My contribution to the Brooklyn Library Sketchbook Project is due to be sent out by mid-April but I have not started a single page. My recovery and recharging took more time than expected, weighed down by the remnants of old guilt on daring to take a break when so much has to be done.
But today is a rather good day, given that I've been at a loss on what to do with the Sketchbook despite several initial ideas that lost luster because I've put it off for far too long. Today the final idea on what to do with it has come and, if I am lucky, I just might be able to get started today, for real.
I woke up late this morning, and immediately felt the twinge of guilt because so much could have been done since sunrise. But I pushed the guilt aside and went to my Etsy shop to complete "recycling" the listings of items that have been sold into listing of new items. I have also decided to put EVERYTHING on 10% off until April 2. (Take a look at the shop here.)
Having done that was when the Sketchbook idea came. Like a token for completing a task.
Next to do is writing in the journal, another practice I've sorely neglected. All I've been doing is tinkering with the pages but not really writing the way I need to.
Writing long and deep is a sure way to get into the forest. I just need to find a space where I will not be constantly interrupted and where my back and shoulders won't hurt (the studio setup and space are okay for typing and painting but not so much for handwriting). I also would like some natural daylight, if it isn't too much to ask.
I have added categories to Stories. There are a few bits and pieces I plan to add to the collection in the coming days.
I am almost at two hundred pieces, taking full inventory of my artwork. Also keeping track of what's included in the website gallery, what's sold, what's made available as prints and products. I've resurrected a few older pieces. The Garden is revived -- new designs in Society6 and Redbubble shops, and as previously mentioned a very updated Etsy.
But the Garden is only as good as the Wildforest, which needs its own tending of a different kind. it's harder work. It's soul work. It's heart work. I want to bring more forest into the garden. More savage and wild alongside the safe and sweet. More dares and provocations beside inspirations of peace and calm.
Yesterday I rediscovered an old piece buried among the last unsorted bag of clutter. I added a few details and now it's up at Etsy. She's a monster and yet her venom can also be a way to understanding. I have an uneasy relationship with her. She dwells within the narrow borders between the garden and the forest, always eager for an opening to slip into either places. Always ready to strike, disguised as hope or a beginning.
I'm staying resolute about keeping away from anything duty, even if it's studio work. Even social obligations. If it feels even slightly like a 'should', I am putting it off until Monday. Right now even making new bookmarks to replenish sold ones feels like a 'should'. So does writing that Commissions page in the website.
What I want is to create without the wishes and expectations of others hanging anywhere around me. (Make something more masculine. Make more products to make more money. Accept commissions and do them for the money even if they're not true to the heart of your art, even if you don't feel like doing it. Make affordable pieces so you can sell more. Don't make pieces that are too scary or weird or confusing.)
I now remember I need to put together an art portfolio to complete an application to participate in an Art Mart where I can sell my art. It feels a bit like a 'should' to me. And besides I don't think I'll have resources to make it to the April Art Mart schedule.
I want a Traveler's Notebook. And the pretty stuff that go with it.
I have finally started to let go (i.e. make available for purchase) of my Red Sun series, although I still have plans of making more pieces for that set.
Yesterday I completed an art supply run that was basically buying half-pans to update my colour palette. I refrained from any additional purchases because what I need to really do is make from the materials not just hoard them.
Today I am beginning to feel the fatigue of nonstop chores and errands since Saturday, which is another layer on top of the dayjob adulting that has barely paused since December. I want to take today off. No, I want to take the rest of the week off. Seriously. Maybe I will. This will be my only chance because after Easter the dayjob begins again.
I should be painting already, but sloughing off the crusted layers of daily life and duties to get to the heart of creating has been a full-time job in itself. The cauldron is cold. The fire needs to be stoked. But oh, this perpetual exhaustion! This neverending attendance to obligations and expectations!
Even the art shops carry their own demands away from the actual creation. Once again I am up the dead-end wall trying to be seen by the right kind of art lovers and buyers. There is progress, but so small and slow. Yet I persevere. Sometimes it doesn't make sense even to me why I bother. But then something reminds me why.
Last night I had a rather soul-shaking anxiety attack. I wished I would fall asleep and never wake up. But I woke up this morning. And here I am.
Sometimes I suspect it is just a loneliness speaking. And that eternal exhaustion.
All I know is that if I had not found the Wildforest then something would have gone very wrong, and many other things along with it.
Still here! And it's the Holy Week so most of the city folks have started the exodus to their provinces. My family is hardcore city folk so no provinces to visit (sadly also no fields of green to run in and carabaos to ride).
Dayjob duty was left on the doorstep when I came home last Friday. I thought it would be an easy slip into the wildforest but I was wrong. First there was the mess that was still the leftover from the last pop-up that I had to put aside because the dayjob was cruel and grueling. Layer that with the mess of the dayjob itself -- piles of paper and the chaos of frantic efforts to find missing supplies and the occasional tantrum of frustration when no one's looking. Second was the list of life chores and errands put on hold for weeks that need tending to -- grocery shopping, updating bills, reviving the art shops, cleaning up and decluttering long neglected home spaces.
So the first three days of my supposed break from work was still work. And it looks like it's still spilling over today, the fourth day.
I had to grit my teeth and go through a long tedious process of putting all my art shops in order. There are the online shops (Etsy, Society6, Redbubble) and then there's the small setup at home that people can visit and purchase from directly. Since I do not have large inventories I must keep track of what's sold, what needs to be printed again, etc. I need to have price labels so my mom can tend to the shop even when I'm not around. I have to fix the display wall.
I've freshened up and been updating this website especially the artwork gallery -- each piece that is available leads to a shop link. I've uploaded new designs in both Society6 and Redbubble (there are designs shared by both but many are exclusive to each). I've started a week-long sale in my Etsy shop with new and selected listings.
Local buyers : if there is anything you're interested in or if you have queries, please leave a message here.
For everyone, please visit and check out the following:
REDBUBBLE has apparel, scarves, hardbound journals, drawstring bags, and acrylic blocks which Society6 does not have yet. I've activated selected apparel for selected designs.
Click here to visit the Redbubble shop.
SOCIETY6 has been uploaded with selected designs that won't be available in Redbubble.
Click here to visit the Society6 shop.
My ETSY shop is on sale, with most items at 10% off, until April 2, 2018. (Image above shows prices in Php but should be in your own currency when viewed on your device.)
I've listed new items that include original art, bookmarks, and colouring pages. Will be listing note cards and art print postcards soon.
Click here to visit the Etsy shop.
I'm writing another post on other updates so come back for that!