Bubblegum Pets Is Here!
It's been a pretty exciting week for me. Heck, a pretty exciting year, considering all things. I probably should back up a little bit and tell my story.
Many years ago I decided that art was going to be my career path. Although I was very excited about it, I had an feeling that making a living would probably be hard. But I have always been a pretty determined person, and with overconfidence I thought that as long as I always maintained an honest business practice and worked really hard, things would be easy.
Hoooooool boy. Had I known just how hard it was going to be.
I graduated from college when the housing market crash happened in 2008. No one was hiring, and those that were didn't pay very much. I could not find a job anywhere within a reasonable driving distance, being from rural Ohio. So a very panicked young me started to feel a sort of stress I had never felt before. Looking at my student loan debt, my lack of health insurance with a chronic illness, and inability to find a job that paid anything more than minimum wage, a feeling of despair set in. But I wasn't about to give up. People loved my art, so I decided to start doing commissions. I drew pictures of cars, painted landscapes- but I LOVED painting animals. I have always been an animal lover. Growing up around a lot of dogs in the country setting imprinted a wonderful nostalgia and overall trust in my furry friends. After making some money I thought, "Wow. Could I ever do this for a living? That would be amazing!"
Jump 3 years to 2012 and I registered "GirLilly LLC as my official art business! (I will go in depth about that another day.) This was the start of an insane journey that showed me that an art career isn't impossible, but it is not something you'd want to subject anyone else to. That is, unless they have no kids and are obsessed with art. I would be lying if I didn't say this career has been a rollercoaster ride, that in which goes through both the dream and nightmare realm, often hanging out in the latter. I had to learn a lot about the business side, which of course is boring to the artist's mind. This lack of knowledge always ends up being the nail in the coffin for an artist's career. I have been burned several times from this in the past, but I learned and persisted. Eventually I had I wonderful studio in Cleveland OH.
Until COVID hit, of course. I lost everything. The job I had to pay the bills. The clients I had for commission- because they just lost THEIR jobs. My friends were all locked up, many of them seemingly going mad from lack of interaction. What a nightmare this has been. What a horrible, horrible nightmare.
But I am not one to give up that easily. In my isolation, I refocused. Meditating on what happened in my career, how I could be happier. What was missing from my life? Why of course-
I need a dog.
Being an artist, constantly working 2 jobs, I was never able to get a dog. You see, if I were to have a dog, that dog is my child and I will always make sure that child has the best life. Having a dog with that lifestyle would be nothing short of irresponsible. Also, Cleveland was great but I'm a country girl. I want a fenced in backyard that my dog and I can hang out in. I want to be able to take my dog everywhere with me. This is all I want in life. If I can have that, I will finally feel complete. I also have health issues in which a therapy dog could change my life. I just need a life in which we can both support each other, and life the artist's dream.
So this project, Bubblegum Pets, is the start of a new journey. Rising from the ashes, I'm re-releasing my art into the world in a new way, catering to my favorite types of people- PET LOVERS!
We are all getting though this epidemic together, like it or not. I'm ready to be a better, kinder, more loving and focused person now. My priorities are straightened out, and I'm ready to go for the goal. I'm ready to spoil a dog rotten, live an amazing life with him, and share our story with all of you.
So begins the Bubblegum Pets journey!