Ch-ch-ch-changes

Hello again.

I’m writing another post! Go, me! It’s been a busy few months, and I haven’t done much reflection time on the events.

My niece visited in May for three weeks, and it was beautiful and difficult all at the same time. She arrived and we didn’t know each other very well, but almost immediately became friends. There were times we were sisters, there were times I felt like a mother (in the best ways), and there were overlaps in pop culture that I didn’t expect. I was genuinely broken-hearted when I hugged her goodbye at the airport. We Snapchat and WhatsApp irregularly to stay in touch.

I had my second solo exhibition of art last month. So, after the whirlwind of showing my niece around (which included a quick trip to Spain), I feverishly prepared and hung an exhibition of many of my works on paper. The framing was expensive, rave reviews and comments did not transfer into many sales, and so I expect that I will not break even. It was worth it, certainly, but I am ever more aware that the best place for my sales is through my own channels online. That’s where my focus will be, unless a real opportunity arises that makes my return on investment less futile.

Saying that, I am going to be putting a large amount of my work “on sale” in an effort to reduce stock. I am moving house, you see, and with that comes the moving of inventory that needs to be on the walls of homes and businesses, not catalogued in a back room here. A back room that needs packed and moved when I move house. So, I’m looking at August being a big push month for getting more of my work in hands other than my own. It’s going to take a lot of work to pull this off, as my shop site is not half of what I want it to be, but I’ll get it done. The distractions of May and June are over, and so I have much more time to focus on where my return on investment (business wise) can make the biggest difference.

I didn’t release a video class last month, due to all the goings-on of May and June, and so on the transition of June to July, around 4:30am GMT, I published a new class on watercolour drills. I just looked at the stats for the last 12 days and WHOA they’re pretty good. Reviews are good. Potential earnings are looking to be the best I’ve ever had as a teacher. This is thrilling, and gives me hope. My last blog post was about the chaos of being pulled in so many directions and now I can see, with a month and a half between posts, that I’m making positive traction. Go, me!

My focus is now this:
Make and sell my own work.
Teach online.
Teach in my studio (with a view to reducing that).

I am beginning to shift the balance back to a life I want to live. A life I am in control of, not in constant reaction to external demands. This is going to impact my mental health and personal relationships in such a big way. It already is.

Oh, and I went paddle boarding a couple times recently. Allowing myself to have guilt-free fun is something that I’m relearning. I got into a vicious mindset where because my earnings were not what I needed/wanted that I refused myself pleasures. I would either work at full throttle or spin out with anxiety and/or depression. I was physically nauseous going paddle boarding for the first time since last year because it felt so selfish. Pete was suffering a terrible depression, has no real pleasures of his own, and there I was pulling on a wetsuit and hitting the water while he was in such a terrible place. The thing is, you have to do things for yourself, no matter what, because that keeps you going. Getting out there was the hardest thing I’ve done in a very long time. No regrets though. Not one. We all have to find our ways, and Pete will find his. I can’t live in anxious guilt because I want to do something for me. And for the record: it’s all in my head. Pete is always, always supportive, to the point where he was actually putting the air in my paddle board, despite having a crushingly bad day. I am beyond grateful for the support.

And so, I’m about to receive another private tuition student and it’s time to prep the studio for her arrival. Perhaps I’ll write again soon, as I still have so much I haven’t said…