One of my new year’s resolutions was to keep an eye out for industry competitions and to leave plenty of time to enter them, as I always seem to just miss the deadlines or find out about great opportunities once they are over.
When I discovered the Etsy Design Awards, low and behold the application deadline was just 24 hours away, so safe to say I wasn’t quite keeping to my resolution, but I made it my mission to dedicate time to entering. This year was the first time that Etsy was recognising the work of sellers from around the world and across multiple areas of expertise, so the pressure was on.
My maps are a new print this year and a series that I am particularly proud of, I then got to thinking about what has really inspired me and my work this year and I decided that it was love. My ‘Love Stories’ illustrated maps, are personal to each individual capturing their special moments and dates, everything from meeting place, to first kiss, to first home to wedding day, I get such pleasure from drawing couples journeys, so it seemed only natural that I submitted my Love Stories Map into the ‘Creative Collaborations’ catorgry.
Once I clicked send on my application, I crossed my fingers and Margot’s paws.
Some weeks later, I learned that I had made the final top 25 of my creative collaborations category, being a worldwide competition with over 20,000 people entering, I was gobsmacked and already felt like a winner and very lucky to be in the company of such talented artists.
Etsy contacted me to ask if I would be interested in doing a radio interview with their UK MD Annette Picardo. This terrified me, but I have been so inspired by Farrah Storr’s ‘The Discomfort Book’ that I knew it was an opportunity that I could not pass up and I am so pleased that I didn’t as it was a great experience.
If all this wasn’t enough, I was then ecstatic to learn that I had made the top 5 of the ‘People’s Choice’ category and then my mind was blown to find out that I had actually won it overall. My prize was the opportunity to take over Etsy UK’s Instagram for the day and conduct a Q&A on their stories. I loved my takeover it was so great to chat art and it gave me the opportunity to showcase myself and work to a whole new audience which was invaluable. If you missed it you can check it out via my Instagram September highlights.
The Etsy Design Awards really felt like the gift that just kept giving, ending with the awards night itself which took place last night, Thursday 26th September and was held at The Groucho, London. The canapés were delicious, the wine flowed and the company was wonderful, it was so inspiring to be amongst so many creatives and a real humbling experience to know that everyone was there to celebrate each others achievements.
I urge you to check out all the winners, my personal fave was Sian Zeng, who won the Grand Prize, I think she is great and I have been art crushing on her work for some time now, so loved that I got to tell her how much I admire her stuff in person.
So the moral of the story guys is to put yourself forward for things, it goes to show that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone the world is your oyster.
Thank you so much Etsy for the wonderful opportunity and the fun month of celebrations.