Favoring intentions over resolutions, I have to say I find the idea of choosing a particular word for the year ahead to be pretty appealing. Or rather, letting that word choose you.
Since 2015 was not without challenges - many of them complicated by a crazy schedule, an abundance of responsibilities, and far too much STUFF, my word - and my intention - for 2016 is
Easier said than done, I know, especially for someone who feels she needs to do All Of Everything.
As some of you know, my husband (a.k.a. The Mice President) has been facing enormous health and physical challenges, and our old two story house has become pretty close to unmanageable. Add my orthopedic issues to the mix, and there's no way around it - we need to move to a single story dwelling ASAP.
Which means a serious purging of possessions; books, decorative items, kitchen things (how do TWO people end up with thirty-some coffee mugs?) CDs (STILL need to download our collection to the ipod I was generously gifted) and stacks and stacks of old magazines and paperwork...
In the studio, a little organization needs to happen. Nothing over the top. I'll never be one of those artists you see in the magazines with an immaculate work space (you know, because it's a WORK space, hehe). But some files and bins wouldn't be a bad idea. Just sayin'. ;)
In the scheduling department, I seriously need to learn to say no to too many commissions. November and December were absolutely insane, because I accepted far too many ornament orders, and found myself doing nothing BUT ornament orders all season. Much as I love painting these, I need to paint other things too. So this year there will be a cap of 20 or 30, deposits will be taken early, and they'll be painted over the summer instead of in the midst of the holiday season.
I've also decided that one monthly marketplace deadline is enough, and that will be the EHAG Emporium, updated on the last day of each month.
And shipping will happen twice a week - once at UPS, and once at the post office.
Finally, social media. I'm happy to say I've already made considerable strides in letting go of things which upset me, "hiding", "unfollowing" people and sites who post anything negative or mean spirited. What a relief it's been to watch my Facebook feed slowly turning more positive and uplifting - filled with ART, animals, uplifting quotes and happy milestones instead of attention seeking posts and angry rants. Much of this has been preemptive, as the election approaches....I can handle differences of opinion (and actually find healthy, intelligent debate interesting) - but I draw the line at hate speech and finger pointing, and frankly, my blood pressure is high enough, lol.
My new mantra. ;)
Makes me feel a bit lighter already.
I know that 2016 will have its own challenges, but by paring down to what's REALLY important - both materially and intangibly, they'll be easier to face and hopefully overcome.
I should add that while "Simplify" is the word I chose for this year, "Gratitude" is right up there too. I feel sooooooo beyond fortunate to spend my days doing something I love, and owe an ENORMOUS debt of thanks to everyone who collects and supports my work. Because of you I am able to follow a creative path - to actually make art for a living and send it out into the world! How amazing is that? So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am truly blessed.
I accept a limited number of commissions each year, on a very selective basis, with the understanding that the painting process can be a walk down an unknown path - as much for the artist as for the commissioner. I work best, and most successfully when creating freely, and with minimal direction, and find that most pieces evolve of their own accord - leading me on a sometimes unexpected, but always magical journey.
If you are comfortable with this, and interested in a commissioned piece, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for terms and time frames. :)
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I'm a full time Halloween and fantasy artist, inspired by all things magical, wicked and whimsical. Please grab a cup of your favorite brew and browse my work and musings - and do leave a comment or drop me a line - I LOVE hearing from you!