..to get back on the horse! I've been "gone" from this blog. Why? Well, stuff and stuff and other things too. I was SO disappointed and yes, actually in shock about how poorly the Bellevue show went. I sold 1/6 of what I sold at the same show last year, and my work was even much better! I had counted on that money for basic bills and expenses, and I was really thrown for a loop (where does that expression come from?) when I barely covered the costs of the show. I cancelled the second show in Sun Valley because I couldn't afford to take the financial risk of doing it if the economy dictated low sales there as well. After that, I paced around my house in stunned stupor for a while, wondering if I could or should even keep pushing forward with this endeavor. I considered going out and getting a "real job" but I know how difficult that is these days... So I decided to soldier on, and cut expenses to a bare minimum. I had to lay off 3 of my helpers, and looked for all the other places I could plug up the financial leaks. Fortunately gallery orders have been pouring in, so I WILL make it, and it looks like we (me, my primary assistant, and my newest assistant who can do the sandblasting) can actually get the same amount of work done. Good!
I also started going to yoga classes 7 days a week, walking an hour a day, and meditating daily. All that is helping manage the tsunami of stress that threatened to drown me. It's working!
As I go out and about my neighborhood on my daily walk/jogs, I see homes that are being well maintained: new paint, new roofs, landscaping, steps repaired, etc. I noticed I was feeling sorry for myself that I can't afford to maintain my own house. But I decided that that perspective was a door into a rather dark and dismal place, and that instead I could be grateful that I HAVE a home, that I have work I enjoy, that I have the good sense to figure out where to cut expenses, and, especially these days, that my little business IS surviving! AND we are getting more orders every week. I know the reason for my financial struggles is that my work is very under-priced, given the amount of time each piece requires, but at least it is offering survival in a time when many other artists are not so fortunate. I'm grateful.
Stay tuned for my next post that outlines some, ahem, creative plans for retirement for someone like me (and many, many others in my shoes) who have no retirement funds. At first glance a joke, but maybe???
I'll be back again soon!