Unlike others, I didn't grow up wanting to be an artist. Funnily enough, music was my first love. All I ever wanted to be was a professional singer! Hard to believe, huh? For several years, I traveled around multiple states, singing at different women's events, children's homes and churches. In time, life changed and so did my career path. This is where I began to dip my toes into art.
Move time forward a few years. It's 2012 and I made the decision to quit my good paying job of 13 years with State Farm to return to school full-time. I married in 2013...and then it happened...in Spring of 2014, I was in a horrible car accident that changed my life forever. I was just a few weeks away from college graduation when my world came crashing down. Recovery was long and extremely painful at times. I thank God every day for my wonderful husband and step-children who took time out to help their father care for me.
After 9 months into my recovery and still being fairly confined to the sofa, I was beginning to get bored! Who wouldn't? Right? Although only being able to sit halfway up on the sofa, I began to create little doodles and post them on Facebook. Let me tell you, the feedback I received was incredible! - and THIS is where my illustration career began. My inbox started filling up with not just requests for custom illustrations but inquiries to illustrate children's books as well.
Because of this, I began to thoroughly emerge myself in the Facebook world. Within a few months my page grew from about 2,800 followers to over 8,000. Today, my wonderful followers sit at around 15,600...and still continue to grow! I'm also very active on Instagram. In fact, I look forward to sharing something every day, whether it's a project I'm working on or a peek into my cozy, Colorado life.
With that said, here are some important things I've learned over the past few years that will help one grow and gain exposure as an artist:
- Have a good, solid online presence. (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc)
- Post daily! Your followers LOVE to know what's going on in your world.
- Learn to accept rejection. Some things just aren't mean to be and it's OK!
- VALUE yourself as an illustrator.
- Work hard.
- LOVE what you do!!!
I'm incredibly grateful to wake up and have a job where get to draw and paint every single day. I personally find great joy in knowing whatever create in my studio, it touches the hearts of individuals across the world.
Do you have more questions? Is there anything else you'd like to know about my life as an illustrator? Simply leave a comment below and I'll be sure to answer your questions.