Hello. It’s been awhile. This site seems to be irregularjen more than regularjen. Blogging for me died off some time ago (through complicated reasons), and yet I think about it a lot. I miss long-form writing and the unapologetic introspection that comes with it. I’d convinced myself that I’m too busy to do this and had nothing to say anyway, but after a morning of being in bed (due to not feeling well) I’m in my studio looking at all the stuff I have to do scattered around me and here I am writing. Hello.
I have been busy lately. Too busy. I haven’t got the balance right and it’s doing things to my mind and body that I don’t like. Thank goodness I’m not doing Open Studios this year because the thought of also having strangers wandering through my house as I prep and frame work for my rapidly approaching exhibition fills me with dread. I would’ve certainly imploded. As it stands, I am near that reaction anyway.
I teach too much, create too little and it’s catching up with me. My recent reason for creating art is to provide examples of how-to things for others, and in the few and far between outbursts of creativity I have for myself, I am so filled with anxiety over being out of creative practice that if I don’t have a glass of wine in me I sit in a paralysed state under my daylight bulbs, flipping through social media whilst anxiously chewing my cuticles to throbbing soreness. I can do that shit for hours. This isn’t sustainable. None of it.
The teaching I do online is rewarding. The teaching I do in the studio is rewarding. That’s the problem. Both bring in decent money. (That too, is rewarding.) But what am I doing? I’m having a big think about shifting the power balance back to what I want as a long-term work/life balance. I need the income and I like teaching, but I have to create some disciplined structure which will allow for my proper creativity to grow again. I have a loose plan forming.
A thing has to be important enough to make change, and when you find that tipping point it’s best not to ignore that opportunity. I can do all the things I want to do, I’m sure of it. Pete has a tattoo in latin that means “I shall find a way or make one,” which fits well with my idea of making change. I’ve been working hard to create sustainable income, but it’s costing me in other ways. I know we all make sacrifices in our work lives, and I am fortunate to be working in art, but I need to find a way to love making art again. I have to. Inveniam viam aut faciam.
Hello there. I’m about to ask for your help with something. Doing this does not come naturally to me – quite the opposite. I like that I have the appearance of having my ducks in a row, can take care of myself, and all that strong individual type stuff, but the truth is, I need a little help right now. This is me being brave and asking.
I’ve put together a crowdfunder campaign to upgrade a major part of my studio: my easel. As I mention on the fundraiser, I make BIG art on BIG canvases and the easels I have are not always able to hold my work. Please help me get the right tool for my job.
I have some unique rewards for pledgers and hope that if you like the art I create, you might consider a contribution to show your support.
Thank you. x
It was a tough start to the day, I had tears, headaches, and felt lost. Then I got a call… Well, Pete got the call because I’d given my new number, but then he called me and said, “Great news!” and so within a few minutes I was ringing an exhibition space. I can’t go into details yet – not till I sign the contract – but I’ve had a meeting with a curator regarding putting together a large, three-week long, solo exhibition of my work. We’ve had the handshake and a contract is on the way. This exhibition of my art will happen between April and May of 2015.
Needless to say, I was feeling better after having peanut butter and jam, but this took me to the clouds. I first pursued the gallery space back in January and was told that August was when the next year of bookings take place; I was told to contact again then. So I did. I emailed and they got back to me right away. They have said they really like my work.
Between January and now I’ve been working really hard on my career. The new website is up and looking great, I became represented by galleries in Marazion and St Ives (that happened in April), and I have had better direct sales than ever before. This exhibition is really the next logical career step and I am thrilled that the work I’m putting into my career is gaining momentum and showing returns.
I don’t make enough money to make a living yet, but I’m on my way. I’m downsizing my studios, living space, and other general spending out of necessity, but the enforced frugality is coming at a good time for my business focus. I aim to trim fat away wherever I can, maximise my earnings, and be able to make this path of mine successful. I may be back to the ramen noodle budget from twenty years ago, but everything else with my work seems to be falling into place.
Fortunately, I like ramen.