I've been considering recently whether to write an honest reckoning post here. I've been going back and forth about whether it is better to just keep a positive spin going or is it better to frank and honest and just say what is really going on... you see, I have hit a point in doing all this work, where I may just have to stop for an undetermined period of time.
Here is why:
While I absolutely LOVE doing the sculptures and photography work itself, along with making all the various products to share the work, there seems to be a big gap between my love for the work and my ability to generate a livable income from it. I had hoped that people would fall in love with the work enough to keep me going financially, but, sadly, that has not been the case.
As with many artists, especially us shy types, the idea of always having to be hustling our work is an anathema to what is in our hearts and souls. This is extremely so for me. The work that I do, out in Nature is pretty much the total opposite of what is required to be successful in the Marketplace. I know my work is good... I don't mean that from an egoistic place, but it comes from knowing deep inside what it takes to make sculptures and photographs like these...and how much work is done that is never seen by you, the viewer because it is not quite good enough. But to just be accomplished technically is not enough if one is to make a living at being an artist, and I have been unable to get that part of the process to work... I think mainly because there is just simply too much for one person to do and have it be a success financially.
I had hoped that the work would sell itself and that the people who liked it would help grow the business so that it could naturally and organically grow enough to sustain me in my simple and very modest lifestyle. Perhaps in a different economy this would be easier. Or perhaps, if people didn't have so many other shiny, expensive toys to spend their time/money on, there would be more for artists like myself who work very hard to produce something very special and somewhat spiritual to nourish and inspire others. I simply don't know what it takes to "make it" these days, but I've had to face facts and realize that I simply cannot do it all, alone, any more. I am not able to make ends meet and it does not make any sense to keep doing what does not work.
I am still working on my Kickstarter book and it will get finished by the end of the year. I hoped to have it done in time for Christmas giving, and am still pushing hard for that, but given Lulu's printing schedule, it may be down to the wire....but I will NOT compromise any quality in order to finish by some marketing deadline...this book is just too important for me to not give it my very best attention.
I do not know what the future will hold. I have some very exciting potentials that are still waiting to take shape, but if none of it will pay the bills anytime in the near future, then I have to think carefully about what I can and cannot do. More than anything, I have to face facts and look to this reality and get my finances in order.
Now for the good news...the "silver lining" part I mentioned in the title of this post. If you would like to help, there is a great offer that is just now been made by Lulu that could be a nice way to celebrate this whole adventure. Lulu has just announced that they are offering a 35% off sale on calendars till the end of the month.
This is HUGE...really!!!!!!
You will only get to use this coupon once, so be sure to get all your calendar gift-giving needs into one order and then be sure to place it before the end of the month.
Here is the coupon code: STUDIOVIP305
The notice said it would be good till the end of the month. Now, I don't like to say negative things about Lulu, but in the past I have seen them take away offers before they have actually expired, so don't leave this till the last minute. I don't think you'll get a better offer for the rest of the year... with my discount of 10% off and Lulu's 35%, that is an unbelievably good savings.
Here again is the link to the Eartherials calendar: click HERE
and here you'll find the Spirals calendar: click HERE
As for what the future holds, I am still going to post here, I am still going to fulfill any orders I get thru my website at www.greenspiritarts.com so please do continue to stop by and visit and see what might be new. However, I will have to be taking up other work of some kind so that I can increase my income stream. If there is anyone out there who would like to be an old-fashioned patron, please let me know. :-) If you would like to take some of my cards to your local gift shop to promote them, let me know and I'll send you a sales kit. If you would like to have your Holiday cards printed with one of my sculptures on the cover, let me know and I'll be happy to work with my printer to get custom cards printed just for you.
If you'd like to get a truly rare and collectible original sculpture, I will be putting more Faerie houses up for sale soon. (see the top of this page "Faerie House" for more information) However, I'm not going to reduce the prices to fire-sale levels because I need to honour all that has gone into them....hundreds of hours in some cases. I'll donate them to a children's hospital or something instead of selling them for less than what they are worth. But if you would like one, I'll do everything I can to work out a payment program or what I can to get one to you. And if you'd like one, I am still very happy to create custom houses.
It has literally been painful to my heart to come to this place of reckoning, but as agonizing as it has been, it is also important to recognize that at some point, one simply has to accept certain limits. For me, I have been extremely happy with the progression, refinement and quality of my artistic work, and sadly, for whatever reasons, it is not providing me with anything close to a sustainable income stream.
I have come to peace with this, and finally, after feeling like a failure and a disappointment, I know that I am neither. I know that the work I've done has merit and for some people has been a magical experience. For me it certainly has been, and I want to keep it that way. I know I will continue to do Environmental art in some form or another, but, I have to find some way to earn enough "dosh" as my dear Scottish friend says, so that at the very least I can pay my bills. I will keep posting here but I do not know what shape the future holds for me as an artist.
I want to thank Everyone for all the ways that you have supported my work in the past and I hope you will still do so in the future. I am deeply committed to continuing to create artworks that inspire the deep part of each of us that wants so much to re-connect with Nature and with the Magical realms that do indeed exist here and now. Now, more than ever we need to honour the Earth and our place here as stewards, caretakers and collaborators; with Nature and the Beings that inhabit the unseen worlds. My work, whatever form it takes will always have this as an underlying foundation because that is the core of who I am as an artist and as a person.
Deep gratitude to each of you for your support, your encouragement and your enthusiasm... you made my days shine ever brighter. With palms together and a deep and humble bow, I thank you.
I'm now going to focus completely on getting the Kickstarter book finished, honouring my previous agreements for my Kickstarter patrons, and then taking some time to figure out what I can do to earn a living wage.
Blessed Be to all of you,