Thursday, August 15, 2013

Scratching Out A Living

These are little 2"x2" Ampersand Art Stampbords that I've turned into scratchboard using black Sumi ink. I packed a bunch of these into my suitcase before taking off for a 'vacation' in the Boston area. Really good friends needed a house/dog sitter and so they flew me out here (awesome!) to spend a week with Ruby (who one of many dogs in the Dog Scratchin' book) All I have to do is walk/feed/love on her and make sure the house stays intact. I'm staying an extra week to hang out and visit with them, such a bonus. I've been scratchin' away while watching my friend's most excellent collection of videos and TV shows...binge watching ho! I used to live in Boston so there's not that much that I haven't seen here--I'm just hunkered down in Revere, reading, scratchin' watching movies, walking the dog. It's a really nice getaway with no pressure to go anywhere or be anything. That's my idea of a perfect vacation.
I've got 28 of these laid out. I'll add color when I get back to the home studio.
Mostly what I've been doing is trying to figure out a better way to make a living doing what I love.  I used to love construction/plumbing and I made a pretty good living doing that. The past twelve years I've focused more on the art and while it has been extremely satisfying, the money part has always been a scramble with some years better than others. Last year was good, mostly because of the Dog Scratchin' book. I expect this year to be as good via the Cat Scratchin' book. Next year, there will be a new book, new art. And I hope to be doing it in a little Minnie Winnie or some other RV type vehicle. I'm ready to sell the house, release myself from some possessions and hit the road, while I can. I plan to keep a few home base cities, because, let's face it, I need a bank account and some kind of address. Plus there's the whole health care thing. I've got a good doctor and with the thyroid cancer history, I must be just a bit responsible. (and I need the damn meds)
Besides all that, I've got to make money, honey. These little 2"x2" original scratchboards will be made into pins or magnets or both. Fun little, inexpensive art pieces that I hope to sell at a few art shows and in my etsy shop. My friend here thinks more galleries is the answer. What do you think? I can't keep up with the two I'm in. What I've found is if you're not in the same city or area and don't make regular visits, your art isn't displayed or sold. So unless I can pop from one gallery to the next (and maybe I can once I get the RV) I must find a way to promote and market myself, which is something I really would rather not do. Oh damn it...

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