Last weekend, we packed up our cards and prints and set up a booth at the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. Seeing people react to my designs, chatting about my work and process, and meeting people makes the preparation and day-of exhaustion worth it.
I won't lie — starting a business hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies. It's been complicated, hard, and at times very frustrating. Running a small business comes with learning curves. I've struggled to find the external value of my work, shipped plenty of orders that haven't turned a profit (see first item in this list), stressed over postal service issues, gotten scary tax letters, combated writer's (and painter's) block, and have sat at my desk so many times and asked myself, "Are you still an artist if no one buys your work?"
But getting in front of people, seeing people take home my designs to hang on their walls and give to their loved ones, reminds me that I do this because I love the process of sitting down and creating, drawing, and learning. I may never be the best letterer or painter and I'm not the wittiest or most inspirational writer; I started started this business because it gave me a creative outlet when my "real" job, at the time, didn't afford me much creativity. So even if I don't sell another print, I'll continue to make... though I really hope it doesn't come to that!