Looking through another artist’s social media profile, I saw the gradual progression of her work over the years and I thought, maybe I should look back over the last decade and see how far I’ve come in my art journey. 

Back in 2010, I used to do pencil drawings only. I was afraid to try any other medium because of something my college professor said (more about that another time). I did a few shows here and there but never offered my work for sale (I know! What was I thinking???). I illustrated live at some events but couldn’t enjoy the process of making art while on a time crunch with an audience looking on so, I stopped doing that.

Live drawing at an event in LA

Fast forward to 2016, while working at a day job. I would draw for fun on the weekends. I attempted painting but I didn’t know how to control the water, and the brushes and just got frustrated. Then in 2017, I took a watercolor course and started using inks. I started to break through the fear of not being good at painting. I started enjoying painting and kept on painting and sharing my work on social media.

Painting with Indian Inks

Three years later, I did my first virtual (in a 3d space) art show in 2020 and updated my website during the pandemic. I also painted my first Acrylic painting on a large canvas, (another thing I thought I couldn’t do). In 2021, I built up the courage to apply to my first art show in years and got accepted. I didn’t get any sales and felt like a failure for a while but I remembered that it really wasn’t a failure because at least I had tried. All I can do is put myself out there. I can’t control much of what happens after that.

My first canvas painting with Acrylic!

In 2022, I had gallery representation for the first time, but I did not get any sales for the entire time I was with that gallery. I also opened an online shop and offered limited edition prints but, after 3 months, with no sales, I closed the shop. Felt like a failure again but I reminded myself that at least I had tried knowing it may or may not be successful and once again, I could not control much of what happens once I put myself out there.

Prints from my Print Shop!

(Now the original ending to this blog post goes like this:)

This story doesn’t end with a happy “ Finally, a piece sold!” or “I got into another gallery”, but the story isn’t finished yet, is it? All of this takes time. One day my courageous efforts will be rewarded and I will look back on all of these experiences and thank God for them because it will remind me that He holds my life in His hands and everything is on His schedule, not mine. I don’t have to wait till it all works out, I can trust that He is working behind the scenes right now. It may be invisible now but He sees me and He sees my work and really, that is all that matters in the end….

But we know how the story actually ended because 3 months after writing this original conclusion, God rewrote the ending. I sold my first piece of original framed art! And then another! And then another!!! All within a week. I had mustard seed faith for one sale, but never would I have imagined that they would all sell! That was one of the most amazing experiences and I am still not over it! All of the things I said three months ago are still true. It did take time. My efforts were rewarded and I am looking back on the experience of years of working, believing, trusting, and waiting and I am thanking God from the bottom of my heart for it all. It was a shining example of His perfect timing. Him working behind the scenes. Because I chose to put His validation first, (because it’s all that really matters anyway), He chose to lead the right people to my work at the right time.

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

Habakkuk 2:3

Two of the pieces SOLD at the Spotlight on Art Show in February 2023

I felt I needed to include the original conclusion of my blog post, to show you where my heart was and where your heart should be while you’re waiting. Before the thing we are waiting for happens, we are all in that phase of “it hasn’t happened yet”, “My story is still unfolding, and that’s ok” and “To be continued…”. This is a great example that even when we don’t see what God has planned for us, we have to continue to hold on to His promises and continue to trust that He has a perfect time and season for our dreams to come to pass.

All works are Copyright (c) 2020 – 2023 Simone Elum. All rights reserved. Any illegal reproduction of artwork and photographs will result in immediate legal action.