Mixed Media: Pencil and Watercolor

Art, Pencil, Today's Focus, Watercolor

Trillium_web_lowres

This Week’s Focus: Continue making new art.

Tasks:

  1. Finish Orange Branch painting
  2. Start second watercolor/pencil painting
  3. Write three blog posts
  4. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook

 

In my attempt to become more lucrative with my art I’ve been thinking about what qualities of my art I consider to be successful versus the qualities that other people seem to “like”. There is a disconnect but I’ve noticed a pattern. My research is based solely on Instagram, Facebook and Etsy popularity of my own stuff, which is surely problematic for a number of reasons. But I’ve found that most things people like are bold and colorful. I feel weakest with watercolor so naturally, I hate most of my watercolors. I tend to like my pencil and ink drawings best, because I think I do a better job at realism in those media- and realism, in my mind, equates to good art. Boldly colored graphic art is much more popular these days- and I love other people’s graphic art too, but maybe there is a combination of the two that would be fun and successful. I’m on the lookout for what that might be.

The painting up top is my first attempt. Graphite and watercolor on Arches cold pressed paper. Next up is another similar go with an orange branch on bristol. The trick may be finding a paper suitable for both pencil and watercolor. And how to go about the color.

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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This Week’s Focus

Advice Requested, Art, Pen & Ink, Today's Focus

BWHouse_websq_lowres

This Week’s Focus:

Continue updating Etsy listings and complete commission illustration.

Tasks:

  1. Finish commission watercolor and digital file
  2. Add images of art in frames to current Etsy listings
  3. Edit Etsy listing descriptions
  4. Fix all Etsy tags
  5. Take photo of product packaging for Etsy listings
  6. Make new stickers for orders
  7. Add links between Etsy listings
  8. Take and add photos to the Etsy About page
  9. Add a photo to my website About page
  10. Start new ink drawing
  11. Write three blog posts
  12. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook

I’ve been reading the Etsy Seller’s Handbook articles and I’ve realized that the tags for almost all my listings are completely wrong. That anyone has ever found a single one of my items is a sheer miracle. I suppose it helps that I have a few items that are obscure enough that no one else has one. So, when someone searched for “Cholula,” for example, mine is the only one that came up. But I need to fix the rest of them STAT.

There is a lot to do this week. And the kids are both sick, so there’s a reasonable chance I’ll be sick any minute. I’m not counting on this week being very productive. On the other hand, there is a lot more TV watching when these boys are too sick to play.

 

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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This Week’s Focus & Scheduling Time to Work

Advice Requested, Pen & Ink, Subject of Thought, Today's Focus

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This Week’s Focus:

Improve the overall appearance of my Etsy listings and make minor improvements to website.

Tasks:

  1. Add images of art in frames to current Etsy listings
  2. Print copies of latest listing to check quality
  3. Change website portfolio to 3 columns for better visibility on mobile devices
  4. Move the ‘Shop’ page to end of website menu
  5. Figure out why the ‘Connect’ page loads slowly and fix it
  6. Add a photo to the ‘About’ page
  7. Complete new ink drawing of phone
  8. Start new drawing (another typewriter?)
  9. Write three blog posts
  10. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook

Subject of Thought: Scheduling time to work

I get up every morning about 6:30 by one or both of my kids jumping on my head. It is then a flurry of food, clothes, crying, playing, crying, leaving for errands, more food, and more crying. About 1pm- a break! One boy naps, the other watches some tv on the iPad. I’ve got 1+ hour. Ok, 2hrs. 2.5. (I hate to admit how much tv my 4 year old watches, but, fine I’ll be honest. It’s mostly quality pbs kids…)  I eat lunch then do some of the items on my list. I can get a good chunk of computer work done at this time. Then, the napper wakes, and it’s another flurry of crying, food, and playing followed by the most stressful of flurries, which is dinner/bedtime. After that I can begin my artwork day. At around 7:30pm.

In my planner, I’ve written out my ideal schedule for each day:

  • 20 -30 minutes reviewing today’s plan and considering/ creating tomorrow’s plan
  • 1-2 hours making new art
  • 1-2 hours completing other tasks (mostly computer work)
  • Create a blog post each MWF

So, figure I get about 1.5 hrs of computer work done during nap/tv time. Then from 7:30 to 8, I plan, then from 8- 10 I can make art. This is do-able. Though, I admit, lately I find myself staying up until 12. And doing much more computer time than 2 hrs per day. In any case, the schedule seems reasonable and sustainable.

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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Organizing & Planning for Action

Advice Requested, Pen & Ink, Subject of Thought, Taking Charge, Today's Focus

I’ve had many failed attempts at keeping journals, but the journals with the longest successes have been fill-in types. To maximize my success here, my blog posts are going to be laid out like a fill-in journal with prompts. I’ll type in a statement of the week and day’s focus, followed by a list of current tasks, and a quick progress report. After I get the important facts laid out, I’ll go into a subject of thought. I will not guarantee relevance.

This layout reminds me of Bridget Jones’ diary… Except there will be no accounting of my weight, alcohol units consumed, or fags smoked. Definitely no romance. And less self-hating. I hope. But the important stats will be logged. So in that way, similar.

Here’s the first:

BrushesSquare

This Week’s Focus: Finalize website, restart blog and work on art

Today’s Focus: Write a blog post that explains what I am doing here

Tasks:

  1. Decide what I am doing here
  2. Decide how to organize these blog posts
  3. Write this blog post
  4. Upload something new to Instagram
  5. Work on a drawing of a vintage phone

Progress: 3 of 5 tasks complete.

Subject of Thought: Organizing & Planning for Action

I needed a tool for organizing goals and tasks in this endeavour. Something more robust than scribbled to-do lists on Steno pads. I searched the internet high and low for goal organizing apps, calendar apps, and planner apps. I even downloaded no less than 3 and spent a good 20 minutes each filling in all my plans, only to find them unusable and/or unfree. Then, I came across Passion Planner and realized all I really need is a good old-fashioned, very well-designed, physical weekly planner. Free downloads = radical.

After spending several hours with my new planner, I began looking at a book I checked out from the library: The Artist’s Guide: How to make a living doing what you love by Jackie Battenfield. It devotes a whole chapter to identifying goals and task planning. I’m quite pleased that I JUST did this. Pretty much exactly as she details it in her book. Sweet validation!

 

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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