This piece of wisdom was said to me once and it’s stuck with me. I’ve carried it with me, reminding myself of it whenever I’ve faced a challenge in my business and in my personal life. It’s not the easiest answer to give because most of the time I want to scream “I’m not good enough” and hide in my bubble but it has taught me so much.
Back in 2013 I only dreamt that one day I’d be making stuff that people would want to buy. I had no idea where I’d get prints created of my work and I had absolutely no idea how to run a business. Luckily for me though I said yes when Justin suggested he could help with that and before I knew it I was filling in paperwork to become officially self employed! I became Victoria Irving Artist and was following my life long dream. Over time though I got to understand what worked for me and what didn’t. My style of painting improved massively over a short period of time and I decided a slight change of name was my next direction. The Painted Feather was born and this put less emphasis on me as an artist alone. I could take more of a backstage approach and it allowed me to create more saleable items rather than bigger one off pieces of art. I loved learning what I could do with more than just a paintbrush. Teaching myself crafts like transferring my images onto canvas tote bags or using my photographs as prints or on coasters. I started doing craft fairs and realised that this was definitely the way forward for my business. It allowed me more freedom to be creative without the worry of not quite fitting in to the artistic world I once craved so much to be a part of.
Jump forward a couple of years to 2017 and I’m sitting here writing this blog post about my third and I promise last name change! I’d been lucky enough to be mentored by the lovely Sarah who took me from being a scared of business housewife and mother to a far more confident saleswoman. With this knowledge I realised the ‘obvious when you know them’ tactics of running a business. That was when my final name change occurred and here I am now, Feather & Wild. I got rid of the social media platforms that weren’t working for me and focused on the ones that were, like Instagram & Twitter. Instagram especially allows me to freely be creative without the pressure of selling and has become a real community. I’ve made many a friend through it and I can’t tell you how many amazingly talented people there are over there! It’s no longer a platform to sell from it’s a place to put the photos I enjoy taking. Where else could I post a photo of my morning coffee and know that someone somewhere will appreciate that photo rather than it just sitting in my phone doing nothing but being boring!! Being around so many creative people, a lot of them mothers like myself inspires me to carry on doing what I’m doing even if to some, a photo of my hand holding an empty egg shell is just quite ridiculous!
I know I will always be creative in some shape or form. It’s not something I can just switch off but recently, since having my second child I’ve come to realise how difficult it is to run a business and a family. This is why, come September I’ll be going back to school. I’ll be studying to get my teaching assistant diploma and hopefully my forest schooling qualification too. I hope to take my creative knowledge and my passion for nature and the outdoors with me into my future career but I know also that I will continue to make for Featherandwild.co.uk.
I plan on spending this Spring making and creating so I can fill up my shop again by the Summer because I enjoy doing what I do, I’m well aware that I’ve just added another ball to my rather dodgy juggling abilities but I guess it’s just the next chapter. I’ll learn as I go along…