Each year I designate a word to be my guiding light for the year. This fun tradition is brought to you by my very own dear cousin, Alexis Long. Having a word to follow can help make decisions easier and give you a solid foundation to return to if you start to feel like you're straying off course in life (which is totally okay to do, by the way, definitely not against changing course if need be).
Anyhoo, I do a word every year. 2018 was the year of creativity and 2019 the year of exposure. 2020 will be the year of refinement. Coming off a very intense exposure year, I feel that now is the time to take all that I've learned (which is A LOT) and write a new narrative for myself and Ponnopozz. Unbeknownst to me last January, I opened a store (talk about exposure) and there a lot of tiny new paths I can take on this new journey. Several have started to come to mind already and I'd like to share them with you.
No more commissioned paintings
I realized recently that while I paint commissions, my anxiety levels are SO HIGH. Ultimately because the painting is not for me, but for someone else. I have never had anyone dislike a commission I gave them but I generally find that the anxiety I feel during the process just isn't worth it for me anymore. I want to learn and grow as an artist, which for me means trying new styles and new things. Commissions don't always allow me that freedom. Since I don't fully depend on the income I make from Ponnopozz to survive, at this juncture, I will no longer be taking requests for commissioned pieces*. But never fear – for those who want a Ponnopozz original, I've crafted a plan.
I've created an email list just for those of you who want early access to my originals. Normally, I complete an original and share immediately to Instagram. Instead, I would notify my Friends of Ponnopozz Originals email list a full day in advance – leaving you first dibs and significantly less competition to the first-come-first-served selling model. Also, get a sneak peek into what's coming next – things like, what size canvas I plan to paint next or if I plan to do a series. Things not everyone will be privy to. Interested? GREAT! Add yer email to the form field below. I will never sell your email address or spam you.
A website driven by art and projects
WTF does that mean, you ask? Well, when I created this website (initial design completed in winter 2017) I wanted a place for my emerging art as well as my blog posts. When I lived in SF, I didn't create art yet, but I wrote. A LOT. Mostly about loneliness, mental health and setting boundaries. Over the past two years, Ponnopozz has morphed into a very art-forward business and is much less bloggy. As much as I love creating new content for you guys, I've found it gets put on the back burner, second to my artwork and my physical shop.
Not saying I'm done writing – because that is absolutely not true – just saying that my blog posts won't be front-and-center as often. I want to make it easy for new visitors to see what I'm about. And after a year of exposure, I can say that I am firstly an artist and secondly a blogger. The site will be getting a visual refresh to support my new vision. I want to make my current projects easier to find and my shop easier to buy from. I want my store hours to live in a special place on the site and maybe even offer additional products to my online buyers. Mostly, I want the site to represent how I feel going into this new decade.
In 2020, expect to find me dabbling in different mediums aside from acrylic (gouache, I'm looking at you). Additionally, I want to do more fabric repeats and more fashion design. I want to offer more of my own designs in store and online. I also am looking to collab with other cool artists that align with my vibe AND get into painting more murals. I did the one on Wabash and now I'm hooked! Hit me up if you know of a mural that needs to be made (@Kim, maybe I'll finally get around to emailing Mott Street, lol).
I'd love to grow my wholesale business in 2020. Right now, you can find Ponnopozz art prints in Chicago's Foursided (Lakeview and Andersonville) shops and Neighborly. I'd love to show up in more local businesses, and even businesses beyond the Midwest! Earlier this fall, Seth created a wholesale section of this site to make online ordering easy for stores (I know how important this is now that I have my own store). Know of a shop that you think would be a good fit? Let me know!
I got a pretty cool thing for Xmas – the Maker's Yearbook. I really like it so far – it challenges me to look at things related to my business that I don't like (ex: numbers, finances, math) and so far, it's already showed me a few areas I can improve for a more financially successful 2020. Overall, the book breaks down big projects and goals so that you work on one project per month, 3 steps per day. One of my biggest problems as an artist and small business owner is growth and staying on track. I wish y'all could see in my head, I have so many ideas that haven't seen the light of day.
I'm excited for January. It's a quiet month (for retail at least) and should be a good time for reflection and focus. I'm looking forward to sharing my progress with you! Thanks for reading and for being a part of a banner year for Ponnopozz!