Coming Out as an Artist

lucky cats

I’m in the process of changing careers. Well, I’ve actually already switched careers, but only three people know it. My plans are to illustrate my own picture books, design patterns, and license my designs — all on print-on-demand markets. I’ve been doing this for about a year under another business name, and to be totally honest with you, my earnings for 2018 were underwhelming and sporadic. Despite my dismal finances, I’m optimistic... most of the time. I do get overwhelmed with impostor-ish feelings. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for every sale, and feel thankful to my husband for believing in our plans even during those moments when I don’t (he’s going through a similar transition from programmer to illustrator, as well). He reminds me (and it feels really great to hear) that most people in creative careers go through the same stuff, financial difficulties and all, especially in the beginning.

So, armed with this bit of inspiration, I called my favorite uncle last night. Uncle A is trained in fine art. He paints in oil and has a fine eye for photography. I told him about my new gig as a print-on-demand “illustrator”. I don’t know if he’s familiar with the sites I mentioned like Zazzle, Red Bubble, or Society6. I don’t know if he was just being nice when he encouraged me to keep on keeping on, but I do feel happy for coming out and letting him know the truth about me. There’s something to be said about the statement that begins with I am ____. After we hung up, I felt a little less like an impostor.

Anyhoo, I drew these cats while on the phone with my uncle last night. The left cat was drawn with my DaVinci sable travel brush and the right kitty was drawn with my beloved, wet and wild Yasutomo Niji waterbrush. Can you guess which cat I prefer?