I know, it's been a minute since I've written anything for the blog section of the website, even though in the summer I had anticipated writing as often as I possibly could. To put things simply, the last six months of 2016 have been a literal nightmare. From getting and losing two jobs in a span of almost two months, moving into an apartment, and having an insane amount of car troubles, the universe has definitely been testing my patience and strength this year. So now that you know all of that, here's a little end of year list of things I want to say to you, things to still expect before the year is up, and what to look forward to in 2017.
First, and most importantly, 2016 was easily my worst year in terms of running my shop. I fell behind on so many orders due to being a new father, having to deal with moving into my own apartment, and other mental and physical health concerns. I literally just recently caught up on orders that had been placed back in the summer. That is not acceptable in any way, and I will be working diligently to get my turnaround time on orders back to the 3-5 business day standard I set when I first opened this business. With that being said, I want to genuinely thank you for being supportive, patient, and understanding throughout this difficult period in my life and in my business.
On a more positive and upbeat note, 2016 also marked the year I received the most commission work I think I have ever had throughout the last five years of being a freelance artist. From design and consultation work for small businesses and start-ups, personal paintings for a variety of different clients, and even a small handful of photography jobs, this year has been good to me, you have been amazing to me. It goes to show that with a little (or a lot) of patience, real dedication, and a bit of trial and error, freelancing can be a lucrative option for any type of artist. If only the rest of my life could chill out so I don't immediately lose all of the commission money I make on bills and expenses. Again, I will be hard at work preparing and planning for an even greater year in 2017. My main goal for next year is to make enough money to give myself a proper vacation.
Alright, on to expectations for the remaining weeks of 2016, and what to look for as I dive into 2017. Most importantly, I am working with Squarespace to beta test their implementation of PayPal transactions through the shop. Just another method of payment, if you ever felt weird giving your credit card information to make a purchase, now you can just use your PayPal!
For the next few weeks, while I test this out, if you make a purchase using PayPal, I will randomly include two additional free prints to your order.
So, if you follow me on Instagram, you have most likely noticed that I have only really been producing work to build up content in my Reaper series. I never entirely gave a description of this series or why I am even doing it. Initially, it was just mindless drawing one night due to an overall lack of inspiration and new ideas. Purge Thyself was the patient zero for the sudden outburst of Reapers in my portfolio, and was a turning point for me. It opened up an entirely new approach to my ideas, allowing me to easier bridge the gap between my writing and my drawings.
So what is going to happen with these Reapers? That's something I'm still playing around with. Making prints of them seems somewhat wasteful, since I'd be selling them at a smaller size to fit the aesthetic of the original drawing. Perhaps I'll put them together in a book of sorts, but that will be way further down the road. For now, I think I will be selling the originals. Some are simple sketchbook paper, some are on thicker watercolour paper, some are just drawn on scrap paper. The price of the original drawing will reflect a few things, but overall, I think simply selling the original is the best option. It gets them to people that want them at an insanely affordable price (each Reaper will run anywhere between $40 - $100, at most). And I don't see myself slowing down on the production of them, so there will always be something available in the shop.
Something else to look forward to before the end of the year is actually something that has nothing to do with my artwork, but will be included here in the blog. My Top Ten Albums of 2016 write-up. If you give a shit about my personal opinion on the music of this year, this is something you will want to check out.
So 2017 is coming up fast, and there are a whole mess of plans I have to make things more interesting. First off, I really want to start having real merchandise available to purchase in the shop. Still selling prints, obviously, but I am working on finding partners to work on a multitude of different projects with. I am working on getting some shirt designs done up for the new year as well as possibly a windbreaker or jacket. The former option will be easy, the latter will take some time. But I'm really hyped on that. Next, I'm looking into creating banners and flags that you can hang up in your home, I have a few pieces that I would love to have on something huge, like a three by four foot banner. We'll see how that works out. Finally, the most immediate and fun thing I will have available in 2017 are stickers. It's taken me entirely too long to get this done, but better late than never, eh? The stickers are going to be included for free in every order from the shop, but I will also have sticker sets available to purchase if that's all you want. Here's a quick look at the first printing of them:
So that's really it, for now. I am sure I missed a bunch of other things I plan on doing in 2017, but here's what I can remember right now and what is actually important. I am going to make an effort (I say this all the time), to write more here. Whether it be about art stuff, tech stuff, or whatever. I just want the blog to be a spot where I can talk about whatever, a more intimate look into my life. If you think that's something worth doing, please let me know.