In which I leave my papercrafting career

In which I leave my papercrafting career

To embrace a papercrafting hobby.

And of course, to paint.

This has been a while coming, and it’s motivated by lots of different things.

  • I still have a job that I can’t leave because we need the income, yet without leaving that job, I can’t spend the time required to do well at all the creative things I want to do.
  • The changing nature of the industry, the pressure of maintaining a social media presence, the necessity of spending time producing video to be visible, and the ongoing threat of theft of artwork by sellers on websites such as AliExpress and Wish.
  • The significant amounts of time that this blog requires in order to just maintain it (even without adding posts regularly), just making sure that it doesn’t break due to the plug-ins not being updated (or being updated!) and/or hacked.
  • The amount of money I continue to pour into the blog and buying the latest and greatest products is not justified by the amount of return I am getting.
  • Making cards, while still very enjoyable, is made un-fun by the work of putting them out there in the interwebs, including photography, posting to the blog, posting to social media including multiple Facebook groups, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, etc, making posts on gallery sites, or making videos (the most time consuming of all).
  • The desire to get off the merry-go-round of wanting to have “all the things” and FOMO (fear of missing out), driving purchases that can often sit unused because of lack of time.
  • The affiliate lifestyle making using non-current products undesirable and making purchases of things that I might not buy otherwise because of the possibility of affiliate income.
  • Being a career papercrafter means you tend to change from collecting and using stamps to consuming them. I rarely manage to use the same stamp or stamp set more than once. That bugs me. And stamps I still love, that I feel I must get rid of because I need the room for the new stuff so I can sell to others.
  • And really, the most important reason, the fact that I just really want to spend my time painting without regard to anyone’s schedule but my own.

Back when I started doing papercrafts and started selling Stampin’ Up!, I ended up on the Splitcoaststampers original design team, not even knowing what the heck that was. (Oh, young Jan, I have so much to warn you about and yet, tragically, I cannot). Back then, I was a SAHM with small children and lots of time to kill (comparatively). Blogging was easy. You made a card, you took ONE picture, you posted it on your blog and on Splitcoast, and you were done. I made lots of cards, I taught classes, I did workshops, I was on multiple design teams, and I made tutorials galore, both photographic and video. Who was that woman and how did she do all that? I really have to wonder!

Now, I have a job which eats a lot of time. I have a family who still needs my time and attention, albeit in other ways from when they were little. I have returned to my original avocation of painting, and my creative time is very limited and precious. Where I should spend that time became the big question.

Along with that, I got to where I looked at the 4 or 5 card kits I had received yet not had time to use, the pads of patterned paper that had one or two sheets used before they were unusable because they were retired, all the different ink pads I had to have but have yet to use because everyone was buying them, etc, and I just said, “This is nuts!”

The worst, I lost my unique writing voice because I did not have the time to devote. I love writing, but the posts I have been producing have been formulaic and BORING.

I’ve enjoyed creating my own line of stamps, which was a lifelong dream of mine, but sometimes you have to do things you think you will love to find out you don’t really want to do them. I thought at some point I would start my own company, and if I had had the time to devote, I might have done that very thing. But I don’t have the time, and so I have to choose. I could quit my job and throw myself into being a stamp designer with my own company full time, but that choice would mean debt for my family, which is that last thing we need at this point in time.

It has become obvious that it is time to make a decision, yet it has taken me months to get to this point.

I have already taken down my Etsy shop because the changing policies there essentially rendered my shop invisible. I had not sold a card in my shop in a year.

It has been hard to let go. Hard to let go of the person I was, to become the person I am to be. Hard to walk away from what seemed like my identity, yet it is not ALL that I am or will be. Hard to listen to what my heart really wanted rather than staying in the same comfortable, albeit stressful, rut.

SO, what does this all mean for you, my lovely readers?

  • Mitten State Stamps will continue to be sold as long as Technique Junkies wishes to license them. I will no longer be producing new stamp designs however.
  • I will be changing to a gallery website featuring my artwork. This blog is going to be taken down at some point. This will take some time. The domain will remain the same so there is nothing you will need to change to get there.
  • I’m going to be doing a purge of things I no longer wish to keep, so keep an eye on my ebay account, inkwithtink, if you want to pick up some bargains. This may take a while, though, because (cough, cough), I have a lot of stuff.
  • If you want to support my artwork, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon (link in sidebar).
  • Commissions are still open for pet and people portraits, and I’ll still produce printed cards for sale from my prints (see shop link above), though at some point the shop will be on the new website.
  • My Instagram (jan_tink), Twitter (jantink), and Facebook page (jantinkart) will still be going, and I will even occasionally post cards I make along with my art work, since I have no intention of stopping making cards. Please consider following me on any of those sites.

Finally, I am very grateful to all my readers/followers who have made this whole career possible. Thank you for your support, love, and encouragement over the past 17 years of my papercrafting career! Really, though, this isn’t goodbye. It’s just a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.

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13 thoughts on “In which I leave my papercrafting career”

  • Here’s hoping to a beautiful happy life for the butterfly, long life her beautiful creations & happiness with colours. I wish you all the very best & will stay tuned to see your painting x In a way you have just answered my dilemma of should I do it or not, reading your post and how know that is will stick to just doing way makes me happy & not getting involved and n a rat race that is was hoping to be a break away. Jan , I thank you for all your inspiration & advice to n the past, here’s to 2020 & beyond xxx

  • Congratulations on your courageous decision, Jan! I know you’ll do well, and brilliantly – I’ve seen your paintings, and know how stunning they are! I think that your words have touched a lot of us struggling with the same dilemma. (Brings to mind the lyrics ‘should I stay or should I go?!) I’m looking forward to seeing more of your amazing artwork.

  • Jan, sending good luck with your new venture. I have been a big fan of yours for a long time, and looking forward to seeing what the future will bring! You are amazingly talented.

  • I, too, have come to the realization that enough is enough. I have followed you since I joined SU and SCS back in 2005. I have enjoyed your creations, artist tips, and quick wit. I, too, have too much stuff that: 1) is now retired and never used, 2) slightly used and retired, 3) stacked up in a pile not being used, 4) stamp sets, paper, dies, punches, etc. that I “had to have” that are not being used, and 5) represents 15 years of creative supplies that I must come to grips with, pare down, USE or lose.

    Good luck with all your endeavors!

  • Good luck and create what your heart wants to create! I know the decision was a difficult one; I am making some similar choices on a much smaller scale. I applaud your new path.

  • Congratulations on your decision! Thank you for all of the inspiration and education you have supplied along the way (I started lurking on SCS way back – 2003? 2005?). Best wishes as you follow your own unique path!

  • As I read your blog post I found myself saying, “yep, uh huh, mmhmm” with almost every point! When I joined SCS in 2003 or thereabouts it was a neat little but growing community of (mostly SU) stampers who posted cards in the galleries. I loved doing challenges and uploading my “creations”. Then blogging became the thing and people started utilizing blogs to post their cards and that got cumbersome for me. Then the stamp companies started popping up all over the place. Too many choices overwhelm me so I kept with SU. I even became a demonstrator but once i started to stamp And buy product because I HAD to was when I didn’t like it anymore! Once I quit my demo-ship it became fun again. And then the FOMO! I totally get how it drives you to do things that aren’t necessarily in your best interest. I, too, ended up buying things that I wouldn’t have bought otherwise just to sell it to others. So yeah, I get it. I’m glad to see that you will still be doing card making and I hope it brings you back to why you started in the first place!

  • Hate to see you moving on, but I also know how that is. I’ve just got back into crafting after a few years off. Best of luck and I’ll look forward to seeing your creations.

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