I started posting body positive doodles to Instagram in April 2017. Since then, I'm beyond grateful to be able to report that my hobby has grown into something of a little business, and has fostered so many beautiful opportunities that I am so happy to have experienced. Libby's Happy Project went from being a tiny secret known only to me, to being an up-and-coming business; along the way, I got to take part in many wonderful charity events and speak on panels at Instagram, promoting the messages of happiness, mental wellbeing, body positivity and acceptance that my art hopes to represent!
Perhaps the most important lesson that LHP has taught me on a personal level, though, was that this is what I want to do with my life. When I started the account I was directionless, purposeless, and at a loss with what to do with my time. I felt like I was a waste of space, that I could never do anything worthwhile. But the messages I received and the response my art got changed something: suddenly I had a reason to get up each day and create, because not only did people like and want my art, I could also now - in my own small way - help people. Suddenly, I had a purpose. And it's stuck with me ever since.
Getting to watch my little passion project turn into a business that I can call my own has been the most wonderful privilege of my life and I am so, so proud of it. I am proud of every envelope containing orders, I am proud of every new painting I'm commissioned to create, I am proud of every single person who has helped me along the way, and I am so grateful. It's reached the point where even my mum isn't too disappointed with me for taking a gap year to pursue my dream of being an artist because finally, things are paying off!
I know I'm ridiculously lucky. I know that for every ounce of my own determination and faith I have thrown into this project, I've only got as far as I have because of all the people - followers, customers and friends - who have supported my art along the way. I will never be able to express how grateful I am.
But here's the thing. Libby's Happy Project has outgrown my tiny bedroom, which cannot contain both my bed and my desk, my clothes and my packing station, my books and my orders. It's reached the point where I can either sleep or work; there's no inbetween, because there's no space to do so. As LHP becomes more sustainable as a business, it becomes less like something I can sustain on a personal level. I need space. I'm 18, and need time to save to move out; there are no other rooms in our house available.
What I do have, however, is an old playhouse in my garden. My sisters and I used to spend all summer in it when we were little, but since then, it's just stood all sad and broken and damp and leaking in our garden.
My plan - if I can raise the funds to do so - is to say goodbye to the playhouse of the past, and to rebuild in its vacant space a summerhouse which will function as an office/studio. I'd like to furnish it with a desk and storage options where nothing has to compete for space, including myself. Here I will have a place to work that can foster the growth of my business and allow me to continue making and sharing art, pursuing my dream career and sense of purpose in life.
If you have anything to spare, I would be so, so grateful, and I will offer rewards to those who pledge certain sized donations! People who pledge £20 or more will receive a hand painted thank you card, and those who can donate £50 will receive a small painting as well to say thank you.
Anything you can do to help would mean the world to me, whether that's sharing this page with your followers or donating any spare pounds you have. It would mean the world.
Thank you so so much, for everything you can do, but also to everything that has allowed my business to get this far at all. Thank you. ❤️ I promise to make this worth it.