What is up to in my art life right now.

16 10 2012

… 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.

My main job right now. This image was created for the Fortnight challenge at the Sweet Sketch Club: http://sweetsketch.blogspot.com/

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.



8 responses

16 10 2012
Cynthia Matos-Medina

I understand 100%. Motherhood takes over and forget it. I am a mother of two and also a singer-songwritter. It is so difficult to do both but I try. If I don’t do what I’m passionate about, I can’t be a good mama.

17 10 2012

Art is certainly a way to bring me back to center, I am happy that now the baby is sleeping through the night because I can actually sit for an hour or two and work on it. For a year and something I could barely work on it and it was killing me!

30 10 2012

It’s good that you were able to make a decision like this. I, for example, am not sure if I could give up or even limit creating wildly. It just makes me feel absolutely wrong. But I guess that time will tell if I’m capable of sacrifices like that…

30 10 2012

It really boils down to choices. What do you really want for yourself and family. When my husband and I discussed how we were going to be doing things we thought the best option for our family was that I became a stay at home mom. He offered being a stay at home dad! but financially it made no sense. For me, this is a career choice, at the moment I am a full time mom because I want my kid to be raised by us, with our moral values and there are a lot of things we want for him (and us) that would be incompatible with daycare (for example exclusive nursing, cloth diapering and sign language) and also daycare here is very expensive… as in my daytime job would not have covered it!
My creativity has an outlet in being a mom now. I learn and teach my baby sign language so he can communicate with us before actually speaking, I draw with him, sing songs and bake. a. lot. It really does not feel like a sacrifice. I do get to do some art at bedtime several days a week, so I also get to create in that respect.

31 10 2012

The way you’ve put it makes a lot of sense. I will probably get to better understanding of those things when they happen in my life.

Will you be also teaching your kids at home?

31 10 2012

It is highly unlikely I will home school. I am not quite fond of the social implications of home schooling. I want my children to be exposed to other people, other adults and their way of thinking. I guess if we ended up in a state that completely forbids science teaching and taught them the ‘modified history’ that they are trying to push in some states, yes. But we’d probably send our kids to a private school in that case (if we can afford it, of course!), which is my ideal first option to start with.

My husband thinks we cannot teach up to the level that a specialist in that area and teaching can, I disagree, I think that I can do quite a fine job at elementary and middle school level, but then again, my kid would only be exposed to me; which I don’t think is the best for his emotional development.

19 11 2012
What is with the watermark? « Faerywitch World.

[…] Pagan groups on social networking sites started to pick up my work. I guess all that activity I talked about recently worked. And my work is all over the place. Now, I am not a freak, I like people to share my work, I […]

26 09 2013
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Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great post on our site.
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