I launched my books. I awaited a call from the editors-in-chief of the best selling lists (Okay, not sure who calls but still...) A social media explosion to impact my world. Millions of tweets. I'm still waiting. AND that's okay.
The books took 8 months of hard work. I didn't realize that creating projects is actually only 30%. Apparently, getting them out into the world is 70% and a long persistent road. It is CROWDED out there. Holy smokes.
That's why I encourage you to know that when you buy directly from the artist this season, you are directly supporting someone who is being bold, courageous, and going against the grain. If they are anything like me, they feel perhaps isolated sometimes, or wondering why they don't just do what is easy but choose to do what can feel hard. Trust me. It can be hard.
As I carve out on my own starting a business and being determined to bring creative projects into the world, more than anything I realize how important it is for community and to support those who are doing the same. Here are my friend's labor-of-love projects that I would highly recommend to make great gifts this season. (Consider writing a note with your gift to let the receiver know who they are in turn, supporting.) Please know that buy purchasing them that it means the world to that artist and that you are in turn bringing more creativity into this world. They inspire me to do more art and I hope they can inspire you, too.
1. Original Prints by Zhen Zeng. A product designer by day - her color monster series makes you relate to the playful character inside us all.
2. 52 Cups of Coffee by Megan Gebhart. She sat down with 52 different people to learn stellar advice on life and career.
3. Passion Workshop Gift Pass by Jessica Semaan. Her classes give people a 3 hour kick in the pants to help them get on a path to doing what they love. (And here's people that have done it)
4. Original prints and books by Laura Helen Winn. She beautifully captures the heart of the city she lives in and the world around her.
5. Urban Imagination by George Zisiadis. You will never look at a city the same way again. Gumball parking meters, overhang swing sets etc. Perfect for children.
6. NailSnaps by Angel Anderson. Just listed as one of the best new apps by Apple (WHAT? NBD) Angel came up with the idea to put your instagram photos on your nails and then she actually created the company. Your nails will never be the same.
7. The New About Me by Michael Margolis. This program is a 7 step video online course to creating and refining your personal and professional narrative to stand out from the crowd (and it def works).
8. Sketches and Illustrations by Madelin Woods. Nicolas Cage sketches, oil paintings and more.
9. Sketches and Illustrations by Michelle Morrison. Feisty, bold and beautiful - just like her.
10. Guided meditation recordings and original jewelry by Mer Zandifar. These make great gifts and I can vouch that there's a recording for every moment of your life.
11. The Quarter Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky. An inspiring career guide for twentysomething's who are looking to get unstuck.
12. PLUS! Consider any of these local musicians (sending someone an album and letting them know you're supporting the musician means a lot). Ben Barnes. Sam Simon. Dirty Little Blonds.