December 28, 2013

2013 in Review

I got this idea from another fellow artist.  It's a good way to look back, to see where I have come from and where I am going to!

I started off the year with a bang joining Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge (which I am about to do again!)  but I got caught in people pleasing mode and let what I thought I heard people saying dictate what I was painting!  That's a big creative killer and no no!

Right on top of that I painted for the CoBACH center's art show!  My very very first one since I graduated high school!  That was a BIG deal!  So big I had a panic attack and had to lay low for a week after the artists reception hahahaha!  Oh well, I did find out I do NOT like public things like this.  And that's ok!  I challenged myself, did something new, painted my best, learned what it was like to hang a show and fulfilled a lifelong goal!  Wipe that off my bucket list!

After this I was tired so I took Leslie Saeta's Art Marketing course!  YAY!  I learned so much but it was not relaxing lol!  Meanwhile my main website which I had just made perfect and all pretty crashed with a virus and I did not know enough about Wordpress to keep this from happening again so I joined Fine Art Studio Online to get up and running!  Thanks to Leslie's class I was able to get that going very fast!

Ok by this time I really just needed to take care of myself and I did some intense introspection and self care.  I did learn that I needed to feed my creative side and I went a little long!  I burned myself out!  So time out!

Summer was a whirlwind! My oldest son David graduated!  YAY!  Which was HUGE and emotional since in 2009 he was supposed to have died right around Christmas!  But the doctor's were wrong!  YAY FOR US!  Then we had a nice relaxing vacation up north in Michigan and came down to a flurry of activity getting ready for Dave's graduation party/pig roast!  This is one way to get your house in shape if you have been procrastinating!

Whew!

After this I had time to get excited about painting again!  I recharged and got ready for Leslie's 30 in 30 challenge for September!  I learned something there also!  Bad idea for those of us with kids starting school!  And then I got a virus, so I was down and out.... but I got a couple good paintings in there!

When I started to feel better some friends suggested I learn how to paint with alcohol inks!  WOW!  That kick started my enthusiasm again!  I immediately jumped in with both feet!  Beautiful and vibrant and different!  Just what I needed to loosen up!

Suddenly I had some doors open to me that were not available before and I, of course, walked through them!  I set up at a show in someones house, that was not so bad.  Then I set up at a craft show at a big advertising agency!  Wrong move, wrong venue for art.  Oh well, I learned  also!  Lot's of learning going on here!

Then I had a chance meanwhile to rent a space in "The Scented Bean" to sell my works.  I pictured, small works, framed inks, greeting cards, etc!  My greeting cards do well there!  I am still experimenting what will go well there.  It was a big change of thinking to get my art ready for retail in a store compared to online!  I worked very, very hard there for a month!  I really needed a break!

That led me into "The Christmas Season"!  I found out that honestly, I prefer to focus on family and not selling at this season, and that's ok, so I did!  And it's been wonderful and refreshing!

All in all I estimate I painted 50 paintings and about 50 inks!  That's a busy year!  I don't know how the Daily Painters do it!

Now that I am living my dream of becoming a professional artist it is a lot different than I envisioned and I work a lot harder absolutely!  It takes a lot of work to get your art out there and a lot of failures and successes.  Each one builds upon the other.

I've taken a long look at who I am as a person, who I am and want to be as an artist, where my family is at (I still have teens at home).  I've learned the places I need to balance.  I am a driven person and  I am learning to chill!

The reason I got into art in the first place is because it is literally part of who I am.  I never remember not creating, crafting, sewing, painting, jewelry making!  This professional art thing was supposed to be a place to share my art with the public and offer it up for sale and be legit with the authorities.  I need to get back to that place where I just paint for me and offer it to you.  I got off track and I give myself permission to get back ON track.

My on track  means I might draw, or paint, or craft something.  Creating something my soul needs, something I need as part of my self care.  Creating part of my authentic self to share with the world!