2014 was a year of expansion for me in many ways. I credit it that to all of my wonderful friends/customers who have been such a support and encouragement. To you I shout a big THANK YOU! My sweet customers have taken my classes, bought my creations, shared my news, and best of all, become my friends. I wouldn’t be here without them!
Before I make my goals for 2015, I want to review the past year. There have been some failures too, to be sure, but overall I am pretty happy with the direction my little art business is moving. I called these my business milestones, but that title sounds a little stiff for this creative soul…. but you get the idea!
So here they are, in no special order:
1. Illustrated a children’s book for the first time ever. The author, Brad Chapin, was wonderful to work with and patiently guided me through the process. I am thankful for the incredible amount of new things I learned on this project. I gave my two oldest granddaughters a copy for Christmas. The oldest one is six, and reported she is still searching for the keys hidden on each page. The book is available through YouthLight, if you want a copy.
2. Taught over 20 workshops. I set out to make teaching more of a priority in 2014, and had a blast doing it! Chris Block at Studio 13 hosted a monthly art journaling class where we learned a new technique every month. The other classes were either in my home, or at various other venues, like my favorite local bookstore, Bluebird Books.
3. Was contacted by one of my favorite artists, Julie Balzer, to do a guest tutorial on Citra Solv. I was a little fan struck, but always happy to talk about one of my favorite mediums!
4. A large print of one of my personal favorite pieces purchased to hang in the Narthex of a church. I have long held the view that art is as pure of a form of worship as singing, and should be more present in contemporary churches. “Deep Roots” holds a lot of spiritual meaning for me, on many levels. It is my mixed media expression of the words of Jeremiah 17: 7,8. That it was recognized as a spiritual piece by others really touched my heart. Read more about it here.
If you love the piece too, there is all kinds of things you can get it on here.
5. One of my goals for 2014 was to keep my art hanging somewhere every month of the year. I fell a few months short, but since there were some months that I was two places at once, I will call it a success. Many places, like coffee shops, book stores, churches, banks, even galleries, have a featured artist for one month periods. I try to take advantage of that opportunity to have my art out and about rather than sitting at home. It has become much easier now that places have started calling me to fill their walls for the month, but if you know of a good spot for my work to hang out in the central Kansas area, let me know!
6. Took lots of classes, mostly online, and learned lots! One thing about teaching workshops is that you keenly feel the need to keep a step ahead of your students! I wanted to make sure I covered all the bases, and had the freshest information. As a result, this was a big year of learning from others as well. Some of my favorite online clases were Life Book 2014, Jane Davenport’s Art Lessons, and Balzer Designs classes on all kinds of topics. I also thoroughly enjoyed an in person rice paper batik class taught by Jan Butler at Tessera Gallery. This is an art journal page I made after a Life Book lesson by Marie Blokand.
7. As a result of all this learning, my own style is evolving. My mixed media paint and collage work has evolved, as I hope it will continue to do! I feel I am maturing as an artist, which is always encouraging to see! Here are a couple of new pieces currently in progress.
8. I worked to develop some new products in 2014. I have a whole new batch of creations, but I have also developed some supply packages to benefit my fellow creatives, or those new to the creative life. My smash book kits and art journal kits are some of the latest and greatest! Read more about those here and here. Be watching for more tips on using these kits!
9. Publicity is a hard one for me. I am kind of camera shy, and one of the hardest parts of my job is pushing myself to constantly self promote. It just plain makes me feel uncomfortable. Yet, to be able to do what I do, it is a necessity. So, it is great when I get some help on this front. Every magazine article I do brings a little more business, and this year I even made the front page of the local newspaper, which hasn’t hurt things at all! (Read the article here)
10. DID MORE ART! It is a constant battle to find balance in this business between all the time it takes to do the business end of things, and still actually having time to create. I am getting better at reserving some blocks of time just for making. I also really focused on getting my studio more organized this past year, which makes me work much more efficiently. I love the results, and it is a fun place to pop into whenever I have the time. Here is the new work island my handy husband made for me.
There have been many, many other great things in 2014 as well…but I will stop with these. Hope you had a wonderful 2014, and wish you a blessed 2015!