OMG-OMG-OMG. So, I know I've been hinting that something huge is in the works for next year. Honestly, I didn't want to get my hopes up too much in case it didn't happen, which meant keeping it on the down-low until my success was confirmed. Turns out I didn't need to hedge my bets, because I freaken NAILED it! My huge news:
I won a position at Redbubble as an Artist in Residence for 2019!
Which may sound fairly run-of-the-mill, but I can assure you it is gob-smackingly-life-changing-shit! I don't even know where to begin to explain this awesomeness. A few weeks ago I came across a call out asking for submissions for the Redbubble Residency program. I've always got my ear to the ground about artist residencies, because basically they are one of the most common ways for artists to get support and become included in a community to help them flourish. When I read the callout for the Redbubble residency - my heart skipped a beat. Not only did it sound too good to be true - it sounded like something that I could actually get. Lil' ole me.
Heart in hand, I applied. The application process asked me to think about a huge project that I wanted to work on. I dreamed big - but not just big, I dreamed something that was very important to me, even if it wasn't very impressive to anyone else. I did all the planning and filled out the application form, and did a little 90 second video plugging myself to win the judges over. Naturally, I did about 10 takes of the video while Clayton patiently listened from his studio next door. But I finally nailed it, sent it all off, and held my breath in anticipation.
I never even thought I'd get called for an interview! (But let's be honest, my submission video was super cute.)
When I got the email a week or so later, asking me to come in for an interview - I literally ran around the house screaming! Poor Clayton was having a nap at the time and I jumped on the bed screaming incoherently and weeping with joy. He's a good lad and was immediately thrilled for me (despite the rude interruption.) I wanted to scream it from the rooftops! But, on the other hand, I wanted to keep it under wraps. Just a smidge. Because if I announced to everyone that I was sticking my neck out and could possibly fail, that was something I just didn't want to deal with at the time. So I'm glad you've all stayed tuned and put up with my cryptic clues for the last couple of weeks!
Well - I donned my most professional pair of fishnets, tried to give myself impressive eyebrows and waltzed into RB-HQ for my interview last Tuesday. I was shitting my pants in the most optimistic and excited way possible. All I could do was be myself, and if they decided I was a good fit, then awesome. If I wasn't the right fit, then at least I gave it a go. (Side note: the RB office is INSANE.) Anyway, the interview went super well. I felt like I really gave it my best and got along really well with Dom and Ash who were interviewing me. An hour later I walked out the door and felt relieved and utterly terrified to my core. Relieved, because my part was over. My fate was up to the RB team now. Terrified, because what if I actually get this residency!?
Here's the deal: $3,000 a month. 6 months. 3 days a week at RB HQ. The resources, support, interaction, network and advice from the epic global online art market that is Redbubble.
Something that HUGE and life changing is always going to be a bit terrifying. Am I right? Clayton always says to me, if you're mostly excited and a bit terrified then you know you're heading in the right direction to grow. And he's absolutely right. The terror is a sign that I'm moving out of my comfort zone, I'm straying out of my safe little routine, and having a crack at bettering myself and my life. Which is kinda scary and kind of mind numbingly SPECTACULAR!
With this in mind, I patiently waited to hear back once the other interviews had finished up. I was just chomping at the bit to know whether I'd gotten it or not. (Side note: I have a flawless track record with interviews, every interview I've ever done has had a successful outcome. No pressure!) Failure was not an option. Friday rolled around, I was at work when the email arrived. I knew this was the email. With a flick of my phone I quickly opened it and scanned manically looking for a clue...
That's all it took. I'd gotten it. I calmly put my phone away, nodded my head and continued teaching my class. On the inside I was partying like it's 1999. Fireworks, champagne, the full she-bang. I kind of didn't believe it, and still don't. It hasn't really quite sunk in yet. Every time I catch up with a friend or family member and tell them about it, it sinks in a little more. The whole thing is so fantastical and out of this world, so extraordinary, that my brain's like "uh, yeah okay, sure - that's happening, right, whatever you reckon crazy Erika".
BUT IT IS HAPPENING.
August 2019 - January 2020 I will be hauling my ass out of bed at some ungodly corporate-life hour and heading into RB HQ to make my dreams come true. Someone is paying me to spend time working on my art and growing myself as a business. SOMEONE IS PAYING ME TO MAKE MY OWN ART AND THEN HELP ME SELL IT. *mic drop*
Yep, so that's my news squad! Been keeping this all bottled up for a little while - it feels good to spill the beans. I'm so excited, so ready for the challenge and the growth and for taking my life up a notch. Every couple of years I get pretty comfortable, and try to find a new challenge. This one has been a tad overdue, and I'm so glad that I somehow stumbled into this. Squee! Thanks for your ongoing support and for tuning in. Big things to come my friends, watch this space.