2018 – The Halfway Mark

Hi! Wow! Was that six months already?

I’m just kidding. I believe it. What has happened in the last six months?

The House

The biggest life change is that we bought a house! A sixty year old, desperately in need of love and new plumbing home. It’s so full of potential I trip over it every time I wander through the kitchen and stare out of it’s windows into the unkempt backyard. All that aside – we’ve talked about this for several years now. The one day home for me was always going to be an old house with good bones in need of some TLC. I’d say we got exactly what we asked for and learned a thing or two about plumbing issues in the process, hah. We moved in mid-February, and since then have managed to tear out the entire basement, replace about 90% of the plumbing in the home, partially renovate the main bathroom and really get down to business with landscaping. It’s going to be years to see all of our dreams through (and come true) on this one. But that’s what makes it special I think. I catch myself looking around at all the things we have yet to do and have to remind myself – we’ve been here for four months! And really to think of what we have done in that time is no small thing, believe me.

Watercolor Workshops

So – I’d alluded to getting past my fear of reaching out to the world with DBSL this year. Recess Shop is newer in town, located in trendy Inglewood and celebrating the art and lost tradition of all things stationary. I reached out inquiring if they would have any interest in carrying my prints, and instead was offered to opportunity to teach watercolor workshops there! I’ve done three so far and it’s feeling like a smashing success. This was something I had to learn over time with capoeira as well – while at first I was hesitant to teach, the rewards you gain from seeing other people find their footing in a new passion…truly there are just no words to describe it. I’m having fun with them and debating seeking out a second venue to offer an additional type of workshop through. More on that if I do follow up.

Etsy

On January 2nd, several things happened. I got to hang my artwork up at Cafe Rosso on Stephen Avenue. We put an offer in on our house. And I celebrated my 50th Etsy Sale! Nearly six months later and I am at 97 sales. Sale #100 is inevitable, and yet feels just out of reach. I wish I could say I have cracked the code on this platform, but I still have yet to figure it out. I had an amazing month in April, with sales trickling in every few days. Then May and June slowed to nearly a standstill. My current plan of attack is simply to get as much work available in there as I can. Research to date tells me once you have 100 items in store, with proper SEO you can expect a sale every day. We will see. Things change on this platform all of the time – SEO practices, algorithms and fees, oh my. I am determined to stick it out and with time I am becoming more certain that I will be seeking out an expert in Etsy soon. It’s time to invest in education on this platform – money well spent that will ensure I put my effort behind it.

The Grind

What else can I say? Last year I was pretty consistent at churning out new pieces. This year, balancing the work on the house in particular made it difficult to keep up anything else consistently. However, I had an amazing experience with a deadline over the month of May. My capoeira instructor asked me to create a capoeira calendar for an event we held in early June. Now to be fair, he asked me for this last December. I simply hadn’t made time to get around to it. But as April drew to a close I knew it was either buckle in or bail. The short timeline worked wonders. I had to be efficient as possible with my time, embracing batching and standing firm on decision making for what to paint. I came out of the experience with a new understanding of what I am truly capable of when put to the test. I’m giving myself a break between now and August to work on whatever I please before starting production on the 2019 DBSL Calendar – because now I know I can finish it in one month with discipline and clear boundaries. And in the mean time, I’m finally doing what I’ve put off doing for years – I’m tackling Calgary. For the next five weeks, Calgary is my oyster. Any lunch hour at work I am determined to leave the office to go sketch part of my city’s streets. No more hiding. Calgary, I’m coming for you :)

To those who have ever read this blog regularly and to anyone who’s now found their way here – welcome! Please please – check out my Etsy store and my Instagram account. Both contain much more regular postings of my art endeavors.

Happy Mid-2018 everyone! I hope you are hustling hard and doing something you love.

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