So, the difficult thing of this season was: I was "freed" from my long-term temporary job a week before Thanksgiving. Almost everybody I speak to tells me that I should look at this as an opportunity to really focus on my art. That works for me until I have bills come in - then it takes some effort to keep the faith.
One thing that helps me stay afloat in my boat called I-do-believe-my-efforts-are-working is that my step-at-a-time process is working these days! Licensing isn't happening at the moment, but something else is, and it's amazing! I'm thinking that the purpose of this seeming side-road detour is the opportunity to build my confidence and keep teaching me what I know to be true, but so often forget to remember (if you know what I mean), which is that if it ain't some degree of enjoyable and instructive, forget about it. Some people can push against life and wrestle it to the ground and make it give up its secrets, its money, its successes. Not me, it seems. The harder I push, the less seems to happen. And if you don't think that frustrates me, well, you would be wrong!
So, taking the Humility Path, so to speak, here are the doors that started opening without my even trying!
- An art boutique that features really quality art work, wants to put my work in their store. My cards (and giclees once I figure out how to pull that off). This is cool! Of course, I now have to spend some more money on creating giclees, and buying clear plastic sleeves and clear plastic boxes for the cards, but through that same boutique I'm being asked to join in a large local artisan fair for Valentine's Day too!
- I have a Goddess Art series - four Ladies so far, and I'm working on others as we speak - and suddenly I have been given spirituality- and feminine-oriented bookstores to approach, and an event tomorrow night (!) for a Goddess-oriented (wow!) arts and crafts fair!
- I made $66 at my first arts and crafts fair at the spiritual center community I'm a part of. Okay, Negativista Me says, "$66 is like nothing!" Positivista says, "Hey, that ain't bad for a first time. I dunno, we'll see if doing arts and crafts fairs does anything for me at all. Tomorrow night will be a good test. If I can't make more than that at a place that is made for Goddess artwork, then it will be time to cut my losses, I'm thinking.
- There's a local bookstore that I walked into this afternoon, and they are happy to take my work, and pay me 60% of my charges up front.
- A Reverend wants to have me provide some artwork for his upcoming workshop flyer, and is going to pay me for the work; that's what came out of my efforts at the Entrepreneur Fair last month!
But I'm taking these particular avenues at the same time because these are the doors that are opening in front of me and it is important to me that I walk through every level of this process; from the beginning to the end, the "low" to the "high". It is important because I have made the mistake in the past of trying to swim in the deep end of every business pool, before I have waded into the baby pool, which has netted me no results. I'm willing to try this approach, even though the part of me that really loves deep-sea diving types of efforts is screaming; because it's real. Because I will get there from here.
So, my next plan is to make a list of places to submit my work for art licensing, choose how many submissions to strive for each day, and start working the numbers. It's a numbers game, right? And in the meanwhile, while my confidence and experience grows, I find that the people I'm meeting give me incredible pieces of information, not to mention ideas for new artwork. What a path. What an adventure. And sometimes - let's be honest - what a pain in the neck!
It takes courage to find our own way. It takes patience and persistence to get art licensing going. It takes a passion for art to get us to open every door, knowing that we're on the way there, somehow, and that whoever is touched by our work in any way is a big part of why we do it. All roads lead to Rome, they say; it is wonderful to have your good company along the way, my fellow artists!