I'm on Etsy. And building a newsletter. And facing my fears.

If you’ve read the comments on this post this week, you’ll know that I opened up a store on Etsy recently. Yes, that’s right! I finally did it! To be honest, it’s something I’ve thought of doing ever since I heard of Etsy – oh, for about three or four years now. So this feels like something that I’ve been extremely slow in achieving. I’ve had a lot of excuses for procrastinating. And I think what finally got me over some of the fear surrounding this was realizing that this is not about getting validation or trying to craft my artwork or store in such a way that everyone will find something to like - it's really about finding those few people who will love it.

And you know what? For all the worry, indecisiveness, and doubt, in the end it wasn’t difficult to do at all. And though I’m taking my time with it, and haven’t even really delved into the great community there yet, it feels right. And fun!

So, if I were to offer any advice to someone sitting on the fence rather than taking just one step closer to their dreams, I would say this – Do it! Even if it feels like there's a huge barrier in the way. There's a quote that I wish I could find again, it says something along the lines of  "Those aren't barriers you're seeing - they're gates." It’s like walking through a doorway into a larger room, one filled with more possibilities. Opening my etsy store leaves me standing in a sea of others reaching for similar dreams as mine. I’m still standing way back at the edges of the crowd, and not many people have noticed me there yet, but at least I’m in the room. And that's a lot closer than I was before.
So if you wanna see what I've worked so hard on the last month, you can check out my Etsy store here. If you liked this post at all, it would be an enormous favor to me if you could share it with others (virtual hugs to anyone who does this. Let me know if you do!)  And, if you’d consider signing up for my newsletter, I’m planning to send out my first one by November 15. It will include some pics of my artwork, snapshots from my studio, and a holiday discount on items in my shop! You can sign up on the web form or the little box over to the right.


San Jose Bike Party

Tonight there is a party of bicycling proportions going on in my town. It's the Ride of the Living Dead, people! I had no idea there was a community group of bicyclers getting together for rides around the city until I heard and saw a parade's-worth of bikes going past my place. So good to see that there are some people actually coming together and doing something as a group around here for a change.

San Jose Bike Party's mission is to "build community through bicycling" - community being something that we seriously lack in this large city. Sure, we have a ton of art & wine festivals in the Bay Area, but most people go for the alcohol, not the art or the cameraderie. As for these bike rides, I'm glad to see we're doin' it better than the other big city around here. Yes, San Francisco, I am talking about you & your Critical Mass rides with a history of violence.

It sounds like all the riders are having fun out there. Maybe the next time they have a Bike Party, I can gather a few of my friends to join in!


Changes and a Clarification

You may have noticed that the design of this blog is a little different today! Yep that's right I finally got around to giving it a little makeover today. What do you think? The new header is from one of my paintings, and I'm actually working on something with my art right now that I'm a little scared/excited about. No, it's not quite ready for you yet - but if you sign up for my new email newsletter (over to the right below my little profile), you'll be one of the first to find out when it is! You do want to be one of the first, don't you??

Speaking of scary/exciting things, I read this post on Ittybiz a few days ago and thought I'd give her challenge a whirl. She asked her readers to answer, in her words, "a very scary question: What do you do?" Well guess what Naomi, that is a scary question, even for those who aren't making a living doing with their own business. Maybe particularly for those who'd like to be, but aren't yet. I know I sure as hell would like to be making a living from doing My Work, and I've been stumbling all over myself all year trying to make that happen in a very slow, painful way. Painful, because if there's ever a day when that is my reality, I'd like that day to hurry up please.

Just to clarify, when I say My Work, I'm talking about creativity, artwork, listening to the muse, all that stuff, does that make sense? I am not talking about a job or the work I do while "at work" - what I have been calling my "day job" in my mind for awhile now. And I'm not entirely sure what all it would entail to make a living with my creativity, maybe hopefully something fabulous that I haven't even considered yet. All I can see at this moment is the next logical step, and that is all I can work on right now.

So, yes. What I want to do is to make a living through making art. And my art is not something I've shared all that much with people, and I'm not sure if anyone would even like my art. Which is a very, very scary thing to doubt. Just writing this makes me feel vulnerable, and that's a very uncomfortable feeling. So, I'm trying to write about it here when I can, to get more comfortable with the vulnerability. And perhaps I will write my answers to the rest of Naomi's questions in my next post, as a way to practice that getting-comfortable which I need