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A wrap of 2022!

Hello blog. I feel bad for not posting here for ages. I usually am a big blogger. I have my own personal blog since 2002 if you can believe that. But I won't bore you with why it took so long. You know how it is. Life got busy. Young children. Household and all that.

I just wanted to list my highlights for 2022. I am so aware how life has ups and downs and we should not always just be all toxic positive and what not. But you know what? 2022 for me has been more positive than not. It really has. And it hasn't always been that way.

For the last decade or so. Actually, maybe looking back, perhaps even 2 decades. I was lost. I was searching. I longed for an anchoring. A belonging. To what I didn't even know. Back then, in the early 2000s we had a bit of the internet. But it certainly is nothing like today. We had to figure a lot of stuff out just on our own. We read books, watched movies, talked to interesting people. Travel. And thats where I got all my inspiration for life. There was no rabbit hole to follow. I am realising now, how back then, life was such that there was enough superficiality and distraction that one is so easily distracted and it's hard to go deep unless you really were super passionate and dedicated a whole chunk of life to search for that passion. I thought I did you know. Travelled heaps. Learnt how to farm. Got into spirituality and yoga. Got into the green movement. Got into living life with essentials and nature. But still after all that. I still felt nothing held my interest long or deep enough. Then I had kids and that just took a lot of attention and energy.

So my point was, as I look back at a lot of my blog entries I made at the years end or years beginning. It was mostly melancholy, almost a tinge of depression. Never had I had this enthusiasm. Not till this year. Even when I left my stinky corporate job. When I got married. When we were travelling. When we had our beautiful children. Left Singapore. Moved to Australia. Not till now. Not till art. And not till I have this outlet to express something creative and new within. Not just express but to share and spread as well.

Wow this wrap of 2022's intro is pretty long now. You know what, let's just dive into my wins this year. No holds barred.

  1. My insta following grew from 1k in Feb to almost 29K at the end of the year. Why did I put this as my first win? We all know social media followers is an outcome that is not very dependant and hinged on talent or skill and most times is by luck. And further to that, it's not in our control. So isn't it dangerous to put this as my first 'win'. What if my account gets hacked and I am left with nothing? Yes that could happen. But despite all the crap people have given to this platform. I have to admit that my 'success' here is definitely my main motivation and driver to do the following things....:

  2. Paint almost everyday. Yes I enjoy painting and love every bit of it. But would I have painted EVERYDAY if it weren't for instagram? Maybe not! I wouldn't have had that accountability of consistency. I know myself well. I am one of the least disciplined people I know. I am a quitter. I start but don't finish. I don't exercise everyday and I love going with the flow. So yes instagram has helped me go to my paints everyday. I cannot lie. Have I felt immense pressure to paint something amazing everyday? Hell no. Some days are just super loose 5 mins sketches and some days are more intricate master pieces. I don't put pressure on myself on the quality of my pieces. Just the consistency. And I believe that's a big factor in making me improve so much.

  3. Build a website. So as my followers grew, I started to realise maybe I could make something out of this art thing. I knew I wanted my followers to be really mine and no instagram's. So I went ahead to build a website mainly to have my own 'home' online and have a mailing list subscription. Without the follower growth, I wouldn't have been pushed to get this done. So along with the website I also created:

  4. A brand! Well, I just played around with some fonts on Canva and some of my scanned paintings and then viola. I have a brand. Seriously, I know how a look and feel and brand is very important. I was in marketing & advertising in my past life. I know! But I seriously did not spend more than half a day on this.

  5. Turning my backyard Yoga studio into my Art studio. Also knowing I want to spend more time on art, I realised I was only using my yoga studio 2 x 1hr a week! It was the most beautiful space with high ceilings, cathedral window and most importantly, PLENTY of natural light for painting. In August, I thought, THAT'S IT. I'm doing it. I moved my 2 classes a week to a local studio in town, and moved my art supplies into the studio and never looked back. Check out my blog post here about the move.

  6. Learnt to digitise my paintings and launched Prints! I broke through the barrier of learning photoshop and did it with Cat Coq on Skillshare (I highly recommend her class if you want to learn how to digitise and clean up your watercolour paintings). It really wasn't easy. And I consider myself quite tech savvy, and I have come from the advertising industry! But I did it and I can't be prouder of myself. With this, I made tea towels, greeting cards and even 2 2023 calendars!

  7. Painted 5 commissioned wedding bouquets. This was a huge huge challenge for me. To paint something that was commissioned by a client brought about a massive pressure you don't get when you're just painting what you like an what you want. But I did it and I think everyone was so pleased!

  8. Completed 2 licensing projects where my paintings will go on products! One is a lovely stationery brand from Brazil, and the other, I can't disclose too much right now because of confidentiality but when I can, I will most definitely share!

  9. Got sent products to review by brands! Etchrlab and Cricut being 2 of these brands who sent me products to review! I am like whhhhaaaattttt? It's so nuts when you're an artist and people are wanting to give u supplies. Dream come true or what?

  10. Launched my online shop with Etsy which has over a hundred items, with mostly original watercolour paintings. I have now sold 78 items on the platform, which I know isn't HUGE, but it's a start of something I never had before 2022!

  11. Last but not least, I created a physical market stall and did 3 year end markets in my local area. This was hugely exciting and fun and super rewarding. I will do a post on this soon when I get a chance to.

How's that for a list? And you know what, because you've read my post till here. I am going to reveal to you not many people will reveal. How much money I have made in 2022 as a new emerging artist. So yes, I have a little spreadsheet which I record all the sales I have done. Paintings, commissions etc etc. And the revenue I made with my art in 2022 is.... da da daaaa..... AUD8,000. Yup. Ok. Some of you might read this number and go....okkkkkkkkkkk. You can't eat jackshit with that. hahaha. And some might go. WOW. First year of turning a hobby into a business, that's pretty good! Also, I have not taken out my costs here - apart from shipping cost. Which is mainly my supplies, the stuff I had to buy for my market, website. So the profit is even less. All I want to say is, do what you want to with this information. Compare it with what you what made. Feel better, feel worse. It's out there now.

Do I have a target for 2023? I honestly haven't made any concrete plans. And maybe that's what I will do in the next couple of weeks. But I hope to at least double that. From where and which sources? I have to figure that out as well. Am I darn excited about the year ahead? Hell yes. And that's the point of this post.

2022 has been a year of emerging from the pandemic for many. And it has been the same for me. Because my kids were able to be at school for all 4 terms, I have had the chance to build this for me. And I feel the same with my online instagram community. There's an excitement and buzz and optimism for the year ahead because we have our art, and we have each other.

How blessed am I? I am feeling really super blessed and super super duper grateful.

Thanks for reading till now. Happy 2023 everyone! May creativity and vitality surge through your days ahead.

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