May is a big month for me. It's the one year anniversary of my first blog entry and my first Etsy listing. Although I have been producing and selling work since I left school, It was only until last year that I made it my full time occupation. I decided that I didn't even want to work part time - I needed to know what it felt like to survive solely off my own work.
The most difficult issue has been my self-discipline. I have a phenomenal work ethic... but only when it comes to working for others. I guess most of us are conditioned to please an employer, but it's a different story when we have to set our own rules and hours. I have gotten much better - but, it's still tough.
I did have a lot of help getting things off the ground. By far, Nate provided the rock of support. But, I also owe a huge amount of gratitude to the people that bought my work, especially the repeat customers. Online selling platforms like Etsy and Smashing Darling have given me more independence than I could ever imagine. People I have never met have supported me with their compliments and encouragement - one very awesome lady even sent me her left over metal from art school (a gift that I am yet to figure out how to properly thank her for).
Together with online and private sales, wholesale orders, and side projects, I have survived the first year. It has meant substantially less going out to eat, no vacations, long nights, clothes and shoes that are falling apart, and constantly crossing my fingers that my car or health won't give out. With all of that, it's still worth it.
I'm not saying that I won't ever go back to work for someone - hell, I can make triple what I make now just waiting tables! Anyway, this all kind of sounds like an acceptance speech for an award, so I'm going to shut up and get back to work.
Oh, by the way, that's Mr Machine up there. I've had him since I was very little - he's my mentor.