I realized today, with the help of a critiquer in the forums, that my bio on Etsy is a little...slim. The fact of the matter is that it's very difficult for me to explain the circumstances of how this shop (FourElephants) came to be.
I'm in my early 20s, and since 4th grade I've wanted to either be a musician, writer, or maker of things. And my parents have been generally supportive, being makers in their own right. My mom for the longest time made her own wreaths (for every holiday imaginable), and my dad drew. My brother, too, has recently been bitten by the creative bug. He started a band and discovered that he wields a pencil very well.
But because we immigrated to the US from Poland when I was five, and because this carries with it a certain amount of "prove to those Americans that you can be worthwhile to their society," nobody in my family had ever considered any sort of artistic profession. The pinnacle of success would have to be something like lawyer or doctor. High-powered, high-earning, useful.
To me, it became pretty clear that this was not the way that I was going to go. And simply enough, I'm not doing it. But for my dad, it hasn't been that simple. He needs to work, and because he works, he doesn't have time to paint. I want him to paint. I want him to be able to do it for a living. It's a dream he has put off for many many years.
And this summer, I said, "Look, Dad. I can manage an Etsy shop to see where things go. For now, I'll put in some of my stuff, and some of Marcin's photos [to get him fired up about making things, too], and we'll wait for your paintings." Slowly, he's getting stuff finished, and slowly, I am becoming familiar with Etsy and its sellers.
This is the long-winded version of our story. This is our version of a collective.