A whole month has slipped by with nary a post. When faced with slew of stresses, work and life related, I have a hard time staying creative let alone document and write about it. Excuses, excuses, I know. So, to show that I am not in a complete creative dry spell, I’m posting a pic of the work I’ve recently completed: cat and dog Christmas cards. I discovered that, while painting was almost too involved in the midst of all the things I’m dealing with, drawing is something I can do quite easily; all I need is paper and a ballpoint pen. I’m very happy with the results. This past Saturday I had these for sale at the farmer’s market for the first time. It opened a whole new can of worms with regards to requests for specific breeds, of which there are way too many to draw and have printed – but that is a whole other story.
These are the originals before they headed to the printers to be made into cards:
I’m quite happy with them…and crossing my fingers that others are too and want to buy them, or else I’ll be swimming in cards for the next couple of years and acquaintances will grow tired of the yearly pet Christmas card!
Let’s face it, I’m overwhelmed. I have a little too much on my plate and I need to at least acknowledge that fact if not change it.
The good news is that the plate is loaded with mostly creative ventures. The sucky news is that I have more ideas than time. If only I could leave the day job to do art full-time. But if my Farmer’s Market sales are any indication of my success, I’d better stick with the day job! Same ol’ artist’s sob story; can’t make a living from my art.
Only, I don’t believe that. I believe that one day I will find my niche and I will tap into an as yet undiscovered reservoir of art patrons who get what I do, like what I do and want to pay for it too! Yes, that got rather rhymy.
I’ve been plugging away at the Farmer’s Market, making myself visible, going through the chore of set-up and take down, for those few moments of joy when a person has the courage to actually walk into my tent and really look at what I do. When they laugh and enjoy any of my paintings or drawings, I feel immense satisfaction. I feel even more satisfaction when they like it enough to want to take something home, even if it’s just a little art magnet or card. Pieces of my expression out in the universe!
I’m trying to put out of my mind the other stuff, the business stuff like paperwork: applications for fairs and their fees, logistics of set-up and schedule, even casting my mind forward to tax time – YIKES! Panicking over cost vs income. I seem to tick something off the list and then add another two.
I’m actually losing sleep over this stuff. I never lose sleep, I love sleep. I’d chose sleep over breakfast, I’d EAT sleep for breakfast.
Just get through the season…i.e. the Christmas selling season, and then I will take stock. What works, what doesn’t. What I can and love to do and what I can do without.
I leave you with some drawings I’ve been working on. I’m considering having them printed as Christmas cards. I’m enjoying drawing tremendously and am wondering why I’ve been away from it for so long. I hope you enjoy!
Forward momentum. That’s what I’m all about these days. After an inspiring visit to Canada to see my sister doing her Farmer’s Market and other shows, I wanted to get started in my neck of the woods. I enquired about the local Farmer’s Market but didn’t hear back, didn’t hear back…and then suddenly an email on Friday asking if I could set up on Saturday!!
Well, I couldn’t say no, but I was also nervous about “yes” because I wasn’t prepared. But, I went for it. Luckily I could borrow a tent last-minute from my husband’s place of work, and a few tables from my mother in-law. It was hasty, but it worked out in the end:
I’ve now committed to the market every Saturday until the end of the season. That’s 12 shows total. I’m not sure it makes the most sense monetarily, but I am looking at it as excellent promotion. How is anyone supposed to know I exist if I don’t get out there? The wonderful thing is that, after only being here for a few years, I already know quite a few people in the community and they are quite supportive. It seems I have a lot of interest from tourists and locals alike with my pet portraits.
I’m selling pet portrait commissions along with small items such as prints, cards, small hand made ceramic charms and hand drawn magnets such as these:
As well as cards, which I’ve posted before, either here on this blog or at my sister blog: www.vieveandlynsker.wordpress.com where my sister and I share all things creative.
Yesterday I showed up at Costco, ready to buy a tent with walls, only to discover that “summer is over”, at least, according to retail land. So, I was a bit flustered having no back-up plan. But after a quick consult with my very capable and steady sister-in-law, and the help of her smart phone ( I need one of those BAD!) we were able to locate a shade canopy, not exactly the style I wanted, but available at Friedman’s. At that point, I would have bought anything at any cost because I just wanted to get a damn tent for this upcoming Farmer’s Market. Luckily I was in luck, because though the tent didn’t have walls, it happened to be on sale, so instead of $100 it was $89. Sold! What a relief.
I’m not totally where I want to be in terms of the perfect, most simple and light market set-up, but I’m getting there. Wish me luck!
I recently set up a booth at an outdoor art fair in Angwin called “Art in the Clouds”. It was only the second year for the art aspect of the fair and as such I was one of only four art related booths. I at least broke even, but it wasn’t super successful. I had taken part in the fair mostly as a practice run to see if I could do it. In that regard I learned a lot and now have more confidence going in to a next one…I haven’t lined any up yet though.
The way I managed to break even was with the printed cards and a few little trinkets I’d made, like the magnets and a few charms.
I recently discovered the long existing but never discovered by me “shrinky dinks”. I had a variety pack and ended up really liking the matt finish one since it really works well with colour pencil.
This is colour pencil
And this is permanent marker. Note their size.
Place in the oven at 300F
In seconds they start to flex and shrink. Really fun!
In the end they’re super small, about half their original size.
Later I attached small silver jump rings and hung them on ribbon. I ended up selling a few of these charms.
Here’s what the set-up looked like:
A little cluttered. And it was hard to get people to walk in and actually look at the paintings. A little more thought needs to go into the whole thing. Definitely a less patterned table-cloth is in order.
I made a few rings some with ceramics and one with a drawing behind a glass pebble.
mini canvas charms
A pretty good turn out
Overall a good experience and I’d like to do a few more of these types of events. If nothing else I got a lot of positive feedback which was rather encouraging!
I’m feeling cranky. You know, the kind of cranky that makes you want to do crazy stuff…like shave off your hair or something. The crankiness is coming from a feeling of lack of moving forward, a lack of creative outlet. Shaving my head would probably be the result of misplaced action and something I’d deeply regret…or maybe not…
Instead, I’m going to channel that frizzy energy into being pro-active. Part of being a creative person is the struggle with not only self-doubt but also with how to get your stuff out there in the world. That is where I’m perched. Ready to show my work and ready to sell some stuff but not sure how.
Today I’m filling out a form for the Angwin “Art in the Clouds” outdoor art show. It doesn’t cost much to enter, it’s only their second year, and the turn out will most likely be small, but I need to exercise some marketing muscle. I need to put myself out there just to see how it feels and get the ball rolling.
It’s coming up fast. That means I need to have stuff to show and small salable items that I stand a chance in hell of moving. The chances of originals being purchased are slim, so I need to head into the world of reprints…without breaking the budget to do so.
Can I do this? It’s coming up really soon : May 20th.
Pawing through the stuff I’ve already done, I found cards I’d had printed last year for Christmas. I have lots of extra I can package into card sets:
Would you buy a set of those? I’m also working on some octopus themed cards for thank yous and birthdays.
But therein lies a slippery slope. Do you make art for art’s sake, or do you make it to sell? Once you worry about your audience, the joy and the freedom of creating can quickly slip away.
I shall be navigating these waters in the next couple of weeks. Wish me well. I will keep you updated.