There is so much to consider:
- the art itself
- the virtually limitless markets to consider
- trends - color, style, theme, etc.
- business - to go it alone, or try to get an agent
- marketing - the shows! the leads! the methods!
I found out that there is a business (art licensing) that goes with my main addiction (creativity), and just like any five-year-old, I am running from case to case, pointing, crying out, "I want one of THOSE, and one of THOSE, and TWO of THOSE, and..." and then stuffing everything into my mind until I'm reeling.
Until yesterday. Yesterday I was so exhausted from my mental binge - newsletters to sign up for, research to do about Surtex and the Atlanta Home Show, agents to check into, and trying to put together artwork to submit last minute (NEVER do that, trust me it's madness) for something that has a Friday deadline - that when I got home I couldn't do the artwork that keeps my creativity humming! And that's not acceptable.
So, time to slow down and just take one step after the other. And here are the centering questions I have come up with which stop the ADD that puts me into unproductive mental tailspins!
(1) Where am I on the artistic path? - I'm needing to put together coherent collections of my artwork so that I can submit patterns and designs. So, enough with the trend-shopping for now, and spend more time on my work.
(2) What do I need? - Money (presumably!) so that I can buy the software, computer and scanner that I need to have to do my best work! So I had better spend some quality time on my Business Plan so that I can hit someone up for some cash, and maybe even find someone who is psyched about my work!
(3) How will I get "there" and how will I know when I am there? - I have no idea about the particulars, but getting "there" has got to include these factors:
(a) FUN - This entire process has GOT to be FUN, because I've spent enough years in cubicles having no fun, and it never got me anywhere successful in terms of making me happy, or even financially solvent, in the long run!
(b) EASE - I am not permitted to kill myself over this. That does not get the big prizes - the big American business messages notwithstanding. Being diligent does not mean being rigidly self-flagellating. Forget it. Done. Over.
(c) EMOTIONAL & BUSINESS INTEGRITY - Not only am I not allowed to kill myself over this, I'm not allowed to let anyone else do it either. I'm not talking about not meeting deadlines - of course you want to satisfy your clients. But my work must be on my schedule more than it is on other peoples' schedules, or else I am trading cubicle slavery for self slavery. Not too smart, I'm thinking. And I will not work with people whose general values do not mesh with mine. For example: I'm not designing anything for nuclear warheads. (See what I mean?)
(d) FINANCIAL SUCCESS - Between Art Licensing and my other true love, Acting, I have got to keep my creative self out of the cubicle world, and I have got to do so with abundant financial success!
And Whatever else has to come, has to come in the flow of that first question: Where am I on the artistic path? Then, I won't try to run in 12 directions at once!
Enjoy your art!