Vampire Cat painting - close up

Close-up look at my finished Vampire Cat.

I gambled with my luck (again) this year by foregoing the sauerkraut obsession. None of my acquaintances can seem to vouch for its effectiveness in bringing good fortune… and yet, judging by the way average people turn into rapid, snarling monsters at the mere mention of a sauerkraut shortage, you would think their adjustable mortgage rates, pay raises, and Obama’s chances of passing the health-care bill were directly linked to their total ounce consumption over the last two weeks.

By now, I don’t need to remind my three faithful followers of my opinion regarding popular holiday traditions; they make an excellent substitute for cat litter. 😉

Last night, I ate a bowl of elbow noodles with cream-cheese alfredo sauce, and some vanilla yogurt for dessert. Luck ratio: 6/40 for the noodles. 1/30 for the yogurt.

Over the years, I have written countless lists outlining specific goals… never once in January. It pains me deeply to join the millions already posting their 2010 Resolutions, and even worse – we’ve run out of extra strength ibuprofen… yet today, for the sake of my fledgling business, I will bravely battle the personal torment in order to regain control of my career. It’s a coincidence really. The government tax year ends on the 31st, so it makes sense to implement changes and start fresh today – hopefully making this year more profitable and more importantly, consistent and well-organized.

I’m probably the fourth least organized person on the planet… no wait, I DO have folders in Photoshop that separate my files with 80% accuracy. lol I have a supply closet with cellophane bags, cardboard backing, and mailers. My prints are carefully and neatly, if somewhat randomly, stored… so what if I need to shuffle through them to find the exact one you ordered, right? Hah, that means I might only be the fifth least organized person.

When I began selling my artwork online, my only goal was to sell something. I did have the foresight to legalize my business – albeit with a narrow-minded name that doesn’t reflect the direction I’ve taken – but my pricing practices were sketchy (just double the cost, right?) and I wasn’t prepared for the amount of time and attention to detail it takes to keep each website operating smoothly.
I opened an account on one selling venue, and forgot about it completely… until six months later, when I was notified via e-mail (thankfully!) of a customer’s
purchase. My initial joy turned to horror when I realized that I hadn’t removed the “free shipping” special that had ended months earlier, as well as discovering my product descriptions and policies were very outdated. Naturally, I honored the stated information… but she certainly got a deal on that piece! LOL
It prompted me to scramble through my e-mail folders, to locate any and ALL sites that I registered with… and completely overhaul each account.

I’ve grown accustomed to delegating assignments, and relying upon others to carry out various tasks… and it’s been a slow and surprising realization that I am completely dependent upon my own efforts now. I can’t afford to hire employees (yet!) to help carry the burden. Some aspects, like web design, are enjoyable despite the stress of having to constantly keep things fresh and relevant. I wouldn’t use one of those all-inclusive web hosting sites, where you hand over the reins to a developer and periodically e-mail them with requested changes.
I like the freedom that comes with having full access to my CSS files, and being able to tweak them at will and FTP any pages I’ve edited… at 2:00AM if I’m having a restless night.
Other aspects of the job, like keeping records and balancing the budget, I would gladly dump into the lap of a more highly qualified person. It’s amazing to me that some people enjoy doing taxes! My cousin Brigit is earning yet another degree, for accounting this time. I’m jealous of her enthusiasm and natural ability to grasp financial concepts, and yet the very thought of pursuing such an education brings vomit into my mouth. Money is yucky. Needed desperately, LOL, yet something I feel an aversion towards.
On the subject of wealth, I wish to be debt-free and comfortable, with our needs met and a few pleasures within reach, but I would never ever strive to be rich. Excessive money should benefit others… I only need one house, one car, and two pairs of shoes. Maybe three. A lounging pair, a practical pair, and a dressy pair.

Ironically, I sell artwork that is purely decorative. Nobody NEEDS a painting to hang on their walls. Which brings me back to the main point of this blog; my Goals for this year. One goal involves adding functional artwork to the mix. Clocks perhaps.

I drafted this yesterday as a starting point, although I will most likely expand on these plans:

… To make a living wage selling my artwork; averaging 2 sales per day.

… To create a new piece each week – 4-5 new pieces each month, available for sale. *This does not include personal commissions which I am unable to sell commercially.

… To write a blog entry at least once per week.

… To expand on gift themes, like ornaments and collectibles, and functional artwork (i.e. clocks, jewelry boxes, planters).

… To thoroughly organize my art studio and storage closet.

… To organize my finances with Quickbooks.

… To keep my websites current.

… To participate in a local arts-and-crafts fair.

… To introduce my artwork to local gift shops for consignment or wholesale.

… To adapt and illustrate Pride & Prejudice (my way, hehe).

I don’t have any personal goals to add to this list, such as dieting or learning to cook cheesecake. (Yes, laugh at the irony of that statement!)
With a cat named Merlin relaxing in my lap, who “lives backwards” according to T.H.White, I’d rather leave my future in hands more capable than my own.
And not under the influence of sauerkraut. 😉