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House Cleaning

What brought me here today:

The fact that it’s already November is kind of freaking me out a little bit. A little bit. Not a lot. But still, it’s already November! How is it already November?! Having Halloween on the last day of the month of October makes the beginning of November seem like a total surprise somehow. The weather over the last week is seeming much more like late autumn too. There are more leaves on the ground than before too.

A part of me is still in Finland. At least where the month of November is concerned. The only month I destested in Finland was Marraskuu (November). It’s cold, wet, and dark. This month is not great for anyone who suffers from seasonal depression. The weather here is nowhere near what my mind and body are bracing themselves for here in Delaware. It was actually quite sunny this afternoon. I decided to start November off with a day full of some much needed work and organization. To start the month off on the best footing possible.

Cleaning and organizing:

We didn’t purchase a whole lot of furniture when we moved here. Only the essentials were purchased at Ikea. You can read more about that here. We were fortunate to have a few pieces of furniture gifted to us by the previous tennant. If you’ve purchased furniture from Ikea, then you know it all comes in flat pack boxes. Even with only the essentials furniture items we purchased, we had a lot of cardboard boxes left.

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know that corrugated cardboard is one of my favourite recycled materials to use in creating my larger, paper mache artwork. The bedroom of our apartment is so large that I just left the boxes in one corner. I intended to cut, organize and store all this cardboard at a later date. Really, when the weather wasn’t so horribly hot.

Today was the day for organizing all of this cardboard. As well as all the other recycled items that I’ve been gathering over the past month or so. I started after lunch. It took me about four hours to get all the corrugated cardboard cut and stowed in a neat and tidy manner. All of the carton board had to be broken down as well. Bubble wrap, tissue paper, and other packing materials were also kept. Then organized and stowed properly. You can see some of the organized cardboard here.

Other bits of organizing:

I also went through most of what I call my “crap bags”. These are just little collections of interesting bits and bobs of plastic and metal. All of the clear, rigid, plastic packaging I had was cut down into easiery to handle pieces, and stored. So that I can actually find them and use them. To someday be made into wings or windows or whatever.  I now have one nicely sized “crap box”. There’s still some work I need to do with it though. Just some sorting, so I know what I have on hand to use when making art.

Halloween items removed:

I will be removing the Halloween and Day of the Dead inspired pieces from my online shop this week. The last day that you will be able to order any of these pieces will be 7 November 2021. These items will not be returning to the shop at any point in the furture. The items to be removed are: the Day of the Dead customisable skull pins, Lenore, Minerva, Xochitl, Novalee, Lucia, Miranda, Saffron, Russell, Ginger, and Nutmeg.

These Halloween and Day of the Dead inspired dolls and pins were a lot of fun for me to create. I’m so happy that so many other of my October doll and pin creations have found such lovely homes all over the world! Thanks to everyone who has purchased any of my creations!

New table:

Really? A new table is this important that it gets it’s own section within a larger blog post? Well, if your me it does. I bought a black, folding card table. It’s light weight that I can carry and set it up by myself. The legs and the center fold nicely and have a good locking mechanism too. I used this table today while I was sorting and cutting the small mountain of corrugated cardboard in my bedroom.

Holiday in-person sales:

One of the reasons that I needed the new table is that I’ll be participating in four holiday pop-up sales! I’m excited and nervous about these sales too. I’ve not sold my artwork in person for over seven years. The pandemic has changed around how artists and artisans sell their work at in-person venues like these pop-up sales. Masks are required. And there’ll be a lot less “smushing-up” of potential customers as they look at the artwork for sale.

This month I will be working on getting ready for these pop-up sales. I’ve been planning the items I would like to create especially for the pop-ups. Some of the larger cardboard sheets will be made into displays. The construction of these displays shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve made displays like this before. They’re lightweight, portable, and can easily be recyced.

The first of the pop-up sales will be happening on Saturday, November 27 from 1 tp 4 pm at Books and Bagels here in Wilmington. There will be three additional holiday pop-up sales after that: December 4, 11 and 18 from 1 to 4 pm. If you’re in the area and would like to meet me and see my work in person, please stop in!

So, now what?

I think that just about does it for my current house-cleaning needs. I’ll be posting pictures of the progression of the new items for the pop-up sales on my Instagram and Twitter accounts. There is so much work that I need to get done before the first of these pop-up sales. So. Much. Work. I guess I better get to it then!

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday.

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Support

What brought me here today:

Building my art business is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done. Everything that I’ve managed to accomplish has not been done by myself alone. My friends and husband have spent countless hours helping me with the infinite number of problems I’ve faced on my personal entrepreneurial journey. There’s no way that I will ever be able to adequately thank or repay them for their love and support either.

More than money:

There are admirers of my artwork who are not able to purchase it. I also know that my artwork isn’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. While the main reason I’m selling my artwork is to make money so I can, well…pay rent and buy food, etc., I don’t expect my friends to buy a bunch of my work. You know, just because we’re friends.

For all of these reasons, I thought that I would add my two-cents to the larger conversation around ‘how to support a artist/creator‘ that you may know, or admire or both. I know that people have busy lives, so I tried to keep my two-cents as brief and to the point as possible!

What you can do:

I did a little online googling about this subject. There are several how-to lists floating around on social media. As well as some great blog posts by artists themselves talking about what kind of support they would like to have from their friends, family, and patrons. Some of these suggestions you may already be familiar with. Others may be new to you.

Comment:

Long-time readers know that I post regularly to my social media accounts. I take photos of work that is in progress, as well as finished pieces. Clicking like or giving me a thumbs up is great, but taking the time to comment on my post does a lot to keep interest in my artwork up among potential customers. Any artist with active engagement, along with those likes and thumbs up, can help me a lot in the long run!

Share:

When you see a picture that I’ve posted of my artwork, share it with your friends! This can help to stir some word of mouth regarding my artwork. If you’ve purchased my artwork (THANK YOU!) display it in such a way that people will see it and inquire about it! Even if that artwork is not my current artwork. There are a lot of people out there in the world that have my illustration and printmaking artwork.

Opinions:

Tell me what you think about the work that I’m creating and posting pictures of. Ask me questions about how or why I’m creating the artwork you’re seeing. Is there is something that really just turns your crank? Comment on it! Does my work stir an emotion, or remind you of something else? Let me know about it! Do you wonder where the hell I’m going with my artwork? Ask me!

If you know me, you know I can talk a persons arm off about anything I’m interested in or passionate about.

Inquire:

Ask me what artwork I’m currently creating. I spend the vast majority of my time creating artwork alone. Having a someone ask me specific questions about what I’m working on at the moment can show me that I’m not just out here floating around alone. Ask about what kinds of plans I have for other pieces of artwork in the future can help an artist feel less isolated.

Display:

When able, come and see my artwork when displayed in public spaces. When my artwork is hanging up at a local coffee shop, stop in to see it and grab a coffee too. Tell the coffee shop you know the artist. If I’m showing my artwork at an art fair or gallery, tell people you know who may be interested in my work to stop at my booth to see my artwork.

Collaborate and Connect:

If it’s something that you’re into, collaborate with me! Is there something that you’ve always wanted to create but weren’t sure how to? Artistic collaboration might be the answer. Do you know another artist who I might like collaborating with on a project? Let me know! This introduction could lead to all kinds of interesting creative collaborative efforts. Or, it could just be two artists becoming friends. That’s a win-win in my book!

Write:

If you have purchased my artwork, write me and let me know about it! Happy customer testimonials are something I can use to promote my artwork on my website. If you like my blog posts, leave me a comment. In those comments, you can ask questions about my artwork too!

So now what?

Hopefully, I’ve given friends and admirers some things that they can do to give me support without having to purchase my artwork. Doing any one of the aforementioned suggestions would be a fantastic way to support me as an artist, or any other artist you know.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday.