A Year of Happy Practice

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Last Saturday I spent a lovely day under a tree.  Beside me were friends and my granddaughter, Emily, all of us selling our creative works at the 11th annual Desert Song art festival.  Pam had her exquisite jewelry and Sam, age 12, and his mom were selling t-shirts featuring his latest designs.  Emily and I assembled a table full of don’t worry dolls, angels, cards, and altered tags.  We had one of the best spots of the day.

It’s been a year since I officially established marygLOVESart®.  In these past twelve months I’ve opened a bank account, learned how to pay quarterly sales tax, launched an Etsy shop, discovered SEO and product photography tips, posted 456 photos to my Instagram account, and found out how much thrift stores can challenge my creativity.  Yarn, beads, and fabric from faraway places, including Scotland, are now part of my collection of materials.  I have no idea how many don’t worry dolls and angels I’ve made, although I’m guessing it’s at least four hundred.  It’s still fun making them and I’m receiving a growing number of requests for custom orders.  There is never a shortage of ideas.

Several years ago I was struggling to find time to be more creative with my art.  I had lots of ideas, just very little time to make it happen.  Over the last two years I’ve gradually carved more time in my schedule for my art.  It’s one of the most healing and grounding aspects of my life.  And also one of the most gratifying.

As I looked over the table setup on Saturday, it served as a benchmark for the growth I’ve made in the past year as an artist and business owner.  It occurred to me that I’ve approached it as an intentional practice.  I’ve taken my time with it, resisting the urge to hurry anything.  It’s been a new way of practicing for me, one of slow, steady growth.  The tagline for my business is “art for happy hearts,” and I know my own heart will be sustained by this work for many years to come.