I’m really looking forward to sharing the inner workings of my art adventure! It has been a ride for sure. With some ups and downs along the way. I thought I’d start by sharing with you how Sez’ Art got started. All those years ago…
As you’ve read about me before, I’ve been drawing all my life. It wasn’t until I had babies and toddlers at home that I wanted to make an income out of it. My drawing and painting was still developing (it always is) and I wasn’t sure what to do. Canvases were pretty expensive to buy, so I got MDF boards and a builder friend cut them up for me. I painted fairies, unicorns, dragons, and diggers. Anything that I felt would appeal for children’s rooms. I had them hanging in my own children’s rooms and friends would comment and get me to do one for their children.I used to sign my name as Sez on the paintings. Facebook wasn’t around then, so promoting what I did was pretty basic. I didn’t really have the time for mass production anyway!
I went to our local market. I would sell the odd one. Most times I made enough to cover my stall and a little bit of profit. I had a great repeat customer who lived in Tauranga at the time (she might know who she is!). She used to ring me when she needed a birthday gift for a child. This went on for a few years but fizzled out once the kids got older and I was teaching more often. (I’m Primary School trained). I love teaching, but the artistic creative in me needs to be nurtured in order for me to feel balanced.
Sez’ Art really became a thing many years after this. I was hardly doing any art. But my mind was always drifting to it. The desire to write and illustrate a book was always there too (that will be another blog post!).
One year I took a part-time teaching job at a school. It was a job that should have been perfect for me. But, without going into sensitive detail, I was miserable, stressed and getting disillusioned. This was unusual for me, as I’d always felt happy and successful with my teaching. By the end of the year, I was so stressed that I really felt that I needed to change career. So I started to draw again. I drew two hedgehogs by a hedge. With a caption saying, “I’d hedge all my bets on you any day!” It was pretty cheesy, but that is a little bit my style, cheesy and quirky.
I had been following some artists on facebook and I honestly thought that I wouldn’t be good enough to share my art like they did, I used to be a bit envious of them. But one afternoon, I thought, why not give it a try. So I created a page. I popped a pic of my hedgehog drawing on it. The nerve-wracking part was inviting friends to like my page. I worried that they’d laugh and think my art was naff. Some friends didn’t know that I drew. After a few minutes, the page likes rolled in. Then the comments on my pic. It was pretty awesome. My friends were sweet and lovely. They thought the hedgehog pic was cute. It felt really good. So I had a giveaway. That seemed to be what other artists did to get more likes. To my surprise, people actually entered. I still had self-doubt (still do sometimes).
The page likes crept in and the lovely comments kept coming each time I shared a new drawing. I want people to understand how much their comments meant to me. When you take the time to write an encouraging comment to an artist, it really means a lot. We are basically baring our soul when we show you what we can do. Every single like and comment doesn’t go unnoticed with me. I started to sell prints. Just the odd one. But this still gave me a buzz. I realised that this wasn’t going to be enough income for me to do this full time. But it gave me the badly needed balance I was craving. I ended up quitting that teaching job at the end of that year and I got another one. I’m back to loving teaching again. In many ways, I’m grateful for that bad year careerwise. I might never have started Sez’ Art on facebook without it.
That was quite a few years ago. I’ve just been slowly sharing on my page. I genuinely enjoy the interaction with my likers. Some have been with me since the journey began. I sill buzz when I get a like, comment and of course when I get a sale!
If you have been thinking about starting a page. DO IT!
Just do it, get started. Start rustic. You don’t have to be flash. You can get flash later if you want to. I’m realising that if people like what you are dong, they like seeing the good, the bad and the ugly too. Don’t be afraid that you won’t get many likes, you’ll be happy when you just get one. Sometimes my posts don’t get many, but I’m always happy when I get that first like… the rest is a bonus!
So that’s how it all began. I Thank my lucky stars that I started it. I don’t always know where I’m heading with it…but once again…thanks for coming for the ride.