row 1: donut demo books + roundtable workbooks/oversized flower beginnings/oology/my eggs at rare device
row 2: hand lettered signage/the braided basket (here in couch magazine)/hacking my toms/my favorite donut
row 3: paper roses for martha stewart/portion control/being a model/the peonies heard 'round the world
It was a productive year, to say the least!
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful and fun night last night. At this writing, I have no idea if we will have made it out to celebrate or not, but fingers crossed I don't start 2014 with a massive hangover. They take forever to recover from these days.
I've been thinking so much lately about how much momentum I built up last year, and if it is at all sustainable in the new year. I am lucky to have been able to let 2013 evolve the way it did, and of course I have my husband David to thank for that. He has a lot of faith in me, and a lot of patience, and I am really grateful for the latitude he gives me.
So I spent the rest of 2013 chasing opportunities and "making things happen". I took every single opportunity that was presented to me, and every single one took a toll on my family, my marriage, and of course, me. But each thing I did this year begat yet other opportunity, and I had to see where that momentum would take me. I ended up doing things I never would've imagined I'd be doing at the beginning of the year. I finally found work that I love to do and that people are responding to so positively. I am probably the most fulfilled creatively I have ever been in my life, because I am creating things on my terms without direction from anyone but myself. It feels pretty incredible.
At the same time, it's been a lot of learning as I go as far as retail and promotional materials and the like. The things I make take a lot of time, which makes it hard to conform to other people's schedules, but I did it. I filled every order (save one custom piece I should have finished in a few days). I have never been one who has been able to create "balance" in her life. I go to extremes, constantly. I work too hard and too long, too inefficiently and often for too little reward. So I feel like a have a lot more work to do before I turn what I'm doing into something that could be successful on all levels.
Most of all, I am afraid of losing momentum. I call my inbox "The Magic Inbox", because every couple of weeks something new and exciting usually drops into it. If it goes more than a few weeks I start to get nervous and go hunting for more work and/or more exposure. I feel like this is the time in my life where the iron is pretty hot, and I need to keep striking. If I start to try to create balance in my life, meaning making time for exercise, hygiene, more quality time with my children, more sleep, more normalcy, I'm not sure I will be able to keep everything sailing toward a viable business. It will feel like a missed opportunity if things slow down this year, and that troubles me.
My plan is to just keep at it, but with a normal life as the goal. I've decided not to do any made-to-order pieces in the new year. I think that's a really good start. I need to make money, but building up my inventory again will make it a lot easier for me to talk about my work to people, when I actually have product to show them. No more all-nighters, as I've mentioned before. A few months of working on my own schedule in hopes that it will give me room for new innovation and growth. I want to be able to show up to the work I do like anyone else going to work and getting shit done, so that's my goal. Work smart, work normal, get shit done. David is always pushing me to see what's next. The minute I finish showing him something he wants to know where it will lead me next. I appreciate that, and that's why he gets paid the big bucks. But I am going to slow it down and go with what I know for a while, without pushing for new ideas too hard. That should help my cause.
That said, I do have one big trick up my sleeve for the new year. I am so lucky and honored to say that I am going to be hanging a show at Rare Device in May, tentatively entitled "Out of Season". At minimum, it will be a collection of my large scale pieces. It will be a way for me to take some time to say a little more with my work, with any luck. I am so thankful to have something like this to start the new year off with this year, and I can't wait to dig in.
So that's that. I loved 2013. It was a loooooong year. I don't think I can, or should, match it this year. What I learned most of all this year is that you never know where you're going to end up if you keep exploring. Good to remember.
I hope you have some great ideas for 2014. I thank you as always for coming by here, and I wish you a very Happy New Year, friends!