After all these years I have finally set up an official email list. This fall I will be celebrating 12 years of being in my art studio. I will be giving away FREE art every month, and offering a SALE with FREE shipping. So if you want to receive my newsletter with new work announcements, exciting news, and help me celebrate my anniversary, please sign up! (Don’t worry I won’t send more than 6-10 per year)
Lets face it: I’m an artist, I know I can be a TOTAL flake at times. Most creative people I know can be that way. It is hard to balance your creativity, personal life, home, and business. I tend to get hyper focused on my work and ignore many details in the real world (like sleep.) I just have too many ideas swirling around in my head. (I used to be worse – but am sooo much better now thanks to ADD meds.) So, as a creative business person I have to try extra hard; take every precaution and steps to stay organized and ensure I stay on task (some people can hire others for this.) I also get migraines, and have had family stress – and it seems like I’m extra forgetful when those occurrences arise. I have three TO-DO lists. One for home (like call landscapers, replace outdoor light fixture, etc,) one for studio/art business (commissions, show deadlines, order business cards, etc,) one for personal stuff (like do taxes, doctors appointments, etc). If I don’t write it down I will forget. If I don’t put it on my calendar I will forget. And even then, I may still forget. The other day, I even had to write “take a bath” on my daily to-do list – just so I would not dick around too long in the morning. My BF was laughing his ass off.
We all make mistakes in life, but it is up to you to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them.
For a few years I was traveling back and forth to NYC so much, and recently to San Antonio, TX to spend time with my Mother. In order to do so, I really had to use my time wisely while I was in the Florida studio. Every moment was spoken for, in order to adhere to my deadlines. I don’t have too much wiggle room in my schedule. There were so many late nights and early mornings that my days were running together. Let’s face it – I work my ass off. In fact, I think I may have already written a blog post about this very same topic – but forgot.
That being said, it seems like in the last year or two I have had sooo many problems with people (not just one, but several) I have worked with professionally (or potentially worked with) – and they have serious problems returning phone calls or emails in a timely manner (or even at all.) And I’m not talking about a day or two later – but 2 weeks later or more (or never) – long enough that I either forgot that I contacted them in the first place, or I had to follow-up a few times. If it were an isolated incident – that would be forgivable, as you never know what is going on in people’s lives. But seriously, I know everyone is busy, and it is not all about me, but I can’t help but feel a bit taken for granted, taken advantage of, and/or that my time has been disregarded – especially since most of these people are repeat offenders. As I am not the only artist in your life, YOU are not my only client. However, I do NOT make you feel like that. It is called professionalism.
Buying art is such an emotional process for people – which is why I put up with so much (frustrating) indecisiveness. I have to be patient, positive, and encouraging, and remember this is a HUGE deal for some people. I work with some people who are buying their first piece of original art – and they need to feel like they are making the right decision, because it may be a lot of money to let go of. I am often expected to keep impossible install dates – and I end up staying up long nights for weeks on end – putting a rush on your project; then slap on a smile and some extra heavy-duty concealer when I deliver the work so you don’t think I’m a meth addict. I can get past all that, because while I complain – deadlines, and challenges are all about being in business. They make things interesting, cause you to grow, learn from your mistakes, think fast, and trouble shoot. However, some people can’t be bothered to pay artists on time, get important details to the artists before the project begins, answer questions, or respond to price quotes. That is the part of business I hate. For some reason, they don’t get the fact that if I have one kink in my schedule it can throw the whole project off and impact successive projects. I then have to do things the long, hard way to overcompensate in order to still meet deadlines. And then it starts to become a vicious cycle: I’m sleep deprived, I become forgetful, and I slack off at home, and personal life…. I have really learned that if I overcommit, and am not properly compensated for it, then I tend to get angry and resentful; and who wants to work that way? And I have no one but myself to blame.
Really, I hate to even complain. In the grand scheme of things this is the most trivial bit of drivel I have ever written in my entire life! I even started to make myself want to vomit. I’m mean – I realize I am not saving lives or anything, and this is a first-world problem. I should be thankful that I have any work at all. In an essence, am selling non-essential luxury items to people. And believe me I am EXTREMELY thankful!
These days, we have about 6 ways to communicate with each other on a daily basis (in person, by phone, text, email, computer chat, mail), in an age of smart phones, and iPads. We constantly know what is going on in the world, yet we are still communicatively crippled. Go figure.
If you want to read a new book about a retired NYC financial executive who meets an artist on an island and they fall in lurrrve…
Oh, and they each have a Chihuahua. And the dogs dig each other too…
(I illustrated the cover)
When you have a book on Amazon, there is a little thing at the bottom of the “Product Details” that states your ranking, like this:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,216,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
So, for shits and giggles I clicked on the top 100 books. Hillary Clinton’s new book is in the top 20. No surprise there, she has lots of fans – but the real shocker is that she barely has a two star rating for a top 20 book (out of 1000+ reviews.) And those are from people who actually like her – because you know that no self-respecting Republican will buy that book (at least new) and put money in her pocket. I almost felt sorry for her. The consensus is that it was long, boring, cold/superficial/safe, lacking substance, and ghost written. Most people were disappointed that it was lacking in candor, and honesty….
New small paintings on paper are in the shop!
These paintings are very personal to me: They were created when I was spending time in San Antonio, TX as my Mother was dying from Cancer. I would hole up in the guest room at night and watch bad reality television and paint away trying to clear my mind, yet stay busy.
They are on 140lb acid free paper with a smooth vellum finish. They come temporarily mounted on a 16×20 white backer board and protected in a plastic sleeve – ready for you to pop in a frame of your choice.
I FINALLY got a few photographed. I still have many more to finish up and flatten – but there is a learning curve with water media on paper – and the whole flattening part. It was taking so long for these few to flatten and dry, I thought they were going to mold. But now I think I have a better plan. I will be adding much more in the next month, so stay tuned.
So I forgot exactly how it came up in conversation – but apparently I need to work on being “more charming.” Whatever that means. Actually, I think part of my charm is that I am NOT charming in the traditional sense – but it has been brought to my attention that I am in the minority.
At home I am charming (I think:) I sing off key, make up songs and jingles about nonsense, and have a hopeless dance move for everything. I can certainly amuse myself, and a celebrity in my mind. In general, I consider myself a blessed, lucky, joyous, and happy person; I find humor in every situation, especially if it is inappropriate – and think I do OK. Plus, my dogs think I’m absolutely amazing!
When I talk about my art, or sell art, or jewelry, I attempt to be patient, informative, and engaging. It actually comes naturally. I’m not even being fake.
However, when I am out in public, working out or running errands and such – I tend to zone out and tune out; You see, we live in a world of sensory overload and sometimes I just prefer to be left alone, and “turn off” when the world does not really expect something from me. I’m just an introverted and introspective kind of gal. For example, I was at Target the other day and the cashier asks me if I am having a party because I was buying 30-40 place mats on clearance – I smile and tell her “No. I’m using them for something else….not food related.” (word count 10.) I hate to be vague, but who the F cares? “Mind your own business – you nosy hag” is what I really wanted to say – but did not. And the fact that I did not say that out loud, meant that I was actually attempting to be polite, in my own mind. But here is the reality: “I am buying these mismatched plastic placemats because I have several gouache paintings on paper that I need to flatten out in order to have photographed, then place in plastic sleeves, and then mail off to a gallery in Atlanta.” (word count 42 versus 10.) And I can already tell she has no idea what gouache is and why they need to be flattened – which would then involve further verbal engagement, and I don’t really even want to talk about the fact that I’m an artist at the moment. So I prejudge the situation and decide to keep it brief.
But apparently that was rude (I was told.)
The bottom line is that I LOATHE small talk, and I try and avoid it at all costs. And unfortunately there are some people that I encounter weekly that just drone on and on about complete and utter nonsense. I hate it. I don’t give a crap about every trivial detail in peoples lives, and maybe I’m wrong, but I certainly don’t think others need to know every detail about mine either. I have this amazing ability to tune out certain people when they are chatting with me. Like mentally compose a grocery list as they are telling me about their cable/internet problem, or the hole in their roof. It is not that I think I am above the checkout girl at Target – but it is important energy I would rather be using toward something else. That is weird (I know) – but I just hate it. If I pretend like I give a crap, then I am being fake, and then I hate that about myself. See – I think about these things. I just like to keep it real.
When I use to have two cats, I would buy cat food in bulk. I don’t know how many times the checkout person would ask me if I had a bunch of cats. “No, I just don’t have time to go to the grocery store very often” (also another “mind your own business moment.”) Maybe I just have an aversion to checkout girls? Who knows. Something to ponder.
But I “would probably sell more art if I was more charming and friendly.” Because appearantly charming, and pretty people are more successful. Point noted. So, I’m consciously working on being “charming” and friendly this week (I’ll let you know how it goes.) But in the meanwhile, I’m also working on these: