It’s as cyclical as the seasons, my interest in doing everything I can to promote my work. Right up until May, I was hustling; creating work, hitting my social networks hard, blogging like mad and many other things to make sure I was getting the word out about my art right up until the Patchwork shows in May.
Without rehashing too much, the shows were a bit of a bust for me. I spent way more money to be there than I made, and if you count all the time and energy to participate, I’m WAY into the red. I know other artists that sell somewhat similar types of products did much better, for whatever reason. My initial instinct is to try and adjust my business model to match the customer, so I experimented with a different type of product, but have had limited success.
In June, I applied to be part of a much bigger show hoping to tap into a different demographic. I didn’t get in. I also applied to be part of Heartsy.com, a group coupon type site specifically for arts and crafts. I didn’t make the cut there either. Combine all that with a desperate need to bring in more revenue, and deep seeded amount of animosity that comes out around Father’s Day each year (a story for another time), and I was headed for a pretty heavy tailspin. I checked out mentally for a little bit. I put in some marginal effort, but didn’t really focus on anything.
The best thing that happened to was my anniversary to my lovely wife. We’re so tight on cash, instead of buying her a gift, I created her a piece of art, which she loves and appreciates more than any piece of jewelry I could buy her. The pieces I had done just prior to that were fun, but nothing that really got me excited. Creating her piece put me in a different mindset, and when I was done, got my creative juices flowing again.
Unfortunately, day job got in the way again as it tends to do on a monthly basis, being a magazine, so I couldn’t capitalize on it as much as I wanted. The July 4th holiday weekend came and all I really wanted at that point was to decompress. I didn’t work on my art at all. Instead, I spent a ton of quality time with my wife and my son, and I didn’t beat myself up about not working on anything.
Now I’m posting up here, I’m checking Facebook and Twitter more, I’m considering new art pieces and things are slowly working their way back to normal. Maybe I’m not doing the art shows, and maybe I’m not getting the promotion I was hoping to from other sites, but I’m enjoying my time right now, and really, that’s why I do the art in the first place, right? I love when people buy my work, but ultimately, I need to be creating for myself and then sharing the best with you.