Thursday, February 28, 2008


Got some new pieces in a series of Robots and Rockets that I did last year. Now Rayguns are part of the mix. These 3 little guys are available on Etsy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More Rules!!!!

At long last, I have more signs in my original By Order of the Management line. These 8 make up Series 3, and Series 4 will be released soon (within days even?).

These are available as a sets and singles on Etsy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When what you wanted takes over - Part 6

Maybe not everyone is going to have the kind of moment that I had where you realize what is holding you back in life and how to fix it. Somebody I did not even know had to tell me. (See previous post in this series).

I am not sure that I would have figured it out on my own, and I'm pretty sure I would not have recognized this opportunity at any time prior in my life. I spent most of my adult life wanting to be where I am right now in my career. It has been a very long wait. Each day I wake up wanting to go further. I am certainly not done yet. But the desire for what I have now in terms of being a working artist has been there.

So I wanted this. Great. That's all good. But most of us know that wanting something is not enough. "You gotta work for it." Right. We all know that too.

Around June '07, I continued trying to build my Etsy store, saying to myself, "I think this could work." And as the months continued to go by without taking on contract work, my mindset gradually changed to, "This is working..." until finally, in August '07, one day as I was packing orders, I thought to myself, "This is what I do now."

That's a good feeling, and not as scary as one might think. And reaching that point really felt like it opened some doors for good things to come my way. By saying, "This is what I do now," I feel like I committed to getting what I wanted. Within days of saying it that first time, some of the biggest developments in my artistic career began to fall into place. I truly believe that I was not going to get what I wanted until I committed to getting it. Visual art was not going to be my full-time job unless I was willing to spend my day's filling stay-flat mailers, spending a hefty chunk on listing and transaction fees, etc. I could not be timid about it, I could not just dip a toe in the waters. I said before I dove/fell in, and that is true.

So...why wait 29 years? I guess I did not know any better. I guess I thought that I was supposed to be doing other things. I know for sure it's because I had not yet committed to getting what it was I wanted.

When what you wanted takes over - Part 5

Let me preface this next part by saying that this is one of those things that happened with elements that may be unbelievable for some, and may make total sense for others. I am still not sure that I believe all of it, but the benefit of it happening, and what I took away from it is, to me, undeniable. This centers around someone I did not know personally, who did not personally know me, who knew very little about me, conveying a message to me. But there was enough accuracy and little bits of truth in what was said that the message caught my attention, and through this message, I was able to examine and evaluate what was happening in my career and make a tremendous change there.

So, the person I did not know then, but do now, is a very metaphysical person. I myself am one who is open to others' beliefs and have not decided what my beliefs are on a lot of things. It's a struggle to figure out exactly how to present this event, so that you, the reader, can focus on what I got out of the event rather than the details of the event.

So, the streamlined version: This person sent me a message through a mutual friend. This message was that I had a fear of saying no to people in positions of authority because I was afraid of what would happen if I did. She also sent details of why she thought this was true. What she said related to the world of art, responsibility, paying for mistakes and feeling like a slave to something. The details had nothing to do with any events that have occurred in my life, but it made me think. It was true that I hated to disappoint people. And it was also true that not saying no was leading me to put myself in situations that I did not enjoy. Furthermore, I was often very bothered by things I saw on a daily basis where people didn't take responsibility for themselves and their actions, and paid no consequence for things they did that wronged other people. And most of all, I felt completely enslaved by my work at the time.

The last part of what this person said was instructions on how to overcome this fear. There were several steps, but the big one was to ask the universe, my higher power, etc., whatever it was that I believed in, to release me from the fear of saying no. And to do it often.

Now you gotta understand, I was not sitting around pounding my head on my desk saying to myself, "Why can't I say no?". Trouble saying no was not something I had identified in myself yet. I knew I preferred the feeling I got when I said yes to a job or request to the feeling I got when I said no, but it's not something I was working on as a person. I was really just wanting to know how I was going to get from creating most of my art for other people to creating most of it for myself, and in doing so, being able to make a living doing it. Whether or not this woman's message to me, from how she received this message to whether or not what the message said was true, it clicked with me. It helped me identify some things about myself, and it gave me something to do to move myself forward.

So, I asked. I asked to be released from my fear of saying no. I did it several times a day for several months. And it worked. I became able to say no to projects, which opened my days to work on Etsy and on new work. And being free to do both of those things led me to be able to take the next step that was crucial to becoming a working artist – being willing and ready to become one.

Next: The takeover begins...

When what you wanted takes over... Part 4

So I joined Etsy. For about 6 months I did nothing, and then last January (2007) I caught on to the benefits of listing frequently and renewing listings frequently. January of last year was promising enough that I began to think that it was possible to build sales to a point that taking on contract design work would not be possible. And that was a good thing, too, because the design work was dwindling. I never really went looking for projects before. I would just finish a project, enjoy the lull that followed, and something new would come along.

So as the something news became less and less, I was able to put more of my efforts toward Etsy, and a slow build began to happen. Sales on Etsy slowed a bit in February '07, but then they began to increase a bit each month. By May '07, I was pretty well convinced that Etsy could sustain me if I could sustain the amount of work that generating sales and filling orders requires. Where I had been working sometimes 8am to 2am days, I could now work 9am to 5pm days. I could certainly do that.

I went from fretting over projects that just couldn't seem to be completed to geeking out over how much faster I could fill orders when I replaced my slow inkjet printer with a new laser printer to make my shipping labels. I mean, we're talking about a 1 1/2 minutes per label to 5 seconds! Who wouldn't geek about that?

There were several key moments in those months that disconnected me from my old work life and made me ready to make a living from my art. Some of the things that happened were strictly tangible business-type things. Others were more mental and mindset-type things. And some were totally spiritual things that I still don't know if I believe but I was able to derive a meaning from that pointed me forward.

The first thing that happened was a spiritual thing, and involved a person that I did not know at the time, and who knew very little about me. This would have been around January, before I had begun to curtail my design projects. I was at the peak of my mental turmoil over not wanting to do contract design work anymore but needing to do it to make a living. I felt stuck in my job in that I felt I could not turn projects down yet and also that I could not turn down client requests for additional deliverables or changes to projects that exceeded the budget. I was afraid to say no.

Next: How I learned to stop worrying and love the NO...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Treasury Thanks!

More thanks to those who give of their time to feature others' work...

Retro Fever!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tomorrow is the last day for Love!

Feb. 7th, 2008 is the last day to place orders (within the US) in time to receive them for Valentine's Day. Orders will ship by Monday at the very latest.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When what you wanted takes over... Part 3

So my wife and I met. While we were dating, I began working as a photographer for our little local entertainment/lifestyle rag. I was horrible at going out and getting "the shot". I am not well-suited for journalism or service photography at all really.

The mag ran an ad for a Graphic Designer. Now I would like to tell you that I saw the ad and said, "Hey! That's my major! I should march right down to the magazine's office and declare, "Stop the presses! I've found you a Graphic Designer!" Okay, maybe not that part about stop the presses. That's a bit cheesy, but suffice it to say that an ad in the publication from which I was getting $10 a picture (average 2 pics a week) for a job that might mean I'd get to use the degree I spent 4 1/2 years earning and would mean a steady, though not all that decent paycheck, had absolutely no effect on me.

Fortunately, my wife noticed that I was a Graphic Designer and reminded me of the fact. So, I applied for the job, and got it. Then when I went to our local hospital to shoot photos for an article on the Candystripers program there, and the head of the Public Relations Department asked if I knew any Graphic Designers looking for a job, I again drew a blank.

My wife, fortunately, did not and whispered, for lack of a better phrase, "That's you, dude." Thus began the pattern of opportunities going unrecognized by me, to be followed by my wife pointing out the obvious. She has done it again and again. And every time an opportunity has run it's course, she has been the one to listen to my discontent, and the one to nudge me towards finally moving on to the next better opportunity. She is the one who found Etsy for me.

In true fashion, I ignored that opportunity for several months before finally opening up shop. Once I opened up a shop, I listed only occasionally until it became apparent to me that frequent listing would improve my sales. By this time, my wife had become my sounding board for my artistic and career endeavors. She had spent the previous year watching me chase that one thing that was gonna get me out of Broadcast Design and into whatever was next – CafePress, Imagekind, etc. and listening to me talk about the potential for those endeavors. None of those really took off and were abandoned or were put on hold once the great return never materialized. Despite feelings of "Here we go again," she has supported me each time, and I dare say that is probably better than I could have done.

Now she keeps me on top of all things Etsy, and is far superior to me on deciding what to list and when. So she is in charge of that stuff. And I just make with the art and the shipping all day long.

Next: 5 months that would change our world

More Treasury Thanks!!!

Thanks to Talula for putting me in her French Treasury that I only just saw moments before it will expire...

Here's some more folks I should thank:

Gabba Gabba Hey

Vitamin C


Robot and Love

And here is my latest Treasury.

Friday, February 01, 2008

State of the Treasury Feb. 1, 2008

I thought I ought to say thanks to the good people who give me a spot in their treasury. So...I'm gonna try to have a regular post that links into these folks' treasuries and sends the massive traffic this blog generates over to show their hard work. No, really, the traffic is massive. Okay... It's the thought that counts. Please comment if you like their picking abilities and visit their shop if they are sellers:

That said, the following folks are currently including me in their hard-won treasuries:

Awesome groundhog inspired list.

Inspired by a Doctor Doolittle song.

Rainy day lovely dark leaves & things

A Rusty Shade of Blue

Colorful Goodness

Thoroughly Modern

Aqua! Art! Aqua!

Orange and Blue Favorites

Show me the green!


If you click the screen name, you'll be taken to that Etsians Treasury. Thanks a bunch!

When what you wanted takes over... Part 2

With my newly expanded exhibition space in the Golden Gallery, I spent the next year or so creating more abstract photography and "running" a fledgling freelance graphic design and photography business. I say "running" with quotes because I did not really know what I was doing. I sat and waited for the work to come to me mostly (never a good idea), but it gave me lots of time to play around with my art.

I had taken a serigraphy course in college, and I used those skills to create small runs of silkscreened shirts and dresses, and I thought that might be something that would take off for me. But...while I sold them all, I never made more than about 30 at a time, and maybe 200 in total, so that empire was never to be.

Now as I said, I had started selling my work at 11 years old, so my path, whether I knew it or not, was set from an early age. At the time of all the silkscreening, I think I was at a fork in the road. I could stay in my insanely cheap studio, and my cheap little apartment and make whatever art I wanted all day long. Or I could move forward. I could put myself in new situations that would inform my art and grow my skills by holding me to standards that were, at the time, higher than my own. I could use my degree (graphic design) to earn a living.

But first I had to do the one thing that would truly set me back on my path. I had to meet my wife.

Next: Okay, now we're ready to puke, but since we know you're gonna tell us anyway, go ahead and tell us the mushy details. And what about the rest of the 29 years of waiting?

Image from an animated station ID I did for TechTV

White Persian

After some intensive line drawing, and then some new art brush development this morning in Adobe Illustrator™, I finally completed this White Persian for my cat series.

What's really cool is that each new breed in this series is helping me to develop ways to draw fur in Illustrator, and the better I get at that, the more breeds I can do.

This one is over at Etsy.