Wednesday, June 11, 2008

this is how jessie rambles....

I'm sure that I shouldn't be on the computer right now because there is a thunderstorm outside. What is it about thunderstorms that are so conducive to blogging? Well, mostly I'm here because it has been a long several days of painting the alphabet. I've been working on a commission that I should have finished a month ago, but set the deadline back to match the delayed payment. This worked out well for me because I was able to shift my energies towards focusing on defending my thesis, the dog event, and 2 more dog commissions--but now I'm scrambling to finish in time! Hmmm...what would I do without deadlines? Well, I would probably do lots of things, but I must admit, deadlines are good medicine for pumping things into high gear.

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.



Melba said...

I can't wait to see that commission. I bet it is awesome!

It is a challenge for me to know what to price my work. You help me stay real and true to myself.

Thanks for sharing the link to Kristine's shop & art. It is all beautiful.

Be well my friend.

Talk soon.

Sacred Suzie said...

It is important that we value our time and energy and not be afraid to recognize our worth and the worth of what we make. I can't wait to see your commission!

I love that you blogged during the threat of a thunderstorm, such courage and what an adventurous spirit.

laundrygirl said...

You are so cool! You continually inspire me with your courage and fierce spirit, always striving and believing your dreams.

Anonymous said...

Undervaluing myself in almost every aspect is one of my big challenges, as you know. You ALWAYS inspire me and remind me that there is a big sky all around the rainclouds over my head.

Love you, M

kj said...

hello jessie, one of my favorite things is to visit your blog after a time when i haven't for a while. i love scanning down and seeing what you've been spiritually and visually up to.

you are now a public artist. no way around it. i am thrilled for you.


Don said...

Hi Jessie,

Thanks for your comment. I'm fascinated by your project. At one time 'letters' was my life, as was, 'entrepreneur'. Problem was 'entrepreneur' eventually got in the way of 'letters' and they weren't fun any more. Looking forward to seeing how yours develops.

-- Don

Colorsonmymind said...

shit girl-this post just landed right smack in the middle of my chest with a tingling achey sort of way. It is pushing me in an area I feel tender about. I have been bustiong my butt getting a portfolio together. I have felt good about it, but now I am ready for payed work-and money-with it comes insecurity that I am charging too much, that I won't get booked. Then I realize I have advertised either....... ahhhhh more to contemplate...thanks love...I mean it:)

Lucy said...

What a project you've taken on--I'd have gone grayer than I'm already turning, but yet on the other hand I'd be invigorated by it as well.I'm looking forward to seeing it. I happened by your blog through Leah of Creative Everyday when I saw your comment about your project you are doing.

Pricing for me is very challenging as well. One day, I decided to price a larger work a bit more than I had normally priced my pieces to truly reflect a 'bit' closer to what I feel it's worth and to my astonishment, I sold it. Now mind you, I hope to raise my prices as I get better and better at what I do so eventually I can paint for a living rather than for extra money and a whole lot of satisfaction--still, I have a hard time valuing my work, yet I don't want to just scrape by either.

Good luck to you as you finish up this commission!