Last year, in June, I started my print-on-demand business.
My son, who just turned 12 years old, kept telling me to sell my artwork since he was 7 years old, but the mean voice in my head, which I call Mean Mini, kept saying to me, you are not an artist, nobody is going to ever buy anything from you, no one will ever like anything you do. That was the problem; I listened to that wretched voice for too long. I ran the worst scenarios possible in my head, and since I was so terrified, I gave Mean Mini all the power of taking my peace of mind away.
A quote by Henry David Thoreau, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation", really got deep inside my whole being, it got me thinking; what if I at least try?
I started researching and found out about print-on-demand; a way of selling artwork, but without the heavyweight of having to be a professional artist, but by sharing what is in my head and then seeing it transformed into a huge arrange of products ranging from home decor, clothes, tech, apparel, accessories, and even furniture. This was my way of doing something I truly love and deepening my toes in the interior design world, which is my absolute passion.
Learning how to do it has been the most rewarding part of my journey. I first ran the idea by my friend Laura, who immediately supported me; she shared 4 of my pieces with a friend of hers, who is an artist
Laura's friend replied to her email with a beautiful phrase, " I will gladly help a fellow artist."
His reaction gave me the confidence to continue with my project, he found out that the pictures needed to be professional to be supported by the website.
Laura jumped in once again offering help; she lent me her camera. I took many pictures, tried different tutorials, and after many trials and errors, I found out about Adobe Illustrator from my brother. I downloaded the program and started to watch tutorials, and made many mistakes until I finally was able to vectorize and upload my first 4 artwork pieces to not one, but two print-on-demand websites; Society6 and Redbubble. To date, I have 51 designs.
Two friends, Laura and Daisy and a relative, not even blood family, had supported me on my journey.
I have received a lot of criticism, especially from the closest members of my family. My closest friends, who claim I am their best friend, didn't give a hoot about my business, but weirdly enough, acquaintances and strangers had bought products from my online shops, Redbubble.com/people/carsly75 and Society6.com/Carsly, that is what keeps me going, and of course, my dear son who is always supporting me, giving me the external motivation I need to continue creating new designs( not that anybody needs external motivation, it should come from within ourselves, but having at least one cheerleader really helps.)
The last year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, to say the least, especially with the awful pandemic the world was hit with, but I learned to love the process, not the outcome, I've also learned that I have to get better, that I suck, and I take 100% responsibility for it, but that doesn't mean that I am going to quit, in fact, today I took the biggest plunge I've ever taken, besides moving to a foreign country; I am launching my blog, yes I have my own website, where my blog Carsly's Design now lives!
Please don't get me wrong, this is not an attempt to have another online business, but it is a way of forcing myself to document my learning process in life, not just with the print-on-demand shops. I need this website to keep me accountable, even if I keep making mistakes, I intend to transform myself into a better human being, a little bit at a time. Not feeling that quiet desperation, not resigning to just exist, but at least by trying, and failing, and taking action to get closer to reaching my goals and dreams, because the level of exhilaration I am feeling right now, that's what really matters to me, more than anything, if I can help anybody by sharing my experience, even if it is 1 person in the whole world, then I could say that my life was worth living!
By pushing ourselves to do something that truly scares the hell out of us, by taking huge risks like, putting our ideas out for the whole world to see, or going to that big company we always wanted to work for... doing whatever it is that we need to get done to fulfill our existence and being 100% responsible for everything we do or don't do, we will finally find that our lives are worth living!
What are your thoughts on this fear topic?
let me know in the comments
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