THE FALL AND THE COME UP
All good things come to an end right? Perhaps. One things for sure, all great things do have their downtime. Every artist, designer, entrepreneur, has a moment of mid-success that puts them into an downward spiral of bad thoughts and self torture. Unfortunately, it's inevitable. Coming from personal experience, these times can be extremely discouraging, but with a little faith, maneuvering, and determination, all things surely will come to fruition. Here a glimpse into how I dealt with this season.
Starting off this year on track with my sales goal and even exceeding my own expectations a few times, I was so happy that finally my life was coming full circle and I could breathe a little. When you breathe, you let go a bit of ambition and thats where I messed up. Not to get too personal but I'm use to selling over 50 items and profiting more that $2k on a monthly basis. When I looked at May stats, I admit, I was crushed. I did my mid-month check around the 13th and I knew the month wasn't going to be the greatest. I didn't see a comma at all in my profit and I had made only 2 trips to my printer compared to 10 by mid-month. I was no where near my last months stats and couldn't figure out why. I tried all my usually sale methods. I had promo codes, I purchased a few items (passports are available in the shop) and I talked about my work none stop. I spoke highly of my work every interaction I had that month. By the 15th, I was over it. I sat on my floor looking at all these canvases sitting around, all the paint and brushes and cried. I was crying not because I had given up but because of the frustration of not doing what I knew I could do. I slowed down on posting on social media and took a moment to figure out what was going on. I looked at so many other artist websites and Etsy shops, comparing pricing and products. I even started reading comments from old post of my owns hoping I would find some message my customers were hinting to me and I was just ignoring all along. Like any woman in the world, I took the anger out on my hair. I cut and colored it. Even though I loved it, it was a way to release stress and regain some control of my life.
-- THE MIDDLE --
With a new apartment and life happening, the bills were becoming a little overwhelming and my art money wasn't helping me like I was accustomed to. The weird thing is, I had ways to make money -- COMMISSIONS -- Odly enough, I HATE commissions. Yes, such a strong word but I really don't get along with them. Not only do they limit my creativity, they also take you away from personal projects and sometimes makes you lose your ultimate focus. Of course this is just my opinion. I also felt like commission made people feel like I HAD to do what they asked of me because I was this starving artist taking on every project thrown at me to make ends meet. Personally, I don't like those kinds of supporters. I don't like feeling like I'm obligated to serve. With an email full of requests from supporters dating way back to the beginning of the year, I put my Pisces pride to the side and opened myself up for some commission offers. After all, my brain was fried with my own creativity and I needed to show love back to those who's been supporting me for so long. I picked those that were somewhat relatable to my mission of inspiring others and ones that wouldn't take me months to create.
THE COME UP
There is a God! He is truly special and worthy! I stooped low in my book to take on requests because I couldn't bare seeing my bank account decreasing more than increasing. I did a few commission projects, just enough to make up for some profit lost of the month. Honestly, I will open myself up again to take on commissions but for right now, that hat is back on the self. After weeks of asking for strength and bothering my boyfriend every night because I wasn't hearing the "cha ching" sound often things begin to turn around. [I don't give a lot of credit to my boyfriend publicly but he's the best thing ever! He's an artist and has such a positive mindset that he picks me up when I fall. If you haven't seen my honey's work, his IG is @_dkane] My mind started producing art and flashing healthy, self reflecting and peaceful art. The dark cloud over me started to spread and the sun began to show up a little. The 30th and 31st my sales were more than the whole month which pissed me off and made me happy at the same time. I sold some original paintings and my new pieces were starting to sale. My latest love is my ROYALTY piece which speaks volumes. The background is dusty gray which is reflective of the cloud that floated over my spirit the days before. Inside a crystal glittered globe is a golden crown, not placed on a head of beautifro doll but on a stiff pillow. This represents me overcoming such a weird, tough but needed time in my journey this year. The piece is now sold, but the meaning of it will always remind me that one month will not ruin the show! I truly thank GOD for holding me down and not letting a bad month get the best of me to the point that I could regain my focus.