Strangely enough, I've been enjoying this alphabet commission much more than I thought I would. To give a recap on the project, I'm doing a grid of 25 canvases that all together will measure 7 1/2 feet by 7 1/2 feet. Since it takes me nearly an entire day to paint each canvas (or more), I am realizing that I sorely undercharged for this job. For some reason I'm ok with this though (live and learn). I've been enjoying pushing richly colored paint around on the canvas so much that I tend to forget myself. Not to mention, they will soon become prints and cards.
Needless to say, I have letters and colors and words swimming around my head like there's no tomorrow. Yesterday I worked on the letter "R." According to Vinny, the letter R is the most powerful letter in spoken language (along with "O"). Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrright! I believe it. Today was the letters "B" and "E." Also powerful letters because they spell "BE." And isn't that what we're all really striving for? To BE.
It was time to come up for a breather though. I have been working so intensely that all of a sudden I found myself with a fairly deep need to connect. Painting causes me to get really introspective, but I'm beginning to find that I want/need to balance my introspection with opportunities to connect with other living, breathing beings. Sure, the dogs are good conversationalists, but uh....
Yeah, so anyway, it is storming outside. My little cat, Viscosa has her nose peeking out the window smelling the air. My other cat, dear old thing, is asleep at my feet. I've been offered another feature, this time in July's issue of Edge Life and my email's in-box is being inundated by causes/groups/clubs that are hoping for a donation as well as events that need registration. I wish I had more money, because then I could do everything. But then I remind myself that this is a process. I've started to rely on my feelings to tell me what I should do for each circumstance. I recently learned this from my good friend Kristine when we were discussing how to price art. She said: "Go with what feels right." Turns out that her advise is applicable to almost anything. What she meant by that statement was to go with a decision that leaves you feeling good about what you're doing. If you eventually feel resentment over the time and energy you put into something, then you didn't ask for enough (or gave yourself away too freely). On the other side of the coin, in my book, the only time a price is too high (when selling or working) is when you can't find anyone willing to pay what you're asking. That's not to say that I'm not concerned about pricing appropriately (I'm still only pricing at the bottom-mid range of the average). But one thing I've had ample time to think about is what my time is worth.
It makes me sad to see so many women underpricing (ie undervaluing) themselves--whether it is their art, their knowledge, their time, their work...whatever. I've been that woman most of my life and am only now starting to see how this has held me back in so many ways. I see this sense of undervaluing a lot on Etsy and it is one of the reasons it took me so long to jump on board. All I know is that I don't want to work my ass off for the rest of my life so that I can barely get by. I don't want to live that way anymore. Yes, it's another process...but I'm ready to start valuing myself more. This has taken a bit of gumption, but I'm willing to stick to my guns and wait it out if necessary. Risk number 3,789. Will there ever be an end to these risks? Ok, life might get boring without them, but I would prefer to transfer my risk taking away from financial matters and direct them instead towards, say, travel.
Speaking of Kristine, you must go check out her latest work. Holy cats, that woman's work blows me away. To infuse little pieces of metal with so much LIFE ENERGY! How does she do it? I would love to sit inside her brain while she creates and imagines the people that inhabit her sculptures. What if we all saw ourselves as beautiful as Kristine's creations? Somehow I think her work makes this world a better place.