Happy New Year! Changes are here! Today is my "grand re-opening." This might get a little lengthy, so grab a drink and buckle up. Here it goes, the blunt and honest truth:
I have felt like I've been in a largely uninspired rut this year. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I get to paint for a living and have the flexibility to be home for my son.
However, I have inadvertently pigeon-holed myself into creating pretty much the same kind of artwork almost constantly: pet portraits and human portraits. I do love making them, don't get me wrong, and I love seeing them come to life... but I NEED to have time to make other kinds of artwork. I need time to paint what feeds me and inspires me, not just commissions 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, things that someone else asks me to do, and then I finally get to my MAYBE one day off for the week, and suddenly I have no more creative juice left.
I realized how much I needed to make time to use my imagination and creativity on my own terms so that my spirit shone through. I was hitting peak burn-out, finding it harder and harder to continue doing the standard, straight-forward watercolor pet portraits that I was always asked to make. I was thrilled when I was asked to do something a little quirky or different ( I have loved getting to do my "pets in four styles" type of artwork -- so unique!). But that was sometimes a little difficult to roll with since it was someone else's vision, most of the time. Not my own. I still never got to paint what I CHOSE to paint or create. I never had time once I finished my commissions. Therefore, I was burning myself out, stuck in a rut, and not growing as an artist in the direction I want to grow.
And so here we are, to the changes...
My commissions as you have known and loved them for the past four years are going away. No more custom quotes, no more 50% deposits, no more several-month-long turn-around times. Instead, commissions are being replaced by LIMITED CUSTOM ORDERS that you would place through my Etsy shop. No more emails, text, direct messages, or contact forms for commission bookings. All orders must go through my Etsy shop. This will save me LOADS of time to create artwork. Paperwork and quoting has been drowning me.
I have spent a long time the last few months figuring out new standardized pricing for LIMITED types of customized artwork. These new prices will reflect my increased costs, include free domestic shipping, and reflect the current demand.
Like I said in the above point, I am ONLY offering very limited customized artwork selections. From now on, I will ONLY be offering the following custom options (see image):
In addition to limited options for customized artwork, I will be EXTREMELY LIMITING how many slots I fill per month. I need to leave more time for paperwork, marketing my book, creating new original artwork for selling, and working on the other side of my business.
Since orders for customs are now coming through Etsy, that means no more 50% deposits. Instead, I am pleased to offer KLARNA as a payment option at checkout so you can split up your payments with them on a payment plan if you are approved.
READ THIS PART EXTRA CAREFULLY: Since I am starting from scratch with a nearly-empty schedule on 1/04, this means turnaround time for custom orders will be faster. No more waiting months and months, no more scheduling four months ahead of time. I won't be working so far behind anymore. Instead, I will take so many Etsy orders at the start of the month depending on my projected schedule for that month, and once my slots are full, I will deactivate the Etsy listings until the first of the next month. Listings that will be available for any said month will be activated at 11am EST on the 1st (except January). Once the listings are gone for that month, they're gone. Turnaround time will be 3-4 weeks from ordering to shipping with customs, as long as you follow the reference photo guidelines I specify in the listings for each option.
If you've read the above so far, you'll see that this means no more canvas art commissions. I will still make canvas art... but it will be an original that you can purchase if it interests you.
Again, if you read the above already, you'll see that this means no more digital art commissions either. Might consider it if a patron asks very nicely, but it is not the direction I want to grow in as an artist. I will still make it from time to time for digital downloads and such, but I don't want it to be something I offer in terms of commissioned work.
....AND no more logo design or graphic design work. Not where I want to grow.
To reiterate: NO MORE QUOTES. Starting 1/04, you will be able to find my standardized pricing on my website and my Etsy shop. Once the listings are gone for a month, they're gone; no more squeezing people in. This means if you know you're going to need something for a specific month, plan ahead and try to get into my shop as early as you can on the first of the month after 11am EST and snatch that spot!
REGARDING MY BOOK ON MY WEBSITE: I am please to now be able to offer FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING as well as KLARNA PAYMENT PLANS at check-out as of 1/04/22.
I have made the decision to shut down my face painting side of my business. I haven't been able to take a gig since early 2020, before the pandemic came to America. It's just no longer worth it to me with son being high-risk and everything still uncertain. It is now closed.
In the past, I’ve entertained the idea of helping others with illustrations for their own books. That is not on the table any longer; I want to focus on growing my artwork so I can eventually get into galleries and I want to focus on my own paintings and projects for now. Hoping for more book projects in the T1D series (potentially).
Well, art friends... I think that's it. I don't THINK I missed anything. If I did, I'll be sure to let you know. You can also check out my new and improved FAQ section of my website for more.
I'm hoping very much that these changes will not only help save me time in my day-to-day operating but they'll also bring me more peace and inspiration. You see, I still love doing the pet portraits and human portraits. I just want to be able to have time to do OTHER things, too. Let's hope this works. Let's hope that this methodology and your patronage helps me skyrocket so that I don't just SURVIVE this year. I want to FLOURISH. I want to THRIVE.
Thank you for being a friend! (RIP Betty)