Monday, 27 October 2014

Home again home again

It feels so good to be home in my own space. My own bed, my own shower, my own kitchen smelling like my own spaghetti bolognaise, my own computer and internet. Can you hear my sigh of contentment? Being away from home can have all sorts of rewards and positives but in my mind there is no bed quite like my own and I am so very happy to be home. I shall miss my little grandson.

The privileged and pleasure of being in his life so completely in his first four months have been very special but it is time for me to leap back into my own life and take up the strings of the things I was doing before he came along, namely building my new creative career.

I have been making more art and several interesting opportunities have come my way which I will tell you about once I share my Inktober pieces to date.
day 14 Fern. I have a set of very fine tip markers which I have found quite interesting to create with. Being away from the computer for several weeks, apart from short stretches at the library has given me ample time to explore what I can do with just a few tools. The library has been a fabulous resource in terms of art books.
 day 15 Radio. I felt like doing something silly with radio waves especially staying in a seaside town.
 This piece is for day 16 Umbrella. It is done with purple ink and a brush on brown paper then the fine details added with a red marker, yellow fine tip marker and white uniball ink pen.

 day 17 Spirit. Inktense and water on black card plus white uniball marker. I struggled to think what to do for this prompt that was not a ghost or bottle of strong alcohol. I liked the colour effect of the inktense on black.
day 18 Mild. what could be milder than these particular cheeses. I have had the delight of sharing cheese platters with friends of recent times and introducing my son to a variety of cheeses he had never known existed. He was not particularly find of cheese with moulds. 
 day 19 Target. when only a few pens are laying around and it is late at night the target is to get work uploaded and representing the prompt. This piece took all of five minutes and the odd angles are a testament to that but I did manage to squeeze quite a few targets into the composition.
 day 20 Photograph. A photo-inception. I had fun with this using my fine tips.
 day 21 Little. I had much more time to plan and execute this piece. 'Little is relative' is my title. The colours have not scanned well for some odd reason and I tried to adjust them with my program but cannot seem to get them the way they are on paper. Odd. I have had to upload most of my pieces via my phone and yesterday scanned the whole lot into my folders. This was the only one that would not scan true to colour.
 day 22 Bridge. My art mojo began to kick in by day 22 and I was very pleased with the overall composition of this piece. Using lines instead of blocks of colour has created an interesting and pleasing overall effect on the various parts of this scene. I predominantly used fine tip markers  with a brush tip ink marker on the sky.
Day 23 Window. This is my favourite piece so far this month. I used my brush tip marker and finetip markers plus my white uniball pen. I loved the way the brush marker produced the folds in the curtains and once again lines rather than full colour in the scenery except for the brush tip on the pink shed,. I do need to work on foliage a lot more. Practice makes shady.

 Day 24 Hairy. Not everyone's cup of arachnid. I decided this furry fellow was a good follow on from the window and imagined he had been hiding behind the curtains. The background is inktense and water brushed over. The spider is a layer of brushed on black ink that greyed out as the paper soaked it up then covered with red hairs with the brush tip red marker and finally white highlights with the uniball white ink pen.

day 25 Vampire. I foolishly sent home my art box on day 25 and was left with a blue pen and a scrap of paper to whip up a piece for vampire. My blue pen managed to be useful for the task.

so that is my ink for the week but wait until you see my birds for this weeks 52 Week they come.
 Week 43 Bird. This one is purple ink and brush
Oil pastel duck on water. This piece also has not scanned true to colour. 
 Mosaic in oil pastels. I had a lot of fun with this piece. I like mosaics but I am not patient enough to complete one so the next best thing it to fake it with a piece of art. Considering how long all these dots took I am guessing I may be wrong about the patient enough for mosaics statement.
 This very bright owl was inspired by the art work of an illustrator of children's books from the 1960s. He created a painting in oils entitled "Birds" in 1967 which depicts two owls in this dramatic and colourful style. My little piece in oil pastel attempts to recreate his style as a practice using pastels and as a tribute to great childrens book illustrators.
 There is a group on line called the Drawing club who offer mini art tutorials as tasters for their paid classes. I have tried out several of their mini tutorials and this little fellow was the result of one. A parrot in pencil.
and then I tried oil pastels to produce this parrot. I like the colours but think I have a lot of practice to go before it becomes a medium I am confident in.

The good news is that the 52 week challenge will again be happening in 2015. I like having opportunities to continue improving my art and to share with a world wide art community. Yay to Tania McCartney for the brilliant idea that started a community.

So all art to one side, I have another grandson. He is teensy weensy and so very cute. How can one Nan be gifted with so much cuteness? Lucky me. His Mum is doing fine after a C section and his Dad is overjoyed and I think I am so very very very fortunate to be able to have these new lives as part of my journey.This little lad has a plethora of Nan's to choose from and I am glad I am one.

Okay on to interesting opportunities. I have been involved in a worldwide artistic collaboration to produce a colouring book. I have not been able to be totally involved due to my ENORMOUS October but I did complete my page and sent it off.
Then in a cafe I discovered an opportunity to paint and sell small canvases on commision so I now have two completed to the theme.
A piece of art I did for the 52 week challenge has generated quite a number of queries for copies or similar pieces.
I had several phone calls asking me to create art for individuals and I said yes yes yes.
I have applied for illustrator positions with two new publishers.
I have a request for manga style art for a children's book by another writer.

Now my dilemma. I have to research and create a price list. I need to think about an hourly pay rate and factor in the time it takes to plan and create pieces of art in various mediums. Then I have to incorporate the time, tools, products and profit margin for each piece. I need to value myself and my creative process and price accordingly and not be suckered into mates rates. I also need to factor in the time it takes to liaise and negotiate with the customer for the initial commission and the subsequent negotiations around changes.
I have a price list for simple line black and white pencil works.

This is my new career and I need to be paid accordingly so I need to value myself and expect my creations to be respected and honoured with appropriate pricing.

The dilemma part is that I have spent a life time giving away my skills and time. Gold star volunteering does not pay the rent and I need to leave behind my give it all away for free mentality because quite frankly the old sayings are true. Give them an inch they take a mile. Why pay for the milk if they get the cow for free? No one will hire a volunteer; why would they pay someone if they can take a volunteer for granted? I think that too many artistic creative people undervalue themselves and are then undervalued by their audience.

I am off to research prices for art. I am sure I will continue to give away my art to some degree, it is part of who I am but I also want to pay the rent. I will find the right level for me.