Happy New Year! As we meander through the month of January, it’s been prime time for some annual reflection and recalibration. Balance and progress. That’s what this post is about today. It’s a long one, but hopefully, you can all sort of relate.
I’ve been making decisions about what I’d like to accomplish both creatively and personally this year. Also, how to reach those goals most efficiently. It feels like using my time and energy on too many different projects is the quickest way to lose both passion and motivation. And my time and energy are absolutely limited. Art is still my side gig, after all. So, starting now, and moving into February and the rest of the year here is what I am doing, not doing, researching, learning, etc…
I am currently finishing the quilt commissions I have already promised. After they are completed, I will not be taking any new commissions. Smaller, more manageable sewing projects will still go up on my Etsy site, but any quilting will be solely done for my enjoyment. I will reevaluate that choice in December 2020.
Regarding Etsy, is it really the best platform for me to be using? Recent changes in their policies have not really been in makers’ favor. Also, there are thousands of other artists on there. Are my pieces getting seen enough, and is there a way to give them more positive exposure than how I am doing things now (in an economical way)?
Painting will get a larger portion of my time for at least the next six months. I’ve begun teaching acrylic pouring workshops locally, and I am truly enjoying it! More classes are in the works, and the current goal is to do 2 workshops a month. Also related to the painting, I am seriously considering doing some craft shows and festivals this Spring and Summer. A fellow artist very generously shared a list with me of the most profitable local fairs she vends at. To do this, I would absolutely need the help of my husband, since my limited experience says this is a two-person job. But the first fair we did back in November went smoothly, all things considered, and it was really nice to spend the day with the hubs. So, we need to calculate if it is worth the cost of entry fees, travel, set-up expenses, etc.
Collaborations – 2020 is a year for networking and collaboration. Time to meet and work with other artists in my and similar fields! I feel this is helpful both from a standpoint of continual learning, and getting new inspiration. There are some big things already in the works in this department, to be announced soon. 🙂
Also, is affordable studio space a real thing, or more like a unicorn? Hubby and I just signed our apartment rental agreement for another year, which means I still do not have a dedicated work area. Ugh! I do not want to stop creating, but let’s be honest here, my creative messes are taking over our home. And all of our closets! Is it worth renting studio space until we find a new home? Is an affordable option even available in our town? It would probably be a big strain on our little budget. But it would give me a space to do pottery again, in addition to painting. Having more pieces sold would certainly help make it a viable consideration. Which leads me to…
Marketing. I am slowly getting more comfortable with fairly but accurately pricing my pieces, and have had several sales in the past few months. But I need to learn how to market myself, in the true business sense of the word. Because I would like to see the sales become more regular and build up a client base. How to best learn that? Seminars? Skillshare classes? I’m not sure yet, but it is definitely necessary. Especially since I do not want to go the route of starting a YouTube channel.
And lastly, travel! The husband and I are taking a trip next month overseas. We will be celebrating his birthday and our wedding anniversary. Also, hopefully being inspired by a place neither of us has been to before. Of course, there will be photos. 🙂 But, if we can manage it, that is not the only trip I would like to take in 2020. We will see if time, work, and budget allow. There’s so much in the world to see, and so many different and interesting people to meet!
Whew! If you have hung in long enough to read this whole thing, congratulations and thank you! I will leave you with photos of some of my recent projects below.
Best wishes to all of you, my dear readers, and good luck in fulfilling your dreams. Let’s all rock this year!