JOURNAL



Evelyn Henson www.evelynhenson.com

 

YALL...

This week I'm celebrating the five year mark of my art career!!! I can't believe I've been doing this for FIVE WHOLE YEARS! What a blessing! :) I started my Etsy shop in May 2013 and I still remember my hands shaking as I hit enter on the keyboard to publish my first products. I don't know why I was so nervous given I had NOTHING to lose as a post-grad with zero job prospects. What I did have was an amazingly supportive group of friends and family who started buying pieces literally within minutes. As I've been reflecting on the last five years this week, it's made me incredibly grateful to you for your support, super motivated by everything I still have to learn, and insanely excited for all the work I've yet to create! 

I scrolled all the way back to the beginning of my instagram and took screenshots of some random throwbacks (starting with the instagram announcing my Etsy shop). It's crazy how much my work has evolved and I wanted to share a couple favorites...

 

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

This is what I posted on my instagram to let my friends know about my #Etsy shop (extremely professional as you can see)! The top left photo is one of my art mantras, and the top right is the first version of my logo. I think I drew a hundred different EH letterings in a sketchbook before deciding to loop the middle part of the E into the H (something I have since trademarked). I snapped the bottom left photo in my college apartment as I was packing up before graduation---it's probably only about a quarter of the paintings I completed throughout my Senior year. I literally painted every day, so I had plenty of work to sell by the time I decided to open an Etsy store. Though those pieces are pretty different from my current work, the mantra "painting is a celebration of life" is still something that holds true. 

 

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

I used to lovvveee painting perfumes. They were some of my first illustrations on paper. I would take the 99 cent craft paints (purchased at the nearby Walmart) and water them down to achieve a more watercolor look without spending hundreds of dollars on real art supplies. I recently started painting perfumes again and will have an art print available soon! 

 

Evelyn Henson www.evelynhenson.com

The first painting I sold on Etsy was a pink and orange abstract! I love painting abstracts because the color combinations are so effortless and fun. At a certain point though, I felt like I had to pick a lane, and that lane eventually became illustration. If I ever have the time though, I want to invent a separate artist identity and flip some abstracts for thousands of dollars ;) 

  

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

This photo was taken in a spare room upstairs in my parents' house in Columbus, GA. I lived there for a little over a year after I graduated from college to see if this whole art thing had a chance of working. My Etsy shop project had been doing well enough to make the endeavor something worth trying. Flowers were something I had been successfully selling, so I painted bunches of them. 

Evelyn Henson www.evelynhenson.com 

One of the coolest things to happen to me early on was that Glamour Magazine reached out to me to commission illustrations for a beauty site they were launching at the time called Lipstick.com. I still think it's so  wild that someone from Glamour just found my work on instagram (I had maybe 1k followers at that time, if that). That coffee cup was one of the cute illustrations I did for their launch. 

   Evelyn Henson www.evelynhenson.com

This bar cart print was a huge hit in my early Etsy days and I did several different versions of it each season for awhile. There were always four bottles, but I would switch up the colors and sayings. My first ever retail customer (Mackenzie Horan's Design Darling which she since closed) purchased an assortment of bar cart prints. I had to google what "wholesale" was when I first got her email. I had never heard of that word in my life and somehow I now work with 100+ stores (see the full list here to see if there is a shop near you carrying my art).

     Evelyn Henson www.evelynhenson.com This was a random illustration in my sketchbook. I really want to create an updated version looking at it now. If you look closely, you'll see that I'm using an everyday, non-artist pen here! I slowly stocked up on "real" art supplies over time and used whatever I had on hand until then. I point this out only to emphasize that you don't have to have the finest materials to get started. 

  

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

I took this photo of Rocky right before I packed up and moved to Charlotte! I spent about a year living/working at my parents' house in Columbus before adventuring elsewhere.  

   

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

And here we are in my first apartment! I lived in a lofted one bedroom and worked/painted on the main floor. I hung up that gallery wall behind my couch and frequently snapped product photos there. At this time, I was flipping back and forth between illustrations (like the map prints) and acrylics on canvas (like that elephant). 

     

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

During that year, I slowly gravitated more and more towards illustration work (gouache and watercolor on paper as opposed to acrylic on canvas). Acrylic on canvas was an easy way for me to start painting because, when you mess up, you can basically just paint right over it. Paper, however, presents more of a challenge because it can only hold so much paint. For that reason, it wasn't something I enjoyed until my skill level developed enough. Once it did, I fell in love! I now love that the paper can only hold so much paint because it forces me to be more intentional with my brushstrokes.

  

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

 These Audrey Hepburn illustrations were some figure studies I did. Figures aren't my favorite subject, and I still try to paint them from time to time to work on that skill. Though it's still something I'm continually working on, I would probably consider these my first somewhat successful attempts!  

    

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

I don't have anything to say about this photo other than look HOW CUTE Rocky is! 

   evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

I just love this photo because it's filled with so many different illustrations. I think I played Sam Hunt on repeat while I painted these. It makes my heart happy to look at! 

   

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

This photo is from when I launched the personalized pet mug. I remember thinking it would be hilarious to give both of my sisters mugs with paintings of our dogs on them. Once I painted them and got the mugs in, I of course realized that every dog owner ever (and cat owner) needed one too. It's just such a funny and thoughtful gift idea that you can't get anywhere else. So, I immediately set off to paint more dogs. My original idea was that I would have about 10 dogs on a list that people could choose from and then add whatever name/caption/etc to the bottom. The game plan quickly grew to include over 100 dogs (and about 50 cats) once I realized how many breeds there were though! It took forever, but, given it's been a best selling item ever since, I'd say it was worth every second! 

 

evelyn henson www.evelynhenson.com

Aaand here we are back in the present day (hydrangea prints available here) five years later! Be sure you're signed up for my mailing list here to be notified about the new prints I'll be adding next week and for the exclusive wallpaper downloads sent out each month as well! 
 
 

XX
Evelyn

May 10, 2018 by Evelyn Henson
Tags: art

Want exclusive discounts and free wallpapers?