Kicking Up Dust

Mouse In My Beer
Mouse In My Beer

Dust from auto dealing hasn’t settled yet, thankfully the worst has passed. The entire car mess is much less hectic than it was, but there are times where I catch myself wondering what was missed. Uhg, fine, good, whatevs, time to move on, man. You’re a mover and shaker.

Getting the books eligible for distribution through Amazon and a few other of the larger stores still awaits. Turns out there was a little wriggly-piggly rule that was missed delaying the whole submission process. The oversight has since been rectified, we’ve returned to square one. I know they say 6-8 weeks, take that time frame with a grain of salt.

Ebooks. I wanna do these. Especially in knowing how easy it is for distribution. So little cost, so easy for customers. I’m a little gun shy, however. In the past, when I attempted to get an ebook made, something about the reader or the formatting or Adobe would butcher the book so that it was unreadable. The whole incident was terribly embarrassing. Fast forward to now and my current hesitation and trust issues. What I could do is just bite the bullet and give it a go, you know, to test it out. Do I want to do this with the deadline of a show looming? The added stress says no, the potential for more customers and wider availability says yes. Right now, the decision is rolling in the back of my head, it’s a luxury at this point. Maybe do, maybe later.

Show stuff draws nigh and as it does, so too does the anxiety ramp up. Gotta get everything perfect. If not, only bad things will happen. Frame more, art more, write more. More! Look at the time! Frame faster, art faster, write faster. Faster! More! Faster!

Ugh, that exhausting drumbeat.

Things aren’t so bad. Stopping to take a breath, perspective settles. This adventure, in the grand scheme of things, is closer to meaningless than meaningful. I already have subsequent shows scheduled. For the next year, more and more shows are being added for more outings. As planned. Anything wrong with this particular escapade will only contribute to the improvement of future shows. In short; it builds character.

This show’s significance is in being the first in a long time. Its also me attempting to reboot the art career. Am I excited about? Absolutely! Is it worth it to overly stress? No, not really. So, center, refocus, keep the eye on the prizewhile remembering to let the chips fall where they may.

Couple Weeks to Go

Mocking
Mocking

There are pictures where I’m not at all sure what the heck story is. This is one of those. It’s all done by feel. Improvisation that usually helps subsequent pictures in telling a narrative.

Alright, here we go again.

Sold a car yesterday. Got a good price. Feel good, feel proud, relieved to have that tick off the list. Now, onto the next.

The show is a few short weeks away. I’ve been a framing man the past few days. Glass and razor handling has left my hands with myriad ready-to-bleed cuts. Irritating as all heck, but once them pictures are dolled up, it’s all worth while. Like taking your pets and dressing them in a tuxedo. They all look very fancy and ready to party. Feelings of pride bubble up again.

The show being as close as it is does give me the jitters. I’ve done these plenty before. I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Still, this’ll be the biggest I’ve done. And it’s been a while. Doubting thoughts fluttering about, the anxiety does keep one motivated. Get everything done and done right. I’ve even gone so far as to build a mock show in the back yard, you know, to know where to hang which painting and how to make each book look desirable . . . God, writing that I realize I may be overthinking the whole thing . . . Eff it. Let’s make the show look as sexy as possible, dress rehearsal and all.

I shop for shows after this one because this one will neither make or break me. And each time I do, I think longingly to the road trips and the scenery. The art parties are great and the extra money is certainly welcome, but what my heart looks forward to is the travel. Finally, I have an excuse to get away  and go anywhere I wanna. It’s about time . . . I wonder what the hold up was.

Thanks Perfectionism!

Selfie
Selfie

As I understand it, last week’s post was awfully thin. Not the usual robust stew that’s been thoughtfully served. Accordingly,  we’ll open up this week’s post with a very nice and finished self portrait. One I originally wanted to invest only a few hours into. Once perfectionism took over, however, those few hours became lots and lots. Veiled complaints aside, I’m proud of it. As soon as the finishing stroke was applied it felt good. It felt right.

Next, I’m finished with wheelin-n-dealin in cars. What a whirlwind the past two weeks have been. I’ve learned a lot about cars and the car business. About how carsalesmen, living up to their reputation, will rob you at every opportunity. About multiple DMV visits and how one can both be driven to and from the facility as well as to and from the brink of insanity. About tolerating all the dry minutia of insurance, loans, and licensure as, chore by chore, we stitch this whole thing together. Good news is: we’re all done.

Shiny new truck in tow, pun very much intended, we’re ready to go. Yes, you just might hear me mention modifications or some such. Nothing too fancy pants, a camper shell, maybe a luggage rack. No real biggies. That exception casually floated out there, the whole ordeal is finally over with. Time to move forward.

The San Francisco show is a month out. The show is booked, lodgings are booked, books are booked. Ready to go. Inventory, equipment, and transport are all accounted for. Still, you remember that perfectionism thing I mentioned in reference to the selfie, turns out that same behavior bleeds into my business practices. Long story short, there few hours planned will multiply into lots and lots. Thanks perfectionism!

I’m sure I’ve droned on about framing and selling additional paintings. Guess what, that plan is the same and will be reinforced now. Gots me all the supplies, plenty of motivation, just need the time now. The month of August is reserved to be that “time”. Starting tomorry.

And, whenever framing fatigue sets in, we’ll work on other pursuits instead. The more muscular of the next book’s illustrations will be started with a nibble here and a nibble there. Poetry, don’t forget those sick rhymes, yo. There’s self promoting, get out there and shake them hands and kiss them babes . . . er, babies . . . No, I like babes, I’ll kiss babes. And, after all that and with life planned to a tee, I will bravely attempt to stave off stress with something impulsive and fun.

Week’s Dues

Guard
Guard

Rough week. Been a sickly fellow. Gonna keep this post succinct.

Bought a truck, selling a car, the peripheral junk has me behind on schedule.

Kinda excited, kinda stressed, waiting for everything to simmer down. More to follow.

You look good this week. Well rested. Have you been working out?

Practice, Practice, Practice

Pencils Selfie
Pencils Selfie

I’m not sure why but I decided to do a self portrait. I’ve not done one in two or three years. What inspired an update? Dunno. I think I just wanted to see if my skills up up to snuff. Turns out they’re rusty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the finished product. Three iterations, a couple of frustrated hissy fits, and too many hours later, I finally came up with this. A bare bones likeness ready to paint.The lesson here: practice, practice, practice, practice, practice . . . Oh, and stay in school, kids.

Doing a self portrait is a good test of skill. Like a Jedi assembling their light saber; it’s a coming of age/testament of ability sorta thing. One of the largest hazards is fretting over a picture’s likeliness. A conflict arises between artistic intuition and visual logistics. For the uninitiated, a debilitating obstacle. If one has been slacking on practice, like moi, the atrophied skills show up in the final product. Again a reminder, practice, practice, practice and so on. Next week: the painted version.

Alright business. The shows in San Fransisco and Oregon are confirmed, depending on inventory, Sacramento soon after. Do I say more? It’s bad business to promote without firm dates and times. Seeing as how the shows may or may not conflict with other facets of the personal life. I’m gonna take a more cautious approach and keep my big mouth shut. Please afford me the time and space to iron out the whole process of business man versus private life. I will certainly be more vocal when and where shows happen, just as soon as I’m more comfortable and confident in the process.

Lesser facets of business include finalizing the truck purchase. Just waiting on a better deal from those greedy monkeys, what with their greasy fees buried in legalese. I’m sitting on four choices and, depending how contracts and bargaining goes. This whole fiasco should be closed out by the end of the month . . . Oh yeah, and a shiny new car to sing lullabies to.

Then we move onto art-capades. Minor materials, heavy framing, and show preparation will be happening over the next month. Work and school are still in the cards. Possibly dating, I mutter with mixed emotions. The reason I bring it all up is two pronged: the blogging forecast has these issues, and secondly, it’ll be a challenge finding time for that important important practice, practice, practice.

Doing Needs Done

Sick Day Holiday
Sick Day Holiday

Mmkay, another fine day on the farm. After some careful planning and planting, the crop of artwork is looking good. Robust, even. The graphites are ready for plucking. Once the paintings are as high as an elephant’s eye, we’ll harvest them too. Yessir, this year’s looking bountiful.

In less metaphoric terms: lots of art done, a handful in the works. All of the drawings for The Strangest Thing are finished. Onto the paintings, twelve are in the works. The subject matter found, compositions composed. Next we draw put those compositions, lastly we paint. Time frame on all this? Its hard to say. Especially considering all the other projects cooking. Let’s be happy in knowing production is moving forward.

Art business junk is where we left it last week. Some things are still simmering, some others we’re waiting on. Ever play Tetris? You have everything in order and you’re patiently awaiting just the right piece. Feels like that. We are patiently awaiting that right piece.

In the meantime we are strategically arranging the pieces allotted. Working on more paintings, getting items and inventory just so, work and school to be considered too. This autumn looks intimidating when one considers all the doing that needs done. There are moments where I’m nervous all of this is gonna fall apart, there are others where the gamble is euphoric. Either way, life feels so much more worthwhile.

No Sweat

Kiss
Kiss

Another colorful commission.

Frames and framing equipment, those were the big chore to mark off the list today. Somehow, someway, beer got involved. There was a giddy blur, then a headache. . . No frames. What happened? I dunno.

What I do know is I am officially a small business now. All registered and proper. The luxury of doing my taxes four times a year instead of once is mine to savor. The dream has been realized. All jokes aside, being the real deal does come with some weird and exciting implications. In all the research and the paperwork and number munching, new challenges have come up. Satisfaction being found upon rising up to meet them challenges. It feels good, it feels right, feels dignified.

I’m  ahead of schedule. Which is why I’m not sweating today’s framing fiasco. Time and money have been budgeted to death. There’s time. Money and time wise, all that I intend to accomplish is affordable, even affording me (see what I did there?) a small surplus.

Things are going according to plan. Business vehicle is being purchased, my part of the paperwork, finances, and all that bunk is done. Same goes for the shows. I already have the merchandise and pictures together to do you proud. The shows themselves are a month or so off. A month or so to get frames and frame extra pictures with. High-five!

The excitement does inspire a desire to do create extra works and aggressively do multiple shows all at once. While this is very doable, I wanna pace myself. This is a long distance run, not a short sprint. We’re in it for the long game.

So instead of frames, I had a few drinks today and produced some art. One’s gonna be a gift, another a self portrait, and yet another an illustration for the book. All in all, the extra time is being used responsibly. A great reason not to sweat the little things.