Thursday, January 31, 2008

When what you wanted takes over... Part 1

This past year was one of those watershed years for me personally and for my art. After months of dipping one toe into the waters of Etsy, I dove...well, half dove, half fell in. While I certainly haven't discovered the meaning of life or the secrets of success on Etsy, I learned a lot this past year, and feel like sharing.

I was way over my day job. And I had a really cool day job. I designed for national and international broadcast clients. Chances are if you have kids about 10 or older, or are in your 20s, you saw some of my design work on TV. All that was great, and I worked with some amazingly talented and creative people.

But...increasingly, as the field grew more crowded with talent, you had to do so much more for the same budget to stay competitive. And I was already working 100+ hour weeks pretty regularly. And I kept saying to my wife, "I don't want to do this anymore" over and over. With a wife and 3 kids and a dog to support, I told myself just as much, "You have to."

Some folks would say I was manifesting, asking the universe to make things happen so that broadcast design would become what I used to do. I don't know, but I certainly was imagining myself as making a living from just the sales of my art.

I had been selling my art for a long time though. Since I was 11 years old. For 29 years. But it was never my job. I started with 2 linoleum block prints, which I sold from a corner of my mom's gallery. The corner was called John's corner, and would be my sole semi-permanent exhibition space until I returned home from college with a 4' x 12' Louise Nevelson-inspired wooden wall sculpture that demanded more space. I also had a small body of work of mostly abstract photography that I had created in school.

Next: Why did I wait 29 years?


Zoe said...

What a brilliant insight John. And, I can't wait to read the next bit...why did you wait 29 years!!!?

Z x

RAWVOLTA said...

Great! So..John..what is an Etsy secret-please.,.. I just started there and wish US both all the best!