I may have been in love with art and painting, since I was three-years-old. And, I may have been pursuing my art as a career, since I quit my job with corporate America in 2017. With that said, I haven't truly gone after "the dream" until last July, in 2019. The past six months have been one anxiety-inducing scenario after another, but I am wholeheartedly grateful for everything I have experienced thus far. It is with confidence I can say, "The year may have ended with a fizzle, but the decade definitely ended with a BANG."
Yes, you read correctly, the year ended with a fizzle.
That's not the kind of thing people like to admit, especially in the era of social media and carefully curated profiles, but it's true. Very little went smoothly from the get-go.
· Creating my LLC too much, much longer due to everything being backed-up at the state level.
· I knew I needed to apply to shows/fairs/markets early, but I didn’t realize how early. I also didn’t know I had to submit a photo of my booth with most applications. By the time I had everything I needed, a lot of the shows I was interested in were either filled-up or the deadlines had passed. All of this is my fault for jumping right in without reading all the fine print, but it still made me feel like I was already behind before I even started.
· I was still able to find avenues to showcase my work, but they weren’t ones I had vetted in advance. I didn't know what to expect and was just hoping for the best. Fortunately, most worked out, but as expected, some events were great as a whole, but not a good fit for my work specifically. Again, it’s all a learning curve.
· After a lot of trial-and-error, talking to both professionals and clients, things were finally starting to feel like they were moving in the right direction. The holiday season, a.k.a the best time of year to sell items, was here, and I felt ready. Annnndddddd then I got the flu. The horrible, horrible, feel hit by a bus, flu. I had to cancel shows last minute, and I barely left my bed until after the New Year. Fizzle, fizzle, fizzle…
The thing is, even though nothing went according to plan and there are plenty of negatives I could focus on, I still feel as if this venture has been a “win.” I am finally doing what I love. Not all events worked for Project Whimsy, but a lot of them did, and I would recommend all of them for people to visit and enjoy. I have met so many genuinely fantastic people along the way. The community I have found between other vendors has been nothing but welcoming, helpful, and supportive. Every day I have learned something new about business, art, or myself. Being the impatient millennial that I am, of course, I wish things were moving faster, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t moving quicker than expected in a positive direction.
It took me until the age of 29 to make choices that three-year-old me felt were obvious. After all, as adults, we like to over complicate things. The journey just started, and I have a long way to go, but I am thrilled that is actually going. I don’t think there is a better way to cap off a year, cap off a decade, cap off my twenties, than by making my wise, toddler-self, proud.