I have been working on a new series of paintings that explores balance and joy in an abstract way. Painting emotion is so abstract and can’t always be fully explained in the title of the piece. There is also that underlying overthinking that happens where I worry about deviating from my past work, knowing that growth and change is good but where do I start? I start now by blocking out the questioning thoughts and the what if’s by simply doing and having faith. That being said, I have ideas pouring out of my imagination so fast since I let go and stopped worrying. Having my sketchbook with me has been imperative, and it makes me wish I stopped caring about what other people and critics may think a lot sooner.
Art festivals are always exciting and panic attack inducing times! I say panic attack inducing thanks to a crazy dream (or nightmare, depending on how you look at it) that involved me running around Bend like a crazy person because I left half of my supplies, fixtures and art at home and home is 3 hours away. Nothing went right, shelves broke and art disappeared, and I had 10 helpers but no real help. I woke up absolutely terrified that it actually happened and jumped out of bed to make my giant to do list for the festival this weekend in Bend, Oregon. Enter coffee, Pandora music, and food!
Thankfully, I try to stay pretty organized and keep a lot of my art show/festival supplies together and well stocked. I made labels, ordered an updated promotional sign for my booth, shared the event on various social media outlets, and took inventory of my paintings, drawings, and prints. The rest of the week is all about creating some fresh drawings and maybe a few more paintings to round out my collection for the weekend. After checking several more things off of my to do list, I feel less anxious about the coming weekend. The only major thing I have left to do is to spray paint some wood for some fixtures my amazing husband is helping me build! I wanted to create a nice way to display prints and drawings without having to just have baskets full of prints to flip through (even though that’s one of my favorite things to do as a customer). I’ll post photos after the festival!
Honestly I think I’ve done pretty well so far considering I only found out a week and a half ago that I was accepted into the festival. What’s your routine in preparing for a big art event? Do you ensure you are stocked up throughout the year? Or do you enjoy to pressure to create work in a short amount of time? I like having prints ready and plenty of paintings for sale, but I also like coming up with fresh paintings right before an event, especially when I have the luxury of working from home and getting into a creative zone.
This first week of working full time as an artist from home has been wonderful and refreshing. I am constantly figuring out new ways to stay organized and focused. I created a daily log that assigns chunks of time to certain tasks based on an overarching goal or focus for the week. This week I have been working on making new jewelry, listing the items on Etsy and promoting them on social media. While it’s tempting to work on a little bit of everything in one day, I am much more productive when I have a goal in mind that I can break down into tasks.
Social media distraction is a big on for me. On my laptop I have a Google Chrome window open with several tabs available-for email, my Etsy shops, Instagram, Pinterest for pinning inspiration and my website to check stats every now and then. I had to create a rule not to check Facebook (unless sharing my work) or my non-business email unless I’m on my lunch or done for the day and I’m relaxing after dinner. I also don’t allow myself to surf the web or check news sites while working. While this was an easier task when I had a full time job to report to, it has proven to be a time sucker for me and I had to create boundaries. I get distracted enough just being an artist, thinking of various projects and ideas to act on, I don’t need any extra derailments!
Distractions aside, I have been productive in creating more jewelry. Check out my Etsy Shop-https://goo.gl/sDObTw.
Is being connected constantly a struggle for you, whether or not you are an artist or designer? This is why this week has been so refreshing-the fact that I’m a little less connected throughout the day to my phone and the internet.
I’m doing it! I’m leaving my full-time job, taking a risk and working on my art and design projects full time! I thought I would be happy at a more creative retail job, and I found that I wasn’t. The steady paycheck will be missed, but being able to make art and design jewelry and textiles on my own terms will be exhilarating and satisfying!
Tweaking my business plan has been hilarious but worthwhile. I started my business plan when I was in high school, making business cards and flyers for friends and family. As my client list grew and my goals changed, so did the plan. I say that it has been hilarious because of how naive some of my writing sounds from that time, over a decade ago! The plan looks a lot more streamlined now, with a defined outlook, accurate monetary goals and a more realistic tone. While it’s great to have that enthusiasm of just starting out and taking on the world, one art commission or graphic design project at a time, it’s also great to have time to live your life and figure out exactly what you want from it.
I’ve grown a lot, and while I still want to take on various business ventures, I want to be able to be an example that as a creator, you don’t have to choose just ONE thing. I don’t have to focus on solely being a painter, or jewelry designer, or textile designer. I can be all 3! Being organized is key, and while that seems obvious, it’s easy to get derailed and immerse yourself in one medium, letting your other potential revenue streams fall by the wayside.
It’s a work in progress, my the picture is getting clearer and I’m so ecstatic that things are finally coming together for my lifelong dream. I’m a full-time artist!
My creative flow has been on point the past few weeks. I’ve been able to capture fleeting ideas and striking moments of inspiration before they are gone, and my hands have been busy! I’ve been on the search for simple but striking longer necklaces, and I haven’t really found anything that grabbed me. Playing with lightweight wooden beads and larger gemstone pieces has been satisfying and successful. Once I get in that rhythm it’s hard to stop. I’m very excited for what is in store! My Etsy shop will be updated with newer pieces as well.
As an artist, or any other entrepreneurial business for that matter, updating and refreshing social media accounts is time consuming. Curating my accounts is something that I have gotten better at with time and practice. Along with this, I came to the conclusion that I had to create a separate Instagram account dedicated to my art. I still share my art and creations on my personal Instagram page, but it’s a more clean, deliberate aesthetic on my dedicated account.
That being said, check out my dedicated Instagram account for my art, @art.by.marjorie
I hope to create a page that really shows my aesthetic and how my brain works through those perfectly square snapshots.
I have been able to take a week off from work, and it has been so productive! I’ve updated social media accounts, I’m posting to this blog, I’ve cleaned up my art room, and I’ve already sketched out some great ideas that have been percolating for a while. A trip to the beautiful Oregon Coast helped immensely as well! My husband and I got lucky and had a day of sunshine on Saturday, so walking by the ocean was warm and invigorating. We visited all the little galleries we hadn’t yet been to in Astoria, Cannon Beach and Manzanita, and it was all so inspiring. It was a much needed trip.
I’m looking forward to sharing more with you as my works in progress take shape! More paintings and maybe a coloring book are in the future:)
So I have some great news-I was accepted to sell my wares on Amazon Handmade! This is pretty exciting, just being affiliated with Amazon.com is awesome, and having access to a larger customer base is so amazing! I’m really, really stoked to share this with everyone and to spread bright art around the world.
I’ve started out with my fine art prints of my acrylic paintings, hopefully before the season is over I’ll be able to include more paintings, drawings, and posters of my work. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement, and for sharing art!
P.S. Look below!
Marjorie Henderson Art & Designs
Painter and Designer of Much in Oregon
I grew up in Alaska so I am always inspired by the bold colors of the landscape and the grandeur of of the wildlife and mountains. I’m a kid at heart and am inspired by illustrated children’s books!