I sold a box on Etsy this week and I felt a bit of sadness as I packed it up to ship. It was as if I was saying goodbye to an old friend.
Odd as it sounds (since they are made to sell) so much of myself goes into the work, yet it feels I lose a part of myself in the transaction. As an art student the excitement of selling my first painting, was mingled with a pang of regret as it’s new owner carried it away.
I don’t know if this duality is unique to creatives, but I suspect we all experience this in more subtle forms. We pour our lives into our children and then there is an empty nest and it’s sadness. We give our best to a job and then there is retirement or a layoff. What we often fail to remember is that things are happening as they should. The child spreads their wings and fly. We move to a better job or career. Or we enjoy the retirement years. Life is a series of letting go and if we hold things too tightly we cheat ourselves of the joys of the next thing.
In the case of my box sale, I had the unexpected pleasure of the buyer sending me photos of it’s new home and a description of how they would use the box. They were really thrilled with the workmanship as well. So, letting go not only generated some income, but it also gave me the pleasure of sharing my passion and seeing my work adopted into a new loving family! So it is on to the next box, the next graphic design project, and the next life change!