Be True to Your Beginnings: Artistic Journey

So I am thinking about starting an Etsy shop.  I never really thought I would utter those words simply because what I make has always been for myself or as a gift for a friend or family.  Art and crafty things were something I always just sort of did.  It just was what it was.

When I had my kiddos, I found it was harder and harder to find time to be creative.  I had started scrapbooks for my 2 older kiddos but was falling WAY behind with the last 2.  Isn’t that always the story?!  Then I discovered digital scrapbooking.  No mess… no trips to the store… instant online purchase and design gratification.  With it, I also discovered a whole mess of virtual friends.  They were ladies (and the occasional gent) who shared love of creativity and family.  We learned and laughed together on a message board (another thing I thought I would never be part of!).  Eventually on a true whim, I took a trip to Salt Lake City and met many of these people in person.  Many of them have graphic design and formal artistic educations.  They were my mentors and my artistic idols.  They put their talents out into the world and I soaked up as much as I could.

Salt Lake City (c) Kim Thompson

Salt Lake City (c) Kim Thompson

As my kids grew, so did my desire to get messy again with art.  It had been a LONG time since I had paint out and I was a little hesitant at what I would produce.  You see, when taking classes, I often dabbled with this technique or that… never quite finishing a project.  I never felt that satisfaction, for whatever the reason.  I wanted to master things and I was afraid I would waste paint or mess up.  But as always, through a random google path, I had discovered a class by Christy Tomlinson called SheArt and it called to me.  So I signed up.  I figured, what the heck.  I can take this class in the anonymity of my home and no one would be the wiser.  Then something strange happened.

I finished a piece.

I could not keep it to myself because I was proud of it.

So, I did what any self respecting newbie creator does these days… I posted a picture on Facebook.

Then, something else happened… those artistic mentors commented and supported me.  They said, keep going!  You are doing great.  They continued to be my artistic champions.

Fast forward 2 years with continued dabbling with mixed media… add a splatter of scrapbook design… and finding out that my child has a special need.  At this point, I was creating fairly regularly, for myself and family primarily and still posting things occasionally on Facebook because people would ask… Are you still painting?  I posted a digital art journal page and the mom of another child with special needs saw it.  She wondered if  she could buy it after I had added a poem to it that her son had written.  I said sure!  I didn’t charge her… she was a friend and it didn’t feel right.  I posted another painting I did and another parent friend asked to buy it saying “It really spoke to her and what she was going through.”  That caused me to pause.  I was amazed that something I had created could have that outcome.  A relative stranger was moved by something I had created.  Wow.  I mailed it to her without asking for a penny.  I wanted her to have it and enjoy it.  I was glad to give it.

So here I sit, with a blog, and I have realized that I have not been doing what I wanted to do… which was continue to put things out into the creative world for others to enjoy or to be inspired by.  As a result, I will be putting up a gallery over time and of course will still put things into my posts. I may, just may, start an Etsy shop.  I am putting my creations into the world people.  Watch out!

I am curious though… what did it take for you to start selling your works if you are?  What did you think the first time you posted a creative endeavor?  If you haven’t posted something you have created, I wonder, what is stopping you?  I would love to hear your story so feel free to link your blog or comment!

Thanks for reading and keep creating!

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