“I read the news today, boy
About a lucky man who made the grade”
There is a false sense of security one can wrap themselves in when accolades start coming your way. This year has been very good to me in the awards department. I pulled in $1650.00 in prize money in three out of four juried shows I attended.
Make no mistake, winning awards is great, they are confidence builders and nice annotations to the art resume. They don’t equate to sales; 2012 was far better for me. I think of what new paintings I had showing compared to last year: only four small 5″ x 7″ marble paintings and one 5″ x 7″ fruit. The latter was only on display for my last show in Lincoln Illinois. Ultimately I feel my booth presentation improvements have helped considerably. It’s a bit easier to spruce up a tent than it is to churn out 20 new paintings. Consistency and uniformity in frames, mat quality and cutting as well as professional signage are all important elements to having a good both presentation. Yes the art is what matters most. I feel as if I am riding on the coat tails of my older paintings. Why? Let me explain.
Working a full time day job sometimes makes painting after hours seem like a second job. Often I get home and simply don’t feel like painting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to paint, I just don’t feel motivated to start after working all day. Ever feel like that? Yes I know, the picture isn’t going to paint itself, you’re right. I want to paint but I simply don’t start. I’m sure there is some pill for that.
Don’t let me fool you, I don’t dig ditches, throw trash or haul bricks all day. I don’t even walk uphill to work. Quite the opposite actually. Rather I sit on my ass in a shared office, doing a tech job that isn’t very fulfilling. It’s a paycheck; a good one, but one that I do because I must. I am one of those guys who works to live, not vice versa. I wish I liked my job, but I don’t.
Ultimately my art must be able to completely replace my 9-5 income, before I quit my daily grind. I guess that’s my dream, to wake up being my own boss, and yes, get paid for it. Sounds ambitious right? Perhaps, but who wants to work a long day and not get paid? Wouldn’t you rather do something you love to do and make good money at it? Isn’t that the dream, getting paid doing what you love.
Staying motivated is the key. Having discipline to work regardless of motivation is the answer. Regardless of talent hard work is the difference between success and failure. There are no less than 20-30 paintings in my head that are worth painting. How long is it going to take? I don’t know, but none of them will get finished unless I get my butt in front of my stretched paper and start. I have to make the grade, by my standards. I’m lucky to have accomplished what I have since taking up the brush back in 2006. Right now I feel like my output is sitting at a D. So I’ll leave you with a bullet point list of helpful thoughts.
- Paint at least two hours a night, five days a week
- Sketch Daily
- Blog twice a week
- Start using a art calendar
- Read more art related material
- Have short term, mid term and long term goals written out
- Take a workshop from another artist
- Open my Amazon store front
- Sync my FB/Blog and website with updates
- Get my website redesigned using a WordPress theme
- Daily Painter
- Seek out quality galleries