It was already going to be a different year for me. I had been accepted into juried shows for the first time, signaling a slight shift in my business toward the fine arts. I had begun taking on commissions. And I had invited shop owners to weigh in on images for my calendars and cards.
And then came COVID-19. Within a month, the juried shows were cancelled or postponed. The brick-and-mortar shops that carried my products were closing temporarily. And just like that, my two main revenue streams were interrupted.
Yes, interrupted. Not lost, not abandoned, not gone-for-good. Just interrupted.
A good part of what keeps me going right now is the belief that our world will return to normal – albeit a new one – in the not-too-distant future. I’m preparing for that day in the following ways:
- I’ve completed the 2021 calendar and have had it printed. I am already binding and hope to have 100 copies on the shelf in a matter of weeks, so YES – 2021 will happen!
- I have kept my online store open at ayearinthecity.com/shop and am continuing to take orders for those items already in stock: 2020 calendars, unframed prints, bookmarks, and cards. New products will be added when the time is right, that is, when life gets back to normal. I’ll be posting previews of my new products on social media as soon as that happens.
- My production area has been cleaned and readied for the 2021 calendar and cards. This is actually nothing new, since I have always kept a clean, dedicated space for print, binding, and packaging materials. Now, however, I will wear mask and gloves when packing orders!
Of course, all of this is contingent on my own health, and I never take that for granted. But my calendar has always been an exercise in forward thinking and an investment in hope. So I look to the future with optimism.
On that note, I am beginning to work on the 2022 calendar. Yes, you read that right… 2022! Like many of you, I am finding that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, and that my love of our city only grows as the weeks go by. I will continue to shelter in (my happy) place and share my illustrations on social media for as long as we’re in this. Please share them, if you think they will bring joy to others. And please stay well, STL!