Grow Wild 🌸🌿
I have always found the freelance life fascinating.
I worked traditional jobs through most of my twenties, sure that people who "made it on their own" were just lucky... but also jealous of their freedom and confidence to do their own thing. In my spare time, I loved working on various creative passion projects (painting, collage, etc) but was prettttty sure none of them were going to support me if I decided to just up and quit my "real job".
When a series of life events led to me first deciding to try my hand at "working for myself" about 4 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing (on so many levels... it's still hard to believe I wanted to build a stationery empire at one point... we all start somewhere, right?) and even less of an idea how one "figured it out". I just sort of hoped that some combination of trial and error, paying attention to people who seemed to know what THEY were doing, and ENDLESS determination, would eventually lead me on the right path.
While that was mostly true, I still think there is a huge gap between the information aspiring freelance creatives crave, and what actually exists. Sure, you can find info on filing taxes for yourself, or bookkeeping, or how to create an invoice... but how do you market yourself? How do you find clients? How do you know what kind of rate to set? How do you know you will have enough work in two months to pay your rent?
And I'm STILL totally fascinated with talking to and learning from other creatives.
This is what led me to thinking... what if I put something together on this subject? A smaller-sized workshop, where people felt free to talk and ask questions, but left feeling like they'd gained actual, tangible knowledge (vs. broad generalizations about "going after it!") and were able to learn from a range of creative experience. Because what I might want to learn as a photographer is not entirely the same as what you might want to learn as a painter, even though there is probably some overlap. What if I took a step towards creating what I wanted to see more of? That's the other thing about talking with other freelance creatives- no matter how far down your own path you are, there will always be someone who does things a little differently and inspires you to try something new or approach something thats been holding you back, in a new way.
Fast-forward a few months and Grow Wild (the first!) was born. While I admit I was probably a little crazy to schedule it when I was 8.5 months pregnant (it DID help keep me busy though... and like my friend Mary said, if I'd gone into labor at the event, it would make for a pretty good story 😂), I can't tell you how happy and rewarding it was to see everything come together, and ALL of the amazing people who signed on without hesitation to help make it happen. There is something SO magical about the combined energy of a bunch of passionate, driven, creative people- all making a living doing something they love!! I'm sure I learned as much from all of them, as anyone in the audience did.
My goal is to expand Grow Wild- with another in-person workshop later this year (more tickets, more great speakers, more detail on the topics people seemed to love the most), and this spring, to launch an online version for people who live too far to come for the events.
GUYS, I FEEL LIKE I'M JUST GETTING STARTED WITH THIS!!! And if there is anything specific that YOU would love to see covered in future workshops (or the online version!), I'm all ears. Working for yourself is not easy, especially when what you're selling is YOU, your ART, your PASSION. But (if I can please be cheesy for one moment) it's SO rewarding to put your dreams into reality.
More than a regular paycheck, or piles of money, or an impressive job title, the feeling that comes with putting yourself out there and actually MAKING IT HAPPEN on your own, it one of the greatest things I've ever done in my life, and I hope to help others with that tiny spark of their own inside that says... "what if I did?"
(P.s. Make sure you don't miss a single update on future Grow Wild events and online workshops! Sign up HERE for the exclusive mailing list. XO)
This event would NOT have been possible without our speakers/contributors and generous sponsors!
An extra-special thank-you to:
And our speakers:
- Billy (@witandvinegar)
- Ann (@anndanger)
- Chrissa (@chrissasparkles)
- Jenna + Cortney (@awhimsywonderland)
- Cyn (@hotpinkpineapples)
- Sarah (@sarahhearts)
- Mary (@heymaryelizabeth)
- Sam (@shopwhurl)
- Sam (@aww.sam)
And finally, our contributors: