It’s been an interesting week.
My school is changing it’s schedule for next year, in a way that just doesn’t work for our family. It was clear that the only way I could keep teaching was if I were able to transfer to another school, and I found out last Wednesday that said transfer will not happen. Just like that, it appears my life as an art teacher is wrapping up.
I’ve declared on an almost annual basis that I’m leaving my district (basically every spring, as I’ve waited to find out if I’ll have a job the coming year, or as I’ve dealt with the news that I’m being transferred or cut again), and I’ve thought about leaving the field before. Seriously thought about it. Still, I had a definite moment of vertigo when I read the email. Despite what little job security I had, it was more secure than this. I told my mom I felt like a high schooler on the eve of graduation, but this time, with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do.
But really, there are about a million things I could do. I know this is an arrogant sentiment, but I’m very good at a lot of different things, and generally stubborn enough to overcome what I do lack, when I need to. I don’t doubt my ability to succeed at whatever it is I choose to do next. Which makes this transition still stressful, but also pretty exciting.
Drew and I tossed around the idea of me working for the bakery, but when it comes down to it, I just don’t think I’d be satisfied there. It’s a creative outlet for Drew, but it wouldn’t be that for me. Instead, I’ve decided to jump back into the art world. I’ve been taking advantage of my gestational insomnia (yeah, I just made that up, but it really should be a thing. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t sleep when I’m pregnant) and have been using my 2am-5am awake time to research the current art and craft markets, think about different media, marketability, niche demographics, reproduce-ability, plus my own skills and interests… and I have the nuts and bolts of what I think is a pretty solid business plan.
I will be selling paper cuts. My initial offerings will be custom portraits, paper sculptures aimed at the mommy market (think artwork for kids’ rooms), and ketubahs for Jewish weddings. It’s a media that I think really speaks to the aesthetic of the moment, will be possible for me to work in at an economical speed, and is not being used by many artists on Etsy or any that I’ve seen at local craft fairs.
I’ve already bought some equipment and have begun to put together a portfolio. My first sample portrait had to be an image of Junip; I think it captures her pretty well.
Difficult to photograph, but it’s cut white cardstock floating between two layers of glass. Some pieces will be multiple layers of paper spaced apart and framed in a shadowbox, other will be single layers framed floating like this.
So. This is what’s next.
Juniper, of course, is indifferent to the stresses of the moment and simply delighted with the number of cardboard boxes in the house, as I’ve been ordering frames, papers, and the like. We had a pretty great time rolling, climbing, and hiding in them with Chad and Mallory earlier this week.
Those last two shots are her tucking Chad in with some packing paper, and then everyone pretending to fall asleep in our big box bed. Pretty adorable.
Anyways. I will definitely be sharing more once I get my Etsy shop established and have more work ready to display and/or sell. But I’m pretty satisfied with this for week one. On to the next thing, right?