… Or, what direction I am taking.
I actually think about this quite a bit, where am I going with my art and what I am doing to be where I want to be in the future?
I came to US in 2003 as a grad student and my contract with the Immigration Service was that I was not allowed to work except for the university. I wanted to get my art career started but I really did not want to get in trouble, so I waited until I graduated in 2008 to start doing art commercially. In the mean time, I just tried to learn as much as possible. In May 2008 I graduated and soon after that I started looking for commissions, at the beginning they were small, and even when I knew it is not the best to sell your work for cheap I did not feel I had the level I needed to charge what my friends were charging. This has changed over the years as I am more confident in my skills and I actually have improved a lot. For a couple of years things worked out really nice, and I was happy to see an increase in pricing and costumer traffic, I did not need to be so active searching for the commissions, because people were actually coming to me! Which left me more time for the artwork itself.
But then in May 2011 I had my first child, and I decided to be a stay at home mom. Let me make the distinction between “work at home mom” and “stay at home mom”. I have made my main job to take care of and educate my boy, which means that everything else is secondary, this has put art in the back burner. Now, it does not mean that I am not doing art anymore, it means that it has turned into a “When the baby is sleeping or playing alone” deal, which makes time for art much more limited.
I still am open for commissions, but I only consider those that I can do with a relaxed time frame, and I am not actively looking for them. I do not commit myself to tight deadlines because I don’t know if I can reach them and I consider professionalism a very high priority in my work. In the mean time I am doing what I did almost ten years ago: learn as much as I can. I learn different now, I work different now, and I am trying to experiment a lot with my work, aiming for specific goals in palette and compositions.
Also, my priority right now is to keep a strong presence in the art world and even increase it as much as possible. I am working on this blog, started an art Facebook page, I am participating in a couple of collective blogs, and I am licensing my work to PSP Tubes Stop, and hopefully soon another company. Except this blog, all this started this year, as I decided that if I am not going to be doing commissions I better do something to keep mine and other people’s mind engaged with my work. I think the worse you can do in this highly networking era is just to vanish.
February next year everything may change, since a new baby will arrive to our lives, but I will reevaluate then what to do and how to face it. For right now, I am going to keep up at solidifying my work as much as possible.