Friday, October 16, 2009

2 Year Anniversary Requires 2 Posts in a Day!

Okay, so I started this "business" 2 years ago this month. I think I started building a website around the 7th of October in 2007, but gave up because it just wasn't as cute or as easy to manipulate as this blog. I have learned so much about painting, myself, business in general, and the blogging world in the last 2 years it is insane.

(this one is not even close to perfect; fortunately my aunt still loved it)

While I don't paint full time to earn my living (I keep children at home to be with my son), I wish I had more time to devote to it. Right now, with painting late at night or during the kids' nap time, I don't really get to love it as much as I would if I were doing it full time. I really enjoy it once I get going on a painting, though. A person will send me a picture either with an idea in mind or tell me to just do whatever I want. Then I get to dive into the design process. I'll draw on butcher paper maybe 4 or 5 times in a space the exact size of the canvas. Then I narrow down what I want to do and get started on painting. I have learned so many techniques to make the lettering much more precise and clean. I have even gotten used to the roller coaster ride that a painting goes through. Back at the beginning, if it wasn't looking like I wanted it to right from the beginning, I would give up and start over, but now I just stick with it. All paintings have a way to going through rough stages and then almost immediately improving and so on.

(I started to experiment with different sizes of canvas and painting diagonally so people could utilize the painting on a wall or on a stand; notice the fun edges too!)

I have built much more confidence in my paintings by going to expos of all kinds and even being a vendor at a consignment sale a few times. I even painted on my easel while sitting there with people watching! I would have never done that 2 years ago! I have learned that despite it sometimes feeling tedious while working through finishing a painting, this is what I truly would love to do to support my family and hope one day that will come to fruition.

(I finally started gaining some confidence here; this was bought by a friend of mine for her baby, not just given/forced as a gift! LOL!)

I actually have a BSBA from Aquinas College that I finished while working full time. I have gotten to put that to good use by building this business. It's pretty cool to get to invoice people through PayPal and do all the steps involved to go from that to buying supplies to the design and painting process and then sealing it and shipping it. I love when people send me pictures of the painting when it is in their home or if they bought it for a gift, a picture from the other person's home. It's truly rewarding to get to do all these things myself.

(It is true, I use paint tape sometimes to create straight lines like on the left, but here, on the right, I took the time and effort to free hand all these and it turned out pretty good)

Last, I have learned so much about the blogging community and all it has to offer. All of my business besides 2 paintings have come from advertising out in the blog world or connecting with other bloggers. I have gained so many new actual friendships with people that have become customers or vice versa. Bethany, Kristin, Linda, and many more have been so supportive of me and my business. If it wasn't for people like them that just follow your blog and come and make kind comments (as well as order stuff), I probably would have given up on this a while back.

(Disney's Tinkerbell even got better from one time to the next.)

I guess what this post is about is my journey as an artist which started long before this business. I just want to say thanks to all my family, friends, and blogging buddies that have supported my and been so encouraging. You guys sincerely keep me going. Also, I thank God for the talent he has given me and I have been able to glorify His name through some pieces of art. He has allowed me to stay home with my son and through that I have some extra time to paint here and there. I hope you all keep coming back over the years and maybe one day I can say all I do is paint all day long while playing with my son as well.

Thanks again!

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I loved this post Melissa! I think it is awesome that the more time goes by, the more confident you get. I saw Kaylee's teacher in the grocery store a few days ago that I had one of those Barbers Hill paintings made for, and she even mentioned to me that day how much she loved it! You do such an awesome job and I hope that your success only gets bigger as time goes on so that you are able to do it full-time one day!

I'm so glad we've met in this blogging world!