Thursday, June 26, 2008

So slow to post...and to grow

I've had plenty of little tidbits going on that I might have blogged about, but I have been I have sort of been keeping my head down and working. I finally got caught up on leaving feedback (some went as far back as December), and may have finally, after almost 2 years on Etsy, perfected a system for making sure that every buyer gets a personal estimate of ship date and a personal notification of shipment. I have had to rely on the e-mails that are automatically generated since things got brisk on Etsy about a year and a half ago.

I have been thinking lately that I am standing on the brink of more growth both personally and professionally. Two people gave me Eckhart Tolle's book, "A New Earth" for my birthday back in May. One gave me the printed book and the other the book on CD. I read the book whenever I could get a moment, and listened to the CDs driving to and from work. The reason these folks gave me the book was because they saw me in its pages. And I did too. It has helped me a lot to get to work on changing a lot of conditioned behaviors that I exhibit and that I think waste a lot of my energy and keep me from being focused on the task at hand.

It did help me figure what I think my purpose here is, just in time to have a chance to serve my purpose pop up (see prior post). But still there is a lot of growth to come there.

Father's Day was great! Got lots of cool t-shirts from Etsy sellers and Mario Kart for the Wii. I'm looking for Wii friends to race, so you can comment here if you wanna join in. Just put your Wii number (comments won't be visible, unless I approve and post them, which I won't do for Wii numbers).

I got to thinking about how much our perspective of our progress can affect our actual progress. I think my life as a working artist is bursting to grow more and needs to grow more and is going to grow more, but I am nervous about being able to handle more business than I already have. I think I need another set of hands to handle a lot of the managerial aspects of the business. As it is now, I do everything related to my Etsy store, with the exception of my wife listing for me when I am trying to get packages out.

So then I started thinking that maybe it's me thinking that I can't handle any more growth that's kept growth steady but slow. Never more than I could handle. I do believe we get what we ask for, and by fearing more success, I may be asking not to be given more than I think I can handle. So I have stopped thinking that. For the most part.

So, then, some major things happened business-wise this week. And those things have great potential to lead to great growth. Of course, we will all have to wait and see.

So...what's my point? My point is don't hold yourself up with doubt. If the potential for growth comes, don't worry if you are ready for it. It wouldn't be there if you weren't. Oh, and give "A New Earth" a chance. It has been life changing for me.

Here's to being overwhelmed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Critters...

From the moment I created my very first critter in my Woodland Critter series, I have wanted to create other groups under the Critter umbrella. So, finally I have begun the Aquatic Critters. Right now, that consists of the Colossal Whale, the Nimble Octopus, The Playful Porpoise and the Patient Seahorse.

More subsets, sub-series, etc. to come.

These are available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Opportunities to do what it feels like you were meant to do...

So I write a good bit about about some of the more mental and spiritual aspects of trying to follow a dream, for lack of a better term. It's now been more than a year since I realized that being a working artist is what I am "doing" with my life.

So far, so good. No one at the Golden house is going hungry. But it still feels like there is a long way to go before being what I wished for will make a comfortable lifestyle for us. Of course, being a working artist has removed a lot of the stress and turmoil that is built into being a freelance graphic designer, so, in a huge way, we are already living a more comfortable life. A shift in attitude from "There is always something else I need to be doing for work" to "This is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now" has resulted, and all kinds of opportunities present themselves.

The most fulfilling of those has been the opportunity to give a piece of my art work to someone for whom I truly feel it was made (plus the opportunity to have my almost six-year old daughter at my elbow as I type this, telling me the words I am typing, "You writed (sic) 'good' in your sentence didn't you?").

About 2 years ago, I created "A Good Robot Would Do Wonders for Your Soul", as a companion piece to my "Rayguns Don't Kill People". At the time, I chose text that I thought was a play on the idea that a traditionally "soul-less" oject, a robot, could be good for your soul. These little text snippets that I use pop into my head, and I know that somewhere, out there, that the art and the text will click with someone and have some meaning to them.

If you go deeper, I would say that robots and depicting them has been very good for my soul, as I now am able to finally be a working artist, and that drawing a few robots has allowed me to draw many other things for which I have affection. But I don't believe that to be the true meaning anymore.

Many folks have connected with "A Good Robot...", and I think we all have different reasons for connecting with the piece. Once again though, a stranger reached out and delivered a message. The message in this case was the answer to the question: What am I here to do?

My thanks go out to Bryn for helping to get "A Good Robot..." into to the hands of the two people that I feel somehow it was made for.

I will warn you, this link takes you to a blog that will break your heart. But it will also inspire you, and may remind you that your own troubles are small. I am linking you to the entry from 11 weeks ago. I recommend you read the entries in order.

Matt, Liz and Madeline

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

International shipping is back!

After much research into the myriad of affordable options for shipping internationally...well,'s not a myriad exactly, I am pleased to announce that I have reinstated international shipping in my Etsy shop!

Now everyone can get their mitts on some John W. Golden art :).

Monday, June 02, 2008

What's better for aches and pains than camping?

I took 7 kids camping this weekend, just so I could sleep on the ground and add a whole new set of aches and pains to my repertoire. We went on a 5-mile hike, but I don't feel any worse for the wear from that. Except for the sunburn. Had some of the best spaghetti, and some of the best scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage ever cooked by a bunch of 11-year olds.

On the art front, I continue to work on my list of dogs and cats, critters, etc. and I am gearing up for another round of rings and pendants. I hope to add another resin pendant design – a stainless steel tab with rounded corners and no sides. I'll shoot a sequel to my resin tutorial that covers that process.

I mentioned before that my resin how-to has been entered in the Spread the Craft contest over on The overall winner will be picked by judges, but there is also a People's Choice winner, determined by voting. You have to register to vote and rate (and it will be a few more weeks before voting begins), but I do appreciate any votes and ratings that you throw my way.