I'm having a productive day...taking a break now as I'm enjoying a late lunch and my limbs are all tired. Basically, I'm cleaning out the 3rd floor/aka my previous studio. Boy, it was/is dirty. Good God. Let's just say, I'm glad Jon got most of the stinky cat piles and now I'm dusting, vacuuming, throwing out, cleaning up,etc, etc.
Also, I had some good news about my art in the card world. I got contacted by Recycled Paper and am sending in a few things more. This is really exciting and I hope I can get one thing or two approved. For some reason, I started getting superstitious and wanted to keep it a surprise or I don't know what. I couldn't stand it any longer and have to blab it out. lol!
I'm fine tuning some work and will send it to a few other places as well and honestly, I feel like things are going to go well. I feel like I'm getting better at handling my work professionally. When I was younger (about 10 years ago), I would not be able to handle people saying something needs to be added/taken away from my work. Now, however, I've matured and made quite a few more paintings/art pieces since then. I think this is a big part of my maturity...creating more.
Oddly, two of the biggest developments, I feel, in making my work was selling on eBay and Lynda Barry. The first one because I dealt directly with the public. I know what is liked, what will work and what doesn't. I know there are certain venues and styles as well as subjects that interest people. It's very much like being a little company. You're responsible for EVERYTHING as well as ALL production.
The latter, Lynda Barry, inspired me to try Chinese ink. I worked solidly for about 2 years in black and white Chinese ink and later explored Chinese ink in four basic colors. I feel these several years made me sensitive to shadings, dark/light, and subtlety of color. I re-discovered watercolor about 2 years ago and felt like I had fallen into liquid rainbows. It's interesting to see the difference in my work from my earlier time.
Another aspect with eBay is, I challenged myself to meet certain goals. I would have 10- 20 new paintings per week to have up on eBay. I did this for three months intervals and then would take a week or two off. I sold quite a bit and was thrilled to see how much I could accomplish. In this time, I saw my style develop, ideas flourish and could experiment to a certain extent.
Trying new things and seeing what worked and what didn't in my work, has helped me gauge what I like doing as well as seeing what will attract buyers. I started a cafepress shop and this has been going well too.
The best thing about all of this is I could keep try to painting what I like best, animals. I find enjoyment in them to no end and am thrilled people seem to appreciate this in my work. I have a few new goals for this year professionally. I'm honing in on several card companies as mentioned before, creating several bigger works to submit to galleries and finishing illustrating a children's picture book. I'm excited for this new year and feel very blessed. I'm blessed for having a healthy family, good friends, quirky relatives and a home I can have the freedom to express myself in.