My 2020 was off to a rocky start art-wise. In a bid to try and shake off the funk I was feeling I applied to the Washington state fair. It’s a juried venue and a very large one at that so I didn’t really think I could get in, and if I’m being completely honest I applied just as my way of telling myself I wasn’t giving up on the idea of going full time with my “art” (art is in parenthesis because while I feel what I do is arty, most people would put in squarely in the craft territory.) What followed was a series of events that made me feel like the universe was screaming, “Yes, you can do this and I’ll even help you a little!”
First I had gotten into a little local show. Last year is was profitable but nothing too extreme. And wouldn’t you know it, the week leading up to that show my day job needed a lot of extra hours. I didn’t worry too much since again, it was a small show in my book, but I would have liked to spend more time prepping. It got me to thinking just how long I was going to avoid going full time with the arts and crafts since there was already a conflict of interests. To force my hand a little the universe replied with an acceptance letter from the Washington state fair – I made it in! Now to decide if I was going to go through with it. While looking up potential airfare costs I got a large order off of Etsy and that felt like a sign. Then at the small local show I made about 3 times what I did last year despite not being as prepared as I would like. What a confidence boost! So I put in my notice at work and was feeling pretty good about it. Then I started to debate packaging since this new large event required a lot more labeling than the average craft fair. I had a nice chat about my target audience and felt sure that even though my stuff really appealed to kids they weren’t the buyers I was after. But doubt started to creep in my head the next morning. I wondered, is my target too small, is it sustainable? High end “toys” that aren’t toys is definitely a small niche. As though the universe was feeling my hesitation I got a message from a buyer that I made a commission for last year, they wanted to commission me again! I can’t ignore the signs any longer. I’m going to do this and I am going to succeed.