Four Year Anniversary- Reflecting on Four Years as a Professional Artist
August 1st marks the 4 year anniversary of being a professional artist. It has been quite the ride y'all and over the last year or so, I didn't know if I was going to make it. Not in any morbid way, just In a, "I dont really know what im doing" kind of way.
I faced a big final boss in my trauma healing about 9 months ago that had me tired and ready to hang in the towel. I think some of y'all remember my monthly check in blogs talking about healing childhood trauma. Well, it hasn't been easy. It felt like there for a while that I was doing so much work on myself, but not seeing any sort of payout. I was really resenting how trauma healing doesn't really pay the bills and decided that I just needed to take a break for a minute and work on myself. I ended up getting a part time job at the end of last year working for another local jeweler and contemplated completely quitting Left Handed to focus solely on healing.
After a couple of months I knew I would never really be able to quit. I pivoted a little, changed my brand name from Left Handed MFG to Left Handed Alchemy and started incorporating more ceramics in my work.
I think life is too short to put yourself in a box. I love making jewelry, I love making pottery, and I love painting, and I refuse to choose and offer only one. Does it go against every marketing experts ideas of what a brand should be? yeah probably, but the thing is, at the end of the day I am an artist who houses my work under a brand. My life and the things I am working on will never be separate from the actual product itself. In many ways I like it this way. I like having a smaller company that gives me enough room to create freely and openly as I see fit. And i am beyond grateful for the people who show up and support what I do no matter what. y'all have really helped me create such a beautiful dream life, I can't possibly say thank you enough.
I'm so very thankful to have a mother that supported and fostered my creative spirit at such a young age. For those of you who didn't know, I started making jewelry when I was 15 years old. I started by beading and making these really trendy leather/beaded ladder bracelets and selling them to my friends at school. Slowly as I started making more and more jewelry, my mom found us a spot to sell our goods to the public. She makes cards and paper crafts, so we went in together on a booth at our local farmers market. It was there that I learned how to merchandise and sell my goods. I'm so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be an entrepreneur at such a young age.
Fast forward and I find myself in college. I went to art school at Arizona State University and got my degree in sculpture. I learned many different mediums but gravitated back to jewelry and ceramics for most of my time there. It was actually ceramics that got me interested in going to art school in the first place.
I graduated college and a few months later decided that I wanted to give the professional artist thing a try. I already had experience selling my work and I got a degree in art, I might as well give it a try right? So every weekend from August until Christmas I set up a tent and tables and sold my goods around Arizona with the help of my loving partner. It was maybe the hardest but most rewarding job i've ever had. I met so many amazing people and collectors that I still keep in contact with to this day.
All these years later I am still doing it. I have a weird feeling in my belly about this last year, as I have battled with mental health issues, healing trauma, finding myself, and just the perils of being a 20 something. I struggle to think I've made any progress when it isn't showing in a huge financial way. But I know that the progress has been personal, and if there is no foundation to build on, the entire building will collapse.
Im so incredibly grateful for all of you who have been here with me on this journey. For those of you who have stayed to see what happens as I pick up my sword and give this another go. Your support is felt, and appreciated.
As I reflect on the last four years I really wanted to do something special for y'all. So I created a necklace that will only be available during the month of August to commemorate 4 years in business. Something simple that you can wear every day.
This necklace is small, but packed with symbolism. The snake is a powerful symbol meaning the cycles of death and rebirth and the awakening of the divine feminine. The divine feminine is energy, not gender. We all go through periods of death and rebirth, as one phase ends, another begins. The sun is something that we can always rely on. No matter what we are going through, the sun will rise and set every single day. It is a constant, and our source of life. Without the sun, our earth would be a cold rock, devoid of all life. The snake and the sun together represent this beautiful cycle of life. Everything begins, and everything ends. And we get to choose our mindset the whole way through. We get to choose to see the sun again every day, renewing our outlook on life, shining warmth and light on the world around us.
The back is simple. Our makers mark and 925 stamp to authenticate the sterling silver. And 444, 4 because it is our 4th anniversary and 444 because to me, these numbers represent manifestation. Manifestation upon a foundation.
This limited edition design will only be available during August 2022 and retired on September 1st. Again, I extend my gratitude to you. Without your support none of this would be possible.
Looking forward on the next four years, I have many things I wish to do. I wish to develop more as an artist and create more pieces in gold. If you are looking for gold jewelry please don't hesitate to reach out for a custom piece.
I would also love to do a mural on a large building in a city i've never been to. Something really big and colorful, something to bring life to a community. I would also really love to get more work into storefronts. I have really struggled in the past with feeling like I need a professional line sheet to get into stores, but I am now in three stores across the southwest and all three of them honor one of a kind and limited edition designs. In the next year I would like to find 10 stores that are open to cool, funky, one of a kind pieces. If you know anyone who has a boutique like this, please feel free to pass their information along.
Again, thank you for being here, thank you for supporting, and heres to many many more years of creating beautiful things.