It’s been a while since I blogged, so I thought I’d better get back on it with some new ideas! Before Christmas I was working flat out – a couple of nights I worked till 1am after my son had gone to bed – on the back of the usual flurry of commissions for Christmas but also a couple of last minute and unexpected (but very welcome!) commissions from the pencil manufacturer, Derwent.
Here’s a commission I finished last week (still getting the odd one!) of a French Bulldog, completed in pastels and Derwent pastel pencils:
And then after Christmas, as I expected but dreaded,….nothing. No email commissions, no website enquiries, no phone calls, nothing. The income of a self-employed artist can be erratic, to say the least! So I’ve been occupying myself by working on a few of my own pictures which needed finishing, and started to plan the year ahead. A bit of soul-searching in this fallow time has led me to reach a few conclusions.
Anybody who’s anybody knows that in this day and age, you have to make use of social media to promote yourself and your business, and it’s a fantastic free tool. But as I’ve moved around on Twitter and Facebook and started to find fellow artists, I’ve come to realise just how many talented people there are out there, doing what I do. And I’ve realised that in order to compete in the world of selling artwork (which after all, can probably be termed a ‘luxury’ item in this climate of economic negativity), I’m going to have to raise my game, and keep raising it. I’ve been studying YouTube art tutorials, with a view to one day starting some of my own, and thinking of some sort of art project which is current and interesting but also will make people want to buy my work. I plan to start work on a project I’m calling ‘Same Sky’ next week: I’ll paint or sketch a picture of the sky every day, or at least 3 times a week, but also incorporate topical headlines & news from the day’s papers into the picture. I’ll capture all weathers and cloud formations in different mediums, and by using newspaper cuttings, I hope to illustrate that however vast the world is, we all live under the same sky, and other people’s problems (Syria, Afghanistan, terrorism, etc) are also our own and we shouldn’t ignore them. The pictures themselves will then be sold on eBay, after I’ve taken detailed images of them.
I’m also going to be updating this blog on a much more regular basis – hopefully at least twice a week. I’ll include details of what I’m doing that day, materials used, problems encountered, etc. Hopefully this will encourage more people to read the blog, maybe pick up a few tips or give me some!