Monday, July 14, 2014

{a new journey}

Yesterday I shared some of the biggest news of my life...

I am a licensed artist. 

Me! A for real, licensed, artist. 

This stuff only happens to other people, right?

It all started in November when I found an email checking my junk folder from Oklahoma City based METcolors, saying they were interested in licensing my doodles. At first I thought it was spam, but did some research and my heart started racing when I discovered it was the real deal. We emailed back and forth a few times, and then on a snowy morning in January there was a Fedex envelope waiting for me by the front door with a contract. 

Of course I had to document it. I was giddy that entire day...I didn't even care that I had to drive our crappy van in the snow to work. :)
To say this was one of the happiest days of my life is an understatement. 

Fast forward to this week, and my doodles are on display in one of the largest retail markets in the world, the AmericasMart in Atlanta. Insane, I tell you! 

The past 7 months have been the hardest waiting game. There were days when I wondered if this was all a cruel joke...doubting myself and not knowing what was going to happen. I was hesitant to share my news until I had at least a photo of the finished product to share. Yesterday was the first time I had something tangible to finally give this journey a touchable reality. 

Of course doubt will still creep in. Retailers have to like my product and purchase it. But this...seeing my art on a wall in a huge market where so many artists I admire have the same?

Unreal. SO freaking unreal. 

And to think this all started with a doodle.

Actually, it started back in art class at Eastview Elementary with Mr. Robinson and his painting lessons. And in freshman art with Mrs. Scott and her fiery red hair that matched her joy for teaching. And in the countless art classes and camps my parents sent me, despite our limited income. It started on a porch swing on Cherokee Lane where I sketched my Mom's hanging flower basket, and at Shaker Town in Kentucky, sitting on a simple bench drawing the trees and quiet buildings. It started all over again last spring, after so many years away from my pen and paper, in Amy's writing class. He knew it was time to start nudging me again. 

This is real and special and happening to me. And it can happen to you too. That is the lesson in all of this, and what I hope to inspire with my art. 

It can happen to you. 

This finding your calling thing. You just have to be still and listen and feel the small, and sometimes big, nudges. Work through the fear and the doubt and beautiful things can happen. 

You know you are doing what God called you to do when you feel exhilarated and terrified all at the same time. 

Completely exposed and yet the most alive you've ever felt. That's what this journey has been like for me so far, and I don't expect it to change anytime soon. 

Thank you SO much friends, for being a part of this journey with me. I can't put into words how grateful I am for the support of my family and friends, both in real life, and online. This is just the beginning...




Kelley @ said...

Mandy this is so stinkin awesome! I am so so excited for you! I can't wait til I can find one of your doodles in the store and say "I know her!!" You rock! Keep doodling my friend :)

Gina McKinnis said...

This is so very fabulous! Your excitement makes me smile.

Sessy@NTSST said...


vivaciousJD said...


Terra Heck said...

That's amazing! Congrats on the exciting news.

SJ Rueppel said...

That's so awesome! Congratulations!!!


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