I'm messy. I'm messy and I love making things. My creative process usually begins with having to clean up after my last creative endeavor.
I have been making stuff forever, but I started working professionally while I was still in college as a textile designer, creating those cute little frogs that your kids have on their jammies. I had to "strong arm" two companies into using Adobe Illustrator because that was clearly the better option. And I've been working in vector illustration ever since.
From the fashion industry to the gaming industry, it was all vector. But after working through 4 different gaming companies, because they keep selling or going under, that didn't seem a stable way to earn a living. That, and no other companies were hiring people with my skill set anymore.
My kids were still small, so I had a go at an after school daycare program out of my house. It was nice, not thrilling, but nice. But my daycare kids got too old for afternoon care, and I didn't want to run the risk of getting kids that I really didn't like. The kids I had were awesome, and getting new kids was like Russian Roulette. Or like a box of chocolate; mostly sweet, but some are just too nuts.
Meanwhile, I got access to a laser cutter and engraver that my father-in-law got for engraving wine glasses and ukuleles. Neither of which sounded super exciting to me, but he nudged me a bit to look into it more. (Perhaps so that I could run his files for him.) But lo and behold, they run on vector lines! I had never put in any thought to it before. Squeals of delight! I was making everything I could out of that laser, and started selling a few things on my Etsy shop. I found that hand painting my laser cut designs make adorable charms that I can make into earrings. Those are still my best sellers today. But I'll try lots and lots of new products and see what sticks.
One of the things I realized that I could put on the laser, besides flat wood, was pieces I had turned on the lathe. I had to take a wood turning class when my step-dad gave me a bunch of tools that he wasn't using anymore, one of which was his lathe that he never used much, and I'm sure is older than I am and yet the tools were still in their original box.
My kids are even older now and into theater and plays through a wonderful organization called SingOut Theater. They put on a fabulous show, but more than that, they really strive to teach the kids that working together with respect is super important. I love it, and I help out whenever I can. I had overheard the director saying they couldn't find a Jolly Roger flag the right size for the show. I asked how big, and had it ready for their next practice. I knew exactly what would happen after that. I have made A LOT of cardboard set pieces since then. I think my favorite being the cardboard crates for their Madagascar show. They weren't made super strong, and one of them started to fall to pieces during the last show, but it made it! Just.
My problem these days is that I want to do ALL the crafts. Welding is looking cooler and cooler. But I should narrow my focus, I think. I keep an eye out for employment, but there isn't much out there that fits me. And I want to find a good fit. I'm in my early 40's now, although the premature grey hair (thanks mom) makes me look a bit older. I would love to work for a company that I could be proud of. One that could be my forever job.
But that's me. Plugging away at my latest creative endeavor that may or may not lead to something that I can monetize. And looking for where I left my coffee. Again.