I’ve recently opened an online shop to sell my watercolour artwork, which was the giant first step to reach my dream as a visual artist.
I took online classes to improve my painting and learn about the art business; I worked long hours for about two weeks to get my website and shop ready before the launch. And when the date was approaching, I felt terrified. What if the art I made wasn’t good enough? What if no one buys anything? Would it only be a waste to put so many hours into the work? Am I on the right path, or am I chasing the wind?
Thankfully, fear wasn’t the only thing I felt. I also felt energy and excitement for having a shop to sell anything!
On the launching day, I published the Shop Page on my renewed website and shared it on social media.
Hundreds of people visited my shop, and many likes and kind encouragement were received. However, no one purchased anything on the first day.
The next day was a Saturday. I had planned to sleep in to ease the exhaustion from the past weeks’ intense work. However, I woke up early in my bed, feeling wide awake with the thought of going out for a run, which I rarely did. I could’ve ignored the idea and kept sleeping. But instead, I got up and got ready for a run.
The newly risen sun gave out its golden rose glow to every leave and flower I passed by. The air was crisp and fresh on this spring morning. I ran through the park in our neighbourhood and reached the lake. There were only one or two early risers at the lakeside. The soft morning sunshine was reflected upon the gentle waves, making the lake a giant sparkling sapphire. The Alps from afar stood quietly under a clear blue sky that was promising a beautiful day ahead.
I stopped running and found a big rock by the lake to sit down, listening to the waves ebbing against the shore. In that quiet moment, I felt the urge to process my feelings and thoughts with God. So there I was, asking God, “Shall we talk about the shop? The launching of my shop? What do you think? Am I doing the right thing? ”
I felt peace immediately as if God was confirming my effort. I remembered my artistic Dad, who had passed away suddenly when I was 17 and hadn’t the time to leave me with any final words. On that sunkissed rock, for the first time, I realised that the art practice I’d been doing was my way of carrying out his legacy!
I also remembered some words I had heard before:“ Growth is quiet and slow.”
Feeling seen and comforted, I asked God for one sale to happen on this first launch—- just one sale as a sign of His encouragement to keep me going and improving on this artist’s journey.
The next day, my WordPress app on my phone notified me the first sale from my shop. It was a small thing yet so significant. It was God’s faithfulness.
Thankfully, I don’t rely on the sales in my shop to put food on my family’s table. And I don’t have clear business goals at this point as we are going through some transitions as a family. But I’m using what I have and showing up for my work every day to practice, learn and improve. I want to make art that brings healing, awakens creativity and inspires hope. And I’m taking the time to listen, discern and follow, step by step. I’m taking the time to grow.
Many people hustle to keep up with the Joneses, proving their worths or simply having their basic needs met. However, we often forget to whom we belong or the real life-giving reason we show up for work.
We forget, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord when He delights in his ways.” (Psalm 37:23).
We forget that we don’t need to make things happen on our own, neither should we.
We behave as if we don’t take the matter into our hands, we are doomed to fall behind, and no one else will care for us. We have lost faith in a good God who says He is our Provider and Guide.
However, if we focus on “our ways” of living and make it pleasing to God as much as we can;
If we don’t lose sight of why we do what we do and keep learning to be excellent stewards of our talents and time;
We will watch Him establish our steps, build bridges, and make ways that would otherwise never happen.
There is no such thing as “behind”, my friend. Your pace is yours, and your life is yours. Your talents and the season you are in are different from mine.
I hope this little inspirational talk encourages you as much as it inspired me.
May we have the courage to trust God for the unknown and keep growing steadily and slow.
PS: If you are interested in my artwork, you can go to my shop to take a look. You can also follow me on Instagram to see how my art journey involves, or subscribe below to receive exclusive offers and free art prints! 🙂