Celebrating 10 years online: my online journey Part 1

Over the holidays I spent time mentally reviewing 2018, and I realized that in April 2018 I passed my 10 year online business anniversary without even realizing it!

Time moves so quickly but dates and celebrating anniversaries hold deep meaning for me so, as a way of honoring a decade online (11 years this coming April!) I thought I’d share a bit of my story, I hope it encourages other artists, especially mama artists, to continue pursuing your creative dreams!

In April 2008 I began my online presence starting a blog and an Etsy shop. At the time I was a full time mama to my then 3 year old son and 1 year old daughter. 

But I had always painted, earning my MFA in painting in 2002 from Parsons where I met my husband. I knew that I always wanted to be a mother AND an artist, so as I had babies I vowed to myself that I would continue painting through the years of having young children. It wasn’t easy and there were times when I had to accept that my art was taking a back seat to my babies, but I did it, I continued painting in stolen chunks of time mostly as they slept. I also hired an amazing babysitter, a girl from our church who was wonderful with the kids, who came one day a week. That day was my dedicated painting day and I treasured it! I became friends with a fellow mama who owned an art gallery in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. She started showing my work in 2004, and continued up until we left NYC in 2011, showing and selling there gave me great motivation to keep painting, and I’m forever grateful to her for this! Sadly she died in 2013 of breast cancer.

During those years as I was painting during the kid’s nap time in my home studio at our house in Brooklyn, I found myself one afternoon in 2008 on the blog of the artist Marisa of Creative Thursday, and on a whim I signed up for her class called In The Fish Bowl, all about developing an online presence....this was even before social media. In that online class I met so many amazing creative women who I’m still friends with almost 11 years later in this online community. I began blogging then and selling prints & cards of my art in my Etsy shop through the encouragement & community that I started to grow online. I read other creative blogs daily, it was such an exciting time realizing the power of the internet to expand my audience and connect with creatives around the world! 

When I started this blog I mainly alternated posts about my family along with posts about my art, and crafts that I would do with my kids. Blogging helped me to weave more creativity into the long days alone with young children, anything could become a chance to tell a story about our days and what we did together. I shared my paintings often, and bits of my process, and I started to be interviewed on other blogs. In 2008 I also completed my training to be a Labor Support Doula, and began attending births in New York City, which was amazing work that I loved, supporting other woman through such a transformative life experience was ground breaking for me, I learned that supporting other women was something that brought me great joy.

The archives of this blog have become a beautiful way to go back and look at the time, as a a dairy of my days when my oldest kids were small, and it is also a memory book of our life in Brooklyn. Around the time that I started this blog, and selling my work online, I also began to feel constricted by my life in New York City. I had lived there since 1995, and while it was exciting when I was younger, the day to day slog of pushing my two kids in a double stroller everywhere while carrying groceries and everything else we needed in all kinds of weather....well all of it just started to feel so hard. The pace of NYC also was a mental burden that began to wear on me, I longed to have more calm in my day-to-day, to connect more with natural beauty and for my kids to grow up with more access to nature.

So in 2010, just as my Etsy shop was really taking off with the sale of prints and cards of my art, we decided that it was time for us to seriously consider leaving New York!

Continued in Part 2, coming soon!

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