Looking Back at 2020, Part I: High Hopes

Note: I decided to make this a 2 part series because it was starting to get too long! Go here to see the next one in the series – Favorite Projects from 2020.

Move over, Creatives Who Took Advantage of Extra Time During Quarantine To Grow Their Businesses. Proud Side Hustler Who Put Her Creative Projects to the Side coming through!

Like everyone else, I went into 2020 with high hopes. 2019 ended fantastically for me–I did four crafts fairs and loved it, I sold a bunch of ornaments at Christmas time, and I finally started selling more frequently on Etsy. I planned to do even more during 2020.

My new project for January was learning how to make cabochon crafts, which ended up being a nice little trinket to add to my Etsy shop:

I even toyed with the idea of leading calligraphy workshops! One of my students started a Calligraphy club and asked me to lead some lessons:

And a friend of a friend asked me to lead a session for her mom support group:

And I even tried it out with a group of friends to get some feedback on teaching strategies.

This was actually one of the last things I did with friends that year. I remember working on the second floor of a Whole Foods with them, drinking wine, and musing about how the employee in the bathroom next to me was *actually* washing her hand for over 20 seconds like the news said we should.

Most exciting news of all: a local coffee shop asked me to draw a chalkboard for them. And not just any local coffee shop. Summer Moon. They’re just down the street from where I live, and I had fantasized about drawing boards for them. And then one of their employees messaged me on Instagram with an inquiry, and before I knew it, Greg delivered a giant board to my house.

But then. COVID happened. And unlike the other creatives I followed, I wasn’t confronted with lots of free time. As an AP teacher and a toddler mom, I was faced with quite the opposite: non-stop work days that left me exhausted. I was grateful that lettering was a side hustle for me–because it needed to be put to the side so I could take care of my higher priorities: parenting and teaching.

Coming up in Part 2: creative life when quarantine began and I had to figure out how to teach AP Language from home while also keeping my 4-year-old happy.

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