Here it is, the first day of 2018! What an art year 2017 was for me:
- Exhibited work in 9 juried shows
- Won 6 awards
- Sold 5 originals (all commissioned portraits)
- Finished 9 new drawings
- Taught 4 workshops (Palo Alto, CA, St. Augustine, FL, Long Beach, CA, and on a cruise to Alaska)
- Gave 1 presentation
- Published in 2 new books: I have a 14-step tutorial in DRAW Landscapes in Colored Pencil from Ann Kullberg, and have a piece included in CP Treasures, Vol. V from Ann Kullberg.
- Authored a new book 101 Textures in Colored Pencil, published by Walter Foster Publishing
All that while still working at a full-time job. Whew!
By far, the biggest time commitment of the year was authoring the book, 101 Textures in Colored Pencil. It consumed almost eight months. I had six deadlines, three weeks apart, in which I had to average one texture example per day. Each example was four iterations of drawing and scanning, and then I had to succinctly describe the details of each step. They took anywhere from 90 minutes to 6.5 hours. Then there was the writing of the introductory chapter on materials and techniques. Every drawing and word in the 128-page book is mine! I’m glad I did it–such an opportunity doesn’t knock twice, and it’s been very gratifying to see it so well-received among colored pencil artists and beginners, and to see folks actually work through some of the textures and post their results on Facebook. So far, it has ranked as high as #6 in its category on Amazon.com.
Because of the book time commitment, I chose not to enter as many shows that would’ve required me to ship or transport my work, since those take time for preparation, packaging, transport to the shipper, retrieval, unpacking and inspection.
I don’t receive any royalties on the copies sold, but I used my author fee to buy a new Mac computer and an oversized Epson flatbed scanner, both of which will pay for themselves by saving me time. The new Mac responds much faster to everything than my old 2009 Mac, and the Epson scanner will mean less scanning artwork in pieces and stitching them together in Photoshop.
2018 is already stacking up! I have three workshops scheduled in Febrary, March, and a two-day one in April, and I have a presentation scheduled in May. I already have my first two juried show acceptances for the year, one of which will require me to ship two artworks to Minnesota in January.
What are my goals for 2018? To make more time for creating art, to play with some new materials, to gain representation with an additional gallery, and to get better at pacing myself. And oh yeah, to keep improving my skills!
May your 2018 be creative, productive, progressive, and enjoyable!