2020 - My Year in Review as an Artist

2020 In Review

2020 was a wild year for everyone. I don’t think any of us would have anticipated everything that encompassed 2020 a year prior. Below is my 2020 on review as it pertains to my art and art business.

I Got Serious About Creating Daily

I’m an eCommerce entrepreneur and run a rapidly growing speciality retailer in a very niche hobby. That’s my main gig. Besides juggling that, I also have other businesses completely unrelated to my eCommerce business. I wear a ton of hats, and with that comes the inevitable stress of responsibility. Ahh yes, adulting. When 40+ people rely on your critical decision making and executive leadership, something like a global pandemic can cause a bit of stress. Stress can lead to fear which can be a slippery slope. 

Thankfully, I chose to let my fear fuel creativity, and took that stress into the studio as my muse. I started feverishly painting and expressing and experimenting with my creative process as a way to escape. Staying creative helps me problem solve, but it also helps me let go of solution seeking and give into the flow of things- allowing me to really enjoy the process, regardless of any results. 

I made a commitment to myself to show up for my craft every single day like it was any of my other businesses. It didn’t matter what that looked like. 

Showing up could be simply cleaning brushes, preparing paper by taping margins, or reorganizing so all my paints and brushes and art supplies were exactly where I wanted them to be. This level of commitment always ended up in one place: me putting paint to paper or canvas and creating. It became a habit for me. One that I am extremely proud and grateful of. 

Creating daily is insanely important for my mental health and balance. Since getting serious about this, I have been very committed to this daily practice. 

Put Myself Out There / Got Serious About Posting My Art on Instagram

Part of my commitment to my creative process was also putting myself out there, even when I felt that I wasn't ready. This was huge for me. If I were to have it my way, I would live in my bubble, do my thing, and only engage with those closest to me. I genuinely believe everyone is an artist, we just choose to ignore our creativity as we get older. (Read more in this blog post)

Once again, I let fear fuel me and leaned into putting myself out there. I’ve always had a very weird relationship with social media. The whole concept to me is fascinating and scary and just weird. Like, really weird. But I said F it, and went for it. If I was to create and produce art daily, I might as well take that a step further and share my artistic process with people. 

This was received really well. I slowly started to gain a little following and engagement. I even had one of my reel posts go mini viral so that was cool. 

Launched My Art Website

This was huge and another big step in the right direction. It was extremely important for me to have a home for my work that wasn’t just on social media. Instagram is a great place to post about your art, but those aren’t truly my followers - they are Zuck’s. I wanted a home for my work that I could genuinely call my own - one that I had complete creative control over, without an algorithm interfering with anyones accessibility to my work.

I’ve never wanted to go the gallery route with my work, or Etsy, etc so it was important I created this space for myself and I’m so incredibly glad that I did! 

Creating a website for your artwork is just another part of the creative process. It doesn’t have to be intimidating to create your own website. Breaking this process down into actionable steps each day over time led me to a beautiful website I am still improving upon today!

Sold a Ton of Paintings

To my surprise, my work was received really well. I had several people purchase multiple pieces from me and my website launch was a great success. 

I set my goals and intentions on exactly what I wanted to achieve from a sales perspective upon launch. Without going into the details, I far surpassed my initial goals I set for myself which was an incredible accomplishment. 

I wanted to wait until everything was perfect before I launched but my partner nudged me over the cliff. (THANK YOU!)

In review

It’s easy to fall victim to analysis paralysis at times, and I know any creative can relate to this. In review, my 2020 was all about taking immediate action. It was about being more productive, and less precious. It was also riddled with fear, which I leveraged as fuel to further progress myself in whatever aspect of my life I was stressing over. I wasn’t sure if we were going to have to let go of 40+ employees, or how we would pivot if we had to. I told my business partner when COVID hit, “If we are going down, we’re going down swinging for the fences”. (There were some explicits I will leave out of that statement). 

This was my 2020 in review as it pertains to my art business specifically. I hope this was insightful or helpful. Please let me know if you found value in this by leaving a comment below.

What was your 2020 in review? Drop a comment below, I would love to know!

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