid to share information and who place value on taking the hand of the artist next to them, not slapping it away. There is great kindness, by the bucketfuls, being handed out in the artist community that I think is worth mentioning.
I suppose it's because of this kindness that I DO see and pay attention to and applaud that sometimes when things get quiet in the audience I let the numbers do the talking. Like when I'm super-duper excited about a new idea and am met with the sound of crickets instead of enthusiasm from others.
Those numbers'll get ya.....they'll hunt you down and stop your confidence and even your art if you let them. Read that again...."If you LET them".....we do have a choice you know.
The truth is what I've discovered over the last year more than anything is that numbers and art don't go hand in hand, at least not in my world. I'd rather spend 10 hours creating something for 1 person in need and give the art away, than 1 hour painting something for 10 people that will make me good money. Perhaps this makes me a bad business woman...but art to me is life, breath, hope. It can't be simply counted like the number of groceries in your cart and given a simple price tag. It is so much MORE than a price tag.
So a year later...I'm learning to tell others "I'm an artist". There are still those who want the numbers, they want to see Etsy sales in the thousands to believe it. Maybe that will happen for me someday. Maybe not. What matters to me is the feeling I get when I create. When I hand over a piece of art to someone because I want to give them a hug that lasts. When I feel tired and exhausted from daily chores and I go paint or decorate or style a photo and then feel my body light up with excitement and passion.
I never was any good at numbers. On the days I question where I'll be in five years or how many people will sign up for a retreat or how many Christmas Etsy sales I'll have...........
I bravely, politely, firmly tell the numbers to go away.
Then I pick up my paintbrush and invite the goodness in.
Two women that inspire the most are Pam Garrison and Alisa Burke. I've read both of their blogs for a long, long time. Pam inspires me to try my hand at ALL the creative things that catch my eye. She is an artist in the truest, fullest sense. She paints, sews, journals, decorates, and teaches. She is brilliantly inspiring. I don't know her in real life so I don't know if she ever gets plagued with self-doubt. But from the outside looking in it appears she boldly and bravely marches to the beat of her own drum.
Alisa (again, someone I don't know in real life) is also an artist, teacher, painter, and mom. She is the one of the top reasons I didn't throw in the towel on my painting Etsy shop after only a few days. She posted a series of videos on being an artist on her blog a few months again that were absolutely life-changing to me. One line that stuck for me was to "do something, do anything."
I thought to be a successful artist I needed a book deal and at least a hundred painting sales. I like that she reminds me that little bits of art, in all kinds of way....matter.
My journey as an artist over the last year has been fantastic. And I don't intend to slow down or stop now! My real life is messy and full and busy....and taking care of my house, husband, and girls will always take top priority over my art. I don't have to be good with numbers to know 24 hours only go so far. I also know, without even a fraction of a doubt...that God made me an artist. From the time He even thought of the idea of me...artist was in my make up.
2 things I am excited to share is that my Rosy Retreats will be shared in Mingle magazine in January, and around 20 of my lifestyle photos from Instagram will be shared in Bella Grace in their winter issue, out December 1st I believe. One of the *best* parts is that the lovely ladies from these magazines contacted me all on their own about being included in their amazing publications! Honored doesn't do the opportunities justice.
Also, stay tuned, Christmas is coming to the Rosy Life Art shop this weekend!!