business

Fighting Disillusionment



Disillusionment with everything, really. Politics, the economy, the art market, humanity's appreciation of art and artists, the community in which I live, jobs, money, savings, travel, myself, my career, my interests, my options.

There was an article published this month in the New York Times called Maybe It's Time For Plan C about independent business owners and artisans experiencing the downsides of pursuing their dreams.

To say the least, it was disheartening.

I took a bit more time off from painting than I intended to. I spent time reading, thinking, exploring new/old hobbies, pursuing interesting avenues to augment my business. During this time I began to wonder... Am I even doing the right thing? In general? In life?

Will I one day be sitting in a pile of broken canvas after some inevitable apocalypse wishing I'd spent less time thinking about my art business and more time learning to fish, to garden, to (God-forbid) sew?

Okay, maybe not. I'm not banking on inevitable apocalypses. Yet.

Ultimately, I love what I do and I do it because I'm good at it, dammit. These are my skills, and that's what I'm offering to the world, and you know what? I keep discovering that I have more skills than I thought. My definition of "artist" continues to expand, and that excites me. It involves so much more than paint. Regardless of what one might think of my art, I'm good at being an artist.

And I don't just want to be good at it, I want to be unearthly badass at it. This might take me the rest of my life, of course. Which means, counting backwards, I had better be on my way this very second.

Here's where the kicker really happens: I know that I am on my way. I know this because I'm working towards something. I know this because I'm pursuing it wholeheartedly. I get up early, I do never-ending "business things," I paint, I write, I plan, I dream, I even freaking make videos now, I work, I work, I work. All. Day. Long. Even when I take time off, I work. I'm constantly pursuing more work. I'm always trying to add more in my life, not less.

Most importantly, I know I'm on my way because I can see a distinct and measurable difference in my life over the last 10 years. 

Hell, that's even true exponentially over the last 5 years.

.forward motion.

I just have to stay pointed in that direction. One foot in front of the other. Always.

I have no interest in "retirement." I am not looking for a scheme by which to get rich so that I can stop doing the very things I was born to do. I am not going to let my life pass by in a series of intentions and promises.

I've started painting again. I've almost finished a new piece. I'm about to start three more.

The fog is lifting.




Blooming



Colin and I have both been working on a ton of new art.

I'm not sure if it's the season changing around me or what, but I've been amping up my work. I'm trying to learn better ways of doing things, painting wise. Not that my previous ways weren't working for me, but I'm always anxious to make improvements where I can.

Part of the issue is just working on so many at once. I feel the need to do more and feel like my brain is stretched thin at the same time. I guess I'm trying to balance those things, so I can do more without losing my brain.

Specifically, I've been trying to take notes, and jot down ideas in my sketchbooks to better plan out my attack. If I can make decisions ahead of time, it will help eliminate errors. Often I decide to do something and then forget what I decided a few hours later because I was trying to be "spontaneous" with my creativity.

I'm also trying to have more paintings going at all stages of the process at any given time. Hopefully this will help close the long gaps between finished paintings, which I generally complete in groups. Right now I have 5 paintings almost finished, if you don't count the 2 bigger ones that I've been threatening to finish all month.

Production is key at the moment, so that I can both hang stuff in coffee houses and galleries *and* have more work in my Etsy shop at the same time. (Madness!)

My New Studio


A studio! No couch! More space!

(Organizational goals for 2008 in full swing!)

I love my work bench. I can paint without crouching. Hooray. We also bought a few cabinets and drawers. I may need one more cabinet. For the time being, I am able to store most of my supplies in the same area of the house, rather than also in the kitchen, the bedroom, the closets...

I have not gotten used to it, and I constantly (constantly) go into the wrong room to get something before realizing that it was in the drawer right in front of me the whole time.

Colin put everything together himself, because he is wonderful and amazing and handsome and I love him. :oD

Meat was angry and spent most of the weekend under the bed, or scowling at us from the floor. He eventually began scowling at us from the couch cushion we kept, and then ultimately seemed to forget that we ever had a couch. Joey is thrilled that we finally realized that fetch is the most important thing, and have rearranged the apartment to accommodate this fact. He even helped us out by scattering his toys all over the newly created space.

As for Colin and I, we have taken up doing martial arts, yoga stretches, and spinning around in circles just because we can. I'm this close to doing a cartwheel in the middle of the room.

Mark my words: There will be hula-hooping.

Oh, and, more painting. Of course. :o)

Expansion

So, I've made a decision. It's finally time for me to accept that I'm an artist and that I work from home and that I need more room to do these things.

You see, I need a studio.

The main objective is to turn the most used space in my apartment into a designated working area. It's not just me, Colin needs more working space too. This place is really too small to use it the way we are. We're going to get rid of the couch. We don't sit on it anyway. (That, and all of us monkeys in the last apartment utterly destroyed it. You know who you are.) The rest of the planning and reorganizing is a blur to me at the moment, but I can't wait to start using the beautiful, unfinished-wood work bench I bought a few months ago. It's been in the garage this whole time. We're also going to buy some sort of new cabinet thingie. Yay!

Where we will sit on the rare occurrences that we actually want to sit in front of the TV will have to be decided on later. It's only going to be a problem when LOST is on anyway. Meat will be furious, but I think we're going to spare him a cushion.

The ironic thing is, when I was little and thought I would be an actress when I grew up, I had a secret dream of living in a cool artist's studio. Hmm...

Also, check out my Showcase on Trunkt, which was put on the front page for today! :o) I'm going through a weird Butter phase. It's an amazing color.

Moo Cards!

Yay! Finally. International shipping is so not immediate. Actually, it didn't take long at all, I was just really impatient. They're so cool!




And so tiny!

Moo offers a great deal. They even have stickers! If I had any justifiable reason whatsoever to have stickers, I would get them.

I highly recommend these in lieu of business cards. They're super affordable and they're the perfect way to pass out your contact info. No more sifting through an enormous bag for 10 minutes to find a pen and a scrap of paper. Moo!