Sunday, December 30, 2012

Out with the old, in the with the new

The end of another year. Where did it go? This one really seemed to whoosh by.

I finished a nice house rendering commission just before Christmas. Isn't this a charming home? Its so nice to work on a piece that's something you like drawing. This was a special portrait of a family home for the owners, who will (sadly) be moving. So it was kind of bittersweet. 

This was done with Polychromo and Pablo pencils on Stonehenge paper.

One big goal for 2013 is to expand my architectural rendering / house portrait business. I have samples done in different styles, and want to put together a commission page on my website, or maybe even a whole separate site, just for this. I work in color as well as black and white, and do colored pencil, ink, and watercolor. I also have some new exciting ideas for "alternative", more decorative styles that are not so photo realistic. So that's a BIG "to-do" thing on my list!

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I posted this Teapot illustration a while back, and have now listed it as a print in the shop
Another goal for this next year is to keep working on all my shops. I have ideas for oodles of art and designs, but only two hands and 24 hours in a day. You know how it is! Guess we all have that. So I'm trying to balance out what I want to make (just because I want to make it), with what people will actually want to buy. (Sometimes they're not the same thing.) 

I've also raised my print prices just a hair, especially on the really "ink heavy" pieces. I've learned the hard way that printers really love to drink ink! Especially magenta. I am very thankful for Office Depot's free home delivery service, which I have taken advantage of many times over the past couple of months! 

Its a constant learning curve, crunching the numbers on selling things you make yourself, making sure you stay in the black. But that could be another whole post in itself. Prices for similar things on etsy can vary wildly, and I'm always amazed that some people charge what they do and seem to sell a lot, while others practically give it away and set the bar way too low. Don't even get me started on what people charge for knitting! 


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One of my artist followers, Koosje Koene in the Netherlands, has let me know about a new online drawing course she's offering.

"It's a six week course in which the participants will get weekly updates with tutorials, step-by-step instructions, video's, photos, and lots of practical tips on drawing techniques and illustrating. Unlike many other online courses, each participant will be provided with my feedback on exercises and assignments they do. Apart from that, the course is full of unique content, practical tips, tricks and fun."

Looks like fun. I hope lots of people sign up Koosje!

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So guess that's about it for me, for now. Like you probably are, I'm half relaxing, and half making big plans for next year. We're having some nice California sun here, which is lovely. The cats are out sunning themselves on the back porch or in windows, while I make yet another cup of Peet's coffee and  either draw or knit or do this or make lists.

I sincerely hope this next year is full of good health and prosperity and joy for everyone. Things have been rough for too long. There will always be challenges, but hopefully they will just be little bumps, not mountains.

Happy New Year everyone!


Katherine Thomas said...

You are going to be a busy lady! Wow! The online course looks like fun. I know exactly what you mean about balancing what you think people want to buy and what you yourself want to create. It's a hard thing, sometimes. Your pieces here are GORGEOUS! I love your style and the colors you choose. I'm glad to see that you use the Pablos, too. Not many people do, but I love them for the sharpness, combined with the softer prismacolors.

Sarah Melling said...

Happy New Year to you, too, Paula! The house portraits are great...such a unique keepsake! Your comments about keeping your etsy business profitable are interesting. I keep thinking I'll try to put some things up for sale, but haven't been convinced that it will be worth the effort. I guess I'll just have to take the plunge to find out. I always love looking at what you're working on!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I've got another thought for your "what to do next year" for you. See my email and this post

TLampert said...

Paula, you are a true inspiration! A very Happy New Year to you too :) You have given me the courage to start my own blog this year to help keep pushing myself to succeed in my own art work. Looking forward to seeing more great work from you in 2013!

Koosje Koene said...

Happy New year!
Thanks for the mention!

Cindy D. said...

The house is beautiful and I am in love with that pink tree out front. But the teapots are my favorite part of the post. SO CUTE and funny. Adorable. I love your style! As for pricing and such things, I'm coming up on the end of year 2 in my Etsy shop and I'm still working it all out. :)