Here's a little blog post on a typical day in the studio and the ins and outs of being a fish artist during the holidays... Also, I am BOOKED through Christmas.
Being an artist is pretty awesome. I get to sleep in with no alarm clock to wake up to. I take my time and make sure I sit and drink my coffee for about an hour while I watch fishing videos and listen to grateful dead (If you know me this is as stereotypical as I get). Then I start thinking about what I have to do that day. That's when it hits and it's go go go.
To back up a minute, I start getting Christmas commissions in the beginning of November and it's like a flood. This year I had 25 Christmas commissions and another project of 12 pieces to do in that time, so 37 total pieces in 2 months.
So back to a normal day. After my coffee, I scramble to package and mail out finished pieces and other ordered products. (The days when I have to run to the store to grab packaging supplies are bummers.) I run to the post office about 3 times per week this time of year. Then I come back to the studio and check out my hand written list of commissions and figure out how I can maximize my time today and complete as many pieces as possible.
Then I get to work on those pieces during the afternoon. After I complete the goal for the day, I get on my website and start editing areas that I feel that could be improved. I start answering emails. In November alone I had over 200 threads of emails. After emails are returned, I think about and look into opportunities of having products on my website. A lot of times that means more emails, and also time in the evenings designing things. (For instance, designing stickers, also I can see what drawings will look like on cliff fly boxes in photoshop, and I am designing belts that I'll be carrying right around Christmas.)
It's all fun for me though. I love seeing Jaybo Art grow and I love having a vision for it. Christmas time really allows me to venture out and do new things. The extra income allows me to invest in new products and helps stabilize the months following December. I love being transparent to everyone who keeps up with me, and I really like engaging with everyone too.
I think people are surprised when I take time to talk to people, especially kids and high schoolers. About everyday I get messages from aspiring young artists or people who just love my artwork. I really like that social media allows you to talk to people like that, and even give some pointers when asked.
I dont know, but I do what I do for people. I feel an odd pressure from society maybe that I should have a mindset that "I should have the same passion all the time even if no one sees my artwork." (Side note: I am like that with fly fishing... most trips I dont bring a phone or camera) But with art, I think if I didnt have an audience to show my work to then I wouldn't be as motivated to do it. I definitely do what I do for people, and don't get me wrong- I really love drawing.
People ask me "don't I ever get tired of commissions?" And I always say, "well at first I did, but now I get worried when I don't have any." So I have really learned how to manage commissions and I really love drawing for people.
Thanks to everyone for the support (and if you're still reading then you rock extra)! Really mean it!