Today marks a week since I launched my online art presence under Atypical Notion! I had previously used this moniker for my interior design blog and it felt right for what I wanted to do with my art and craft. Something not quite familiar or down the same beaten path. It felt true to me as a person, which was one of the reasons I even got the domain years ago.
So last Wednesday, on sort of a whim, I launched my online store and branded digital presence on Squarespace. I had plans to use Etsy to sell, but one of the things I really wanted was a place to showcase my work, and build my identity as an artist. Squarespace made it super easy to do so and I liked the approach of a monthly fee over a transaction fee — felt less nickel and dime-y.
Last Wednesday marked a month since I began my artistic endeavor full time. Kismet, I suppose (honestly I hadn't realized it was exactly a month from the Monday I started focusing on this 100%). I've made a lot of mistakes so far; undercharging on shipping (and even the work itself), failing at basic math in order to create frames for my work and wasting wood, making a mess of our house (sorry, Eli!), spending way too much at Ikea and Home Depot, and not understanding how to get clean and crisp scans of my work for future prints.
Ah well. It is what it is. That's kind of been my motto for awhile. It's all a learning experience and fortunately I was able to save up to make a few of these mistakes.
I think the thing I'm most excited and also stressed about is that all my work sold out within a week. I truly appreciate the support from friends and family in these early days, gives me a small lift to continue experimenting. But will the next round be as successful? There's a much clearer pressure to produce work this time around, without the guarantee that it'll sell as well as the last time. I also want to diversify my work and hop into jewelry design a bit more seriously—I have the supplies all set and ready, but the rush of the last week's successful launch sort of put that on the back burner. I'm obviously not making the money I was when I was at my startup job, and I'm okay with that—but what happens when the savings runs out? Finding that balance between accessible work and paying my mortgage is looming in the distance.
There are some fun and exciting events coming up in the future that I wouldn't have expected—commissions, showcases—I feel like a real artist, starving and all. ;) For now, it's back to experimenting and building an audience. Can't wait to share what's next with you all. For now, here's an uncomfortably awkward studio selfie from a couple weeks ago.