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Nashville, TN 37207

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When a Dreamers Gotta Dream

Chandra Fredrickson

I've always been someone who dreams big dreams. Now, I'm not the kind of dreamer that finds comfort in these dreams. I'm the kind of dreamer who gets caught up on all the small details of said dream, smashes all the "realities" into it before it can take too much root, and then send it off to Never-Neverland in, oh about, ten minutes. You would think by now that I would just stop dreaming and do a crap ton of math or something, but no, there is something in me that just can't stop (and I'm really awful at math).

At the time I first started doing art, I was writing poems that I wanted to illustrate but was too broke to pay anyone to do it. I thought I was going to be oh-so inspiring and everyone would love my words and I would become insta-famous, publish a book and sell one million copies in the first hour, and juts be cool with my deep thoughts and my poems written on a vintage typewriter. Dreamers, ya know? I had just traveled to Cambodia for a few weeks and after 40 hours on a plane, I landed in Nashville, just in time to hit a huge ice storm, that literally kept everyone indoors. After spending 40 hours sitting in a cramped chair in a tube in the sky and endless movies, I could not begin to think about watching anymore television and convinced my roommate who had four wheel drive and a lot of confidence to drive me to Michael's, because apparently, they too were feeling super confident and happened to be open. I roamed around the isles, looking for something, anything, that wouldn't bore me to tears for a few days. My grandma is an artist and does a lot of watercolor art, so I decided to pick up some watercolors and go for it.

Unlike everything else I ever think I'm going to be good at, I actually wasn't that bad! I started posting photos online of some art I was creating and got a ton of good feedback. Since then, I've been creating pretty consistently, also unlike anything I've ever tried, and didn't give up in about 24 hours.

There have been plenty... and I mean PLENTY of times that I thought I should just give up on art as a business. I took all the "realities" (details that make your dream become reality) and self doubts, put them in a blender,  and made a pretty little insecurity smoothie that I would slurp down on the daily. People who liked my art would request prints and I had no idea how to make a print for them, let alone know how or what kind of scanner to use, how to make a crisp background, how to use photoshop or illustrator, how to package it and send it, etc. Others would ask me to do commissions for them, and since I was so new at art, I had no idea if I could actually create what they wanted. I knew I should probably make a website, but I had no idea what I was doing. By the time I realized I should have a logo, you could have probably found me hiding under my bed, repeatedly chanting "I don't know how! I don't know how! I don't know how!"

Hours and hours of youtube videos later, I would get a few things under control so I could finally say "yes" to some of these inquiries. However, it wasn't until I met a fellow artist Ben Griffith at the farmers market, who's bright and beautiful watercolor prints caught my eye, I got a ton of answers that helped feel empowered. After a friendly hello,  I  drowned him with all the questions I had, with a little eye twitch in the morse code order as SOS or "help me." He, not only, may possibly be the kindest human in history, but he was incredibly helpful and sent me an entire email of useful information, including links to websites that I could find anything from proper packaging, the type of paper to print on, to the printer I should get. 

Having answers to these tiny details that I was drowning in went from me days away from throwing in the towel to all of the sudden feeling like I could do anything. Is this a virgo thing? I don't know.

Anyway, let's catch up to present day, because if I haven't lost you already, I know you are one click away from finding a much more interesting corner of the internet to hangout in.

Lately I've been feeling super excited entering into some festivals! I love the idea of setting up my little tent, having my art prints, cards and fabric banners out for people to see while being in the sun and eating some food truck grub. My first festival will be MAY 6th at Sevier Park Festival in Nashville, TN and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am! I am about to apply for more and the idea of just spending my weekends this way sounds so fun. 

Ultimately, being the dreamer that I am, I would love to be able to digitize my art and be able to travel around the world, creating art, and selling online. Man, what a dream, and MAN how the details of that can really catch me off guard and make me feel like it is impossible. Trying to use illustrator and photoshop has been stressing me out but everyday I am learning something new. I feel like I'm a few steps away from actually starting something that could launch me into the type of life that I want. 

All that to say, thank you for following along on this weird and crazy ride I call dreaming (some may call it insanity). I love being able to connect with people that find my art intriguing. Y'all are the best! And hey, this blog thing is pretty fun! I think I'm going to try and keep up with it!


Chandra Rae