This Week’s Focus

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

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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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Friday Wrap Up

Accountability Review, Advice Requested, Art, Pen & Ink

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Here’s how I did with this week’s tasks:

  1. Add images of art in frames to current Etsy listings In progress. This is taking a long time.
  2. Print copies of latest listing to check quality They looked great! *Hint-hint*
  3. Change website portfolio to 3 columns for better visibility on mobile devices
  4. Move the ‘Shop’ page to end of website menu Changed my mind. Not going to do it.
  5. Figure out why the ‘Connect’ page loads slowly and fix it The image size was too large. FIXED IT!
  6. Add a photo to the ‘About’ page Still need to do this. But I need a good photo. And a haircut.
  7. Complete new ink drawing of phone See above. Soon to be in shop.
  8. Start new drawing (another typewriter?) I’ll do it soon. I took photos of vintage typewriters at Portland’s Grand Marketplace. They have pant loads of typewriters. 
  9. Write three blog posts
  10. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook

 

Good things that happened:

I’ve got a new commission to create an illustration/ t-shirt design for a general contractor. It’ll be a fun project. And it pays! Although, I’m still trying to figure out how to price this type of work. In spite of a vast number of internet articles on the subject, pricing still feels like a mystery.

I requested and was accepted to become a contributor for the Portland Urban Sketchers blog. And made my first post! Now I have to make a point of Urban Sketching at least once a month. This is a commitment I am very pleased to have made.

I met up last Thursday evening with a weekly drink & draw/craft group. It was fun and I will be going again. They were cool people who were not that hard to talk to- even for me. Well, the drinking helps.

Things I learned:

It’s not as hard to meet new people as I’ve always thought. Maybe it’s Portland, but maybe I’ve just never tried hard enough. Even introverts need some level of social interaction. And all the insecurities that come with being around “new people” are  nonsense. In a good mood, I’m willing to flush them all down the toilet forever.

 

+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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Strategery.

Art, Taking Charge, Vision

 

It’s real simple. Set goals, decide on tasks, do tasks, achieve goals.

I recently bought Lisa Congdon’s book, Art Inc. and read it cover to cover. I’ll say it was inspiring and informative and the reason I am writing this now. I read this in her book, and many other places too: You want to succeed? You must commit. Set goals, decide on tasks, carry them out, whittle big, scary goals down to do-able pieces of work. It’s logical and not particularly innovative, but making a plan can be a significant hurdle. Trying is hard and the fear of failure is paralyzing. If you don’t plan, you avoid taking the first step into the unknown. So, here goes the left foot…

Vision: Create a viable art career for myself.

Specific short-term goals:

  1. Create a website by end of January (done!)
  2. Enter local craft show by March
  3. Get showing of my art in local public place by April
  4. Make $250 in Etsy sales per month in March – May
  5. Get 3 freelance illustration jobs by September

A goal made it onto the list if it was SMART.

  • Specific – Identify the who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Measurable – Can you easily determine when it has been achieved?
  • Attainable- Is it possible?
  • Realistic – Can I do it, considering my other obligations?*
  • Timely – Set a due date.

I have so many tasks I won’t list them. Instead, I’ll address them as I go.

… right foot…

 

*At first, Attainable and Realistic seemed the same, but I think there’s an important distinction. Attainability addresses possibility. Many things are attainable: I could travel the world alone for the next 12 months. Realism factors in decisions you’ve already made: I am committed to being a decent, present parent to my two boys. Long term independent travel is not realistic for a mother of small kids.