Tuesday, October 19, 2010

how to make time to make art

Recently I attended an author friend's book signing. It was a great event, listening to her talk about what it took to get published, to see her story in print, the excitement of promoting her book. An audience member asked her the question, "How do you make time to write". My friend replied that in order to make time to write, you have to be crappy at something. At first that made no sense, then she elaborated.

You see, in order to find time to be creative, you have to stop doing something else. For example, stop cleaning the bathroom, be a crappy co-worker if you have a job, or not pay attention to your pets. Something has to give. So you choose, what are you going to be crappy at today? For me it is cleaning the house. Let the dog hair pile up, let the toilet go unscrubbed, at least I got a drawing done.

I have wrestled with this for years. How to be super mom, how to be super wife, lover and friend. Now I just acknowledge that the stuff around the edges can wait. I don't really care about the dust on my bookshelves right now. I have come to terms with the challenge of what to spend time on. For now it is art. Later when I need a break from creative pursuits, I will sweat an hour or two away and have the cleanest house around.

For now, I am a great artist, and crappy house keeper.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

keeping up

The submissions have been emailed and mailed. The mock-ups are done. Now, keeping up with all the other details. What now?

First things first. Update my site. I know that it is easy to build your website then forget about it. But alas, the beauty of the web is that it is malleable. Websites should be current, and fresh. And although I know this, I often put web updates low on my priority list. But taking the time to go in, put up a few new pictures and post news is a great thing.

Second, taking the time to go visit other blogs pertinent to your industry and write comments. It may not seem like much but it really is a good thing, keeps you current, and lets Google know you are an active participant in your industry. So it may seem like it is nonsense, but spending an hour a week researching, and making comments really does help your business.

Lastly, follow-up emails. All those submissions I sent last week, well it is time to send a little note and make sure they were received. Remind people of my name and generally just be present, perhaps my name will shuffle up through the clutter of other submissions.

These three things aren't all that painful, really. But they often go undone. I have two of three completed, now to send those follow-up emails!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

next steps

I am still riding the high of getting my sample prints but I realize this is just one of many steps required to actually make it as a licensed artist.

Now what?

In the week since I received my sample fabric I have been pouring over websites of manufacturers looking for other places the pattern might sell. Then, I painstakingly applied the design to many products, for example; napkins, trivets, tea towels, and gift bags. Once the art was all in place I created a nicely branded pdf and began the submission process all over again. Now if I didn't enjoy my family, I would've done this months ago, but I actually like having a life, so find myself just now taking this next step. Two packages in the mail, and three email submissions later, I realize I need to make more work, and find more places to submit.

It really is a cycle. A cycle of creating art, mocking it up, researching markets, submitting and promoting. I pretty much suck at the promoting part, so my next big commitment is to make this a higher priority.