Well, I made one business goal for myself for the month of July: To open a story on etsy.com. I procrastinated all month. I’m not sure why, but Etsy intimidates me. There are so many beautifully created things there, beautifully photographed, so cleverly described. Do my things actually belong there? I spent the month asking myself that. Finally, the commitment I made as part of the business MeetUp group forced me to get on with it. Feel the fear, do it anyway, right? When did I do it? The last two days of July. Well, at least I made it under the wire. There are only a few of my jewelry items in the shop, but it is a good start. And, it was so easy to do. What was I so afraid of? Please check it out here. Click the favorite button there if you like it. Offer me advice. Anything. I need all of the encouragement I can get. Don’t we all?
Self portraits are not the easiest things in the world to do. You might think they would be. Who knows you better than you, right? I think that may be why I have trouble when I do one. I’d rather draw the Sandy I wish to be (she looks very much like the skinny version of Jennifer Hudson) rather than represent exactly what I see. First of all, who wants to stare into their own face in the mirror or a photograph for as long as it takes to create a self portrait? I spend most of the time critiquing my face instead of creating my face. (Geez, when did I get my mother’s dark circles under my eyes? And how much weight do have to lose to get rid of that second chin? Yada, yada.)
But, I love a challenge….well, not really (but, that’s what I’m supposed to say, right?)…I do love art “homework.” Any kind of art assignment that pushes me in some direction or toward some sort of art area to which I’m not naturally drawn. These assignments stretch me creatively, and I’m often surprised and pleased with the results.
My latest assignment came courtesy of a magazine that I’m now in love with: Cloth, Paper, Scissors. The reader’s challenge in the July/August issue is to create a 6 inch by 6 inch self portrait using mixed media collage. I worked on this one over the weekend. Using my own photo, I used translucent paper, water color pencils, ink, cloth, three-dimensional fabric paint on card stock to create this self portrait that I call “So Very Sandy.” It’s full of drama (note the giant orange divalicious hat I recently purchased for an outdoor jazz festival; hope they can see around me), whimsy, complex textures and plenty of imperfections.
Blue (the July theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge) is my favorite color this month. The cover of the August issue of O magazine has a blue backdrop, AND one of my drawings is in the magazine! While reading an interview featuring gal pal Gayle talking to Oprah about her last season of the show, I was inspired by Oprah’s words on facing challenges. I created a drawing based on that inspiration, which I blogged about here. The magazine editors decided to include my comment and my drawing in the letter’s section on page 30 (click here Art in O-2) to see a pdf of the page of the magazine cover and my art. I’m very honored. Prints and cards of the image are available here. Larger prints/posters are available here.
The theme for the month of July for the Creative Every Day Challenge is “blue.” I’m a very big-bold-color kind of girl, so I don’t tend to create much using the color blue. But I’m liking this challenging push to use the color. It’s strangely liberating to limit the color scheme.
It’s so interesting to think about the emotional characteristics colors tend to come with. Blue, of course, immediately makes me think of “the blues,” as in depression, but it also makes me think of peace and serenity, and clouds and being uplifted. I also see a bit of passion in blue–moonlight and romance.
So I’ve been very busy exploring blue during my vacation. All of these mixed media works (watercolor pencil, pencil and ink) are about 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches. Working small gave me an opportunity to quickly explore and move on again, which has been a lot of fun. Enjoy.
Greeting cards and prints featuring these images are available at here.
Several months ago I found this wonderful MeetUp group by Liz Kalloch in which artist entrepreneurs post monthly business goals as a way to encourage themselves to keep moving forward. I did it for a month or two…well, I listed things.
Here I am again, ready to move forward, do more, reach more clients, arrive in that magical land of “they love my stuff so much that I can’t keep up with demand.” As a creative person, it is always a challenge to find time for everything, and I do mean everything—the full-time job, the family, the creation of beautiful things, the exercise to keep the extra pounds away, the down time to keep the sanity right where it is (hanging by a thread), and, yes, the art business. Juggle, juggle, juggle.
So for the month of July I’m focusing on just one business goal:
Open an Etsy store.
I opened one awhile ago, but never got more than one item in the shop. So I’m returning, hoping to sell more jewelry and handcrafted cards. Wish me luck. If anyone has any advice, I welcome all.