A week from tomorrow morning the Draft Horse Classic art show will begin. It's pretty safe to say this is the biggest show I do, and is now 4 days long instead of 3. Every year I have this silly idea that I will magically be ready well ahead of time, so that for the whole week before the show I can just twiddle my thumbs and lounge around..or not. So here it is a week away and I still need to make more original art, get all the prints and cards gathered up (hmm, do I need to order bags or backing? yikes), get all the business stuff ready to go, do signs and labels, figure out the layout, inventory, sign stuff, and all the other stuff I haven't even thought of yet. I get so totally stressed out by these art shows, but it always turns out fine. I think it's just my personality--I'm a worrier. I finally got the credit card processing thing all worked out today, assuming they approve me (fingers crossed). They said they can have the equipment here in time, let's hope so! Hopefully I will (eventually) get enough credit card transactions to make it worthwhile to have bought the equipment. I absolutely hate spending money. Probably even if I had it I'd hate spending it... ;-)
Sometimes it seems like the more work I put into this, the farther behind I get. There must be a point somewhere when I catch up. I don't know what the secret is yet--whether I need to try to get out into galleries, try to do more wholesale stuff, or just raise prices. Ok, well that's a given. When the current illustration job is done (spring 2006?) prices are most definitely going up. I remember saying years ago that I never wanted to be "unavailable" to people who couldn't afford ridiculously expensive art. Heck, I can't afford expensive art! I think I have better grip now on art pricing, and when I see original work with a high price tag (within reason, considering the size and type of artwork), I know what goes into that. Seeing "prints" (reproductions) priced ultra-high though, that just irks me...but my rant on limited editions isn't something I want to get into today. But I think there often isn't a lot of respect for artwork, and I've run into the attitude of "the artist enjoys making the art, so money isn't an issue." Well, money is always an issue! Plenty of people enjoy their jobs but still make a decent living. Not everyone can make [good] art. So why should artists make less money than people who work jobs that "anyone could do"?
Now I know someone will read this and think "oh gosh, she's so depressed." I'm not. Don't think that. Stressing a little perhaps, but that's pretty standard pre-art-show behavior! I've just been thinking a lot about what's next for me in the art world...or more like how to continue doing what I'm doing but really make a living at it. After all, one of these days I'm going to need a new car! ;-)
I am a short amount of time away from finishing the illustrations of the Bantam Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds, but too tired to finish tonight. When those are done, I'll be officially one third done with the job, which is cool but a little sobering because that means I still have to do twice as much as I've already done, and I have very little time to do that. I can hardly wait to see all those drawings in print! That will be just so darn cool. Fame and fortune?