Illustrations by Casey Webb
If you keep at your work long enough, chances are that you have a lot to look forward to. Be patient, success doesn’t just happen over night, but there are a lot of things to look forward to in the meantime.
1. Finding your medium and falling in love
Sure, you might dabble in a few different materials, but eventually we all find that special one that works wonders for us.
2. Finding your style
At first you wanted to create like your favorite artist, but now you just want to create like you.
3. Opening up shop
Now to anxiously wait, check your shop stats obsessively, and get excited over one view and wonder why they didn’t buy anything.
4. First sale
Yay! Finally. It felt like an eternity, now go be your perfectionist self and worry about every little thing while packing the order. Oh, and have fun with cat hair getting stuck in your tape!
5. First review
If it’s not five stars across the board you might just have a panic attack.
6. Your first negative feedback/mean comment
This usually doesn’t happen right away and can take for a lot of people to buy/see your work, it just may be milestone worthy. You’ll be sad, but you will overcome, and hopefully be able to cope with criticism better in the end. Though I just tried to make this “milestone” somewhat inspiring, queue the five stages of grief anyways.
7. Sending something to a new country
And you’re like, wow! My stuff is in… a country closer than some cities in my own country. Then, over time, you start to realize that your stuff gets to travel more often and to cooler places than you ever do.
8. Getting 100 followers/sales, then 200… 300… and so on…
You used to only want to get to a hundred, now you only want a thousand- that’s all.
9. Doing your first custom work
You’ll be excited, and then you may be very irritated. Good job doing twice as much work as you thought for half as much money as you should have charged.
10. Keeping at it for an entire year
This is basically celebrating that you haven’t given up. Be proud, the journey was not as easy as you thought it would be.
11. Your first time having something mass produced: CD’s, Comics, Prints, etc.
The next milestone, if any of us should be so lucky, is having something mass produced to the point that you can swim in it.
12. Being contacted by someone of importance
And pooping your pants. The “being contacted by someone of importance and pooping your pants” milestone. Only counts as half if you don’t poop your pants.
13. First time being noticed by someone you admire
14. Landing a creative position in the corporate world -OR- quitting and supporting yourself!
“Artists can’t make a living” they said…
15. Doing your first gallery/craft show
And sitting, waiting, and anxiously watching people look at your stuff, and looking for a reaction in return.
16. Doing your first media interview
And the nervousness that comes with worrying that you will sound/look like a dork.
17. Being represented by an agent
Don’t you feel cooler just thinking about it?
18. Getting ripped off by Shia Lebouf. Ha. But really…
In the words of Charles Caleb Colton, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
19. Getting over the self doubt
Let your ego inflate for a little bit- you’ve earned it!
20. Seeing someone with your stuff
It could happen, right?
Share this using the buttons below. Have any to add? Let us know in the comments.