Sunday, January 20, 2019

Don't Quit on a Dream

This past week I had to bring my parents into the city for a doctor appt. It was a follow up to my mother's hospitalization in November for a couple of mini-strokes. On our way home we stopped for hamburgers at Wendy's. My parents are of German and Italian decent, one is the work hard, no emotion mentality, and the other is all about yelling and criticism. My parents are not that severe, but it was how they were raised and some of that carries forward. Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of encouragement for creative endeavors as a child. But now at fifty, I don't need my parents approval or encouragement to know that I am following the right path for me. I debated all through the car ride to the city and the doctor's appt. whether I would share my exciting news or not. Finally, seated across from them, hands wrapped around foil covered burgers, I gathered my courage and said the words, "I've started my own small business as of the first of the year."  The smile that lit my dad's face warmed my heart. Explaining the concept of teaching an online art workshop and eventually selling my photography integrated art pieces via a virtual shop may have been a little beyond their comprehension, still, the look of pride on my dad's face meant everything to me.

I have had the dream of having an art business since the early 1990's, before my daughter was born. At the time, the only crafty skills I had were rug-hooking, counted cross-stitch, and collage using mod-podge, stencils and the decorative paper of the time. It was the mauve and green era so I covered everything paper mache in that color scheme.

The only place to sell your handmade art was at craft fairs. I dreamed of long rectangle tables clothed in black fabric, artfully styled with my paper mache creations and framed cross-stitch pieces.

But then our daughter came. There was no time for cross-stitching or collage work.

Eventually though the child grows up, goes off to college, graduates and starts a life of her own.

I have spent the last seven years learning photography, a more marketable art than counted cross-stitch. Craft fairs are no longer the only option for selling your art, thanks to the internet. It is easy to get your work out there and test the water before you ever make the decision to actually set up an Etsy Shop or a website to sell from.

Almost thirty years of holding onto a dream, never willing to completely let it go.

January 1st, 2019, I finally fulfilled the dream. I applied for my LLC for Twisted Road Studio, the name of my new creative business. The beginning of the next week it was official, I had a small business. Since then I have been busy setting up a bank account, a credit card, securing the domain name, an Instagram account, and a Facebook page. Things are coming along well. Next steps include getting my logo and branding done, and getting a website setup.

In my last post, I said I was going to create some postcards for an exhibition at a local art museum. I completed four postcards for the Postcard Salon exhibit and hand delivered them almost a week before the deadline. I am excited to go see them hanging on the wall. The exhibit opens January 24 and runs until February 7. The postcards are small versions of the art I hope to create integrating my photography and sell via Etsy.