I feel like I haven't sat down and actually created a 'proper' drawing, or worked on a project, in ages. Life, and making a living, has got in the way of that.
Not that I've stopped drawing, I've never drawn as much. And, I'm loving drawing in a different, faster way. I do long, though, to just sit for an entire afternoon or weekend, week even, and just work on a big mega drawing. The kind of thing I can get lost in.
But, I need to capitalise on this time of year. That's the reality, right now. I've finally just begun, after a couple of years of real hardship, to see the wood for the trees and to really start thinking like, and seeing myself as, a professional artist/illustrator. Whatever that is.
And, now, I've forced myself into a situation where I have to make money from this. Which is a good thing. A scary thing, but a good thing.
Before I was just selling online to top up my wage, now my wage tops up my selling online. The balance has shifted. And, I'm no longer just selling online, recently I've been selling offline too.
All of these drawings were made over two days, and two art fairs, last weekend. I've come to realise that I need to sell myself in lots more ways (not like that), to keep a roof over my head.
It's not easy to see your work in those terms; as a saleable product. Well, at least, I don't find it easy. But that is the reality of it.
It's been a long time coming too. I've been talking about it for way too long; taking steps to turn professional. And, it hasn't been the greatest of timing, on my part, in this recent financial climate. But, there's something about the struggle that makes it even more 'rewarding' (that's not the right word, or not the word I'm looking for, but it's late at night and I'm tired).
So, I've been getting my work out there, and, actually, even if it still feels uncomfortable selling me, I couldn't love sharing and talking about my work more.
I'm constantly amazed anyone wants to know.
My plan for 2015 is to get better at all that stuff. The presenting of my work, that is. I've had a practice run this year, but I want to make my 'show' bigger and better. I want it to be a visual treat, to compliment my sketchbooks.
I want to make lots more lovely creative products that show off my drawings. And, I want to get out there, further afield, and meet and share them with more people.
And, I want more adventures. So that when I finally get back home,
to sit and draw, I'll bring all that I've learnt and seen back to my work. And make it richer than ever.
Looking forward to the New Year already.
I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. Absolutely none. I'm glad it ended on such a positive note. I think I've inspired myself!
Recently, on Facebook, I asked the question "does anyone use Flickr anymore?" I asked because I was, kind of, toying with the idea of deleting my old Flickr account. I hadn't used it in about a year. It felt like a chore to post on there, or I'd just forget - Flickr seems so isolated from those other platforms. I've also had a lot of my work stolen from Flickr (my own fault, in the old days I had no idea about resizing my images for the web). Plus, I thought it was about time I started a Facebook Page as I hear that's a great marketing/promotion tool. I just felt I was spreading myself too thin. So, I asked the question.
The response was huge.
It seems that I'm not the only one who's been posting less on Flickr these days, if at all. But there are still some people hanging out there. Some folk said they didn't like the new (not so new, now) Flickr layout. Some said that it was still the best platform to view and host visual work. A lot of people felt that these days they used Facebook and Instagram more. There were lots of pros and cons. I was swayed, back and fore, by each point made in each comment.
So I went on Flickr to have a look around again. To remind myself of why I loved it SO much back in the day. To reminisce. And, then I started posting again. I downloaded the app to my new phone, which makes it easier to post and view other people's work. But, since then I haven't blogged! Now, I've had an invite to Ello, am still setting up my Facebook Page and have, almost, been convinced to start a Pinterest account.
I'm not sure what the moral of the story is.
Outside of the online world and my online life, I've been spreading myself too thin too. I've been doing all sorts of Art Fairs and Artisan's Markets in this run up to Christmas. Getting out and sharing my sketchbooks, meeting people and promoting my work. Exactly, what I do online then.
I'm still not sure what the moral of this story is.
And, quite frankly, I'm way too tired to work it out. Up early in the morning for a weekend of Christmas markets. As I've recently noticed that my scanner is playing up, and that my scans seem very odd colours, so there's something else I need to replace, alongside my car and my washing machine. So, yeah, keep on going, keep on working, keep the wolf from the door and keep trying to eke out a living out of this art business. Maybe I just need to accept that I'll be spreading myself thin for the foreseeable future. Perhaps that's it.
The drawing at the top of the page is a local art/craft fair that I've taken part in on a few occasions. The guy above is a local character who stopped by to look at our sketchbooks and buy my book. He is in the top drawing too, can you spot him?