“Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours.”
When I was growing up and anyone asked me what I wanted to be I would answer…an artist. Plain and simple. And at a young age people thought that was cute and filed it with other kid’s responses of astronaut, president or firefighter. The problem, as I was told when I got older is that those other choices are jobs and being an artist isn’t. So as a teenager getting ready to go to college I was told I needed to choose a way of making my art into a career and that just creating what inspired me or what I loved would never be a real career or way to make money. No one sells paintings and makes a living, is what they told me.
And you know what…that may very well have been true in the late 90’s. I had to choose between careers like art teacher, graphic designer, illustrator, stationery designer, etc. to find a way of taking my artistic talent and using it to make money. I understand what all those adults were saying, truly, and if I was in their shoes 25 years ago I would have said the same thing.
But it’s not the late 90’s anymore and the world we live in is so vastly different than that world. I mostly certainly do sell my artwork in 2018. I create what I love for clients who love my work and I do make money. Not it certainly sounds like I’m bragging but, I’m not bragging, I’ve worked my ass off to get here….I’ve done jobs I didn’t want to, I’ve worked late hours into the middle of the night to meet deadlines, I’ve lost money on botched jobs at the printers, I built a client base designing stationery and invitations for more years than I care to mention. I’ve worked for where I am and I’m proud of that.
But let’s be totally honest, I am also aware of the forces outside myself that have made the concept of being an artist for a living a reality for me and that is all the technology that surrounds us in 2018 and how accessible it is and often times, free it is. Instagram is a constant source of free advertising and even though Facebook has become a real roadblock at times for small business owners it’s still free advertising too when it actually reaches your followers. While it takes trial and error and a little hard work, sharing your brand’s story on social media has never been easier than it is right now. And sharing your story is what sells.
Beyond the obvious apps you can use for promotion, building a website is super simple even for those of us who know nothing about coding. Free websites and paid subscriptions like Squarespace allow anyone to make instant changes, list products, share work and tell a story. Having a place to direct people to from Facebook and Instagram is insanely important.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.
So here’s what I’m driving at…when we were kids and they said you can be whatever you want when you grow up but then they changed their minds when it came to crunch time in your late teens and told you to have dreams but make sure they are realistic….they were wrong. You actually can be anything you want to be…you can be an astronaut or an artist. Realistic dreams are for boring people leading boring lives. Don’t let boring people tell you to downgrade your dreams…dream big and work hard. There is nothing like passion that lives deep inside you to fuel your dreams and make them reality.