I feel like I haven't sat down and actually created a 'proper' drawing, or worked on a project, in ages. Life, and making a living, has got in the way of that.
Not that I've stopped drawing, I've never drawn as much. And, I'm loving drawing in a different, faster way. I do long, though, to just sit for an entire afternoon or weekend, week even, and just work on a big mega drawing. The kind of thing I can get lost in.
But, I need to capitalise on this time of year. That's the reality, right now. I've finally just begun, after a couple of years of real hardship, to see the wood for the trees and to really start thinking like, and seeing myself as, a professional artist/illustrator. Whatever that is.
And, now, I've forced myself into a situation where I have to make money from this. Which is a good thing. A scary thing, but a good thing.
Before I was just selling online to top up my wage, now my wage tops up my selling online. The balance has shifted. And, I'm no longer just selling online, recently I've been selling offline too.
All of these drawings were made over two days, and two art fairs, last weekend. I've come to realise that I need to sell myself in lots more ways (not like that), to keep a roof over my head.
It's not easy to see your work in those terms; as a saleable product. Well, at least, I don't find it easy. But that is the reality of it.
It's been a long time coming too. I've been talking about it for way too long; taking steps to turn professional. And, it hasn't been the greatest of timing, on my part, in this recent financial climate. But, there's something about the struggle that makes it even more 'rewarding' (that's not the right word, or not the word I'm looking for, but it's late at night and I'm tired).
So, I've been getting my work out there, and, actually, even if it still feels uncomfortable selling me, I couldn't love sharing and talking about my work more.
I'm constantly amazed anyone wants to know.
My plan for 2015 is to get better at all that stuff. The presenting of my work, that is. I've had a practice run this year, but I want to make my 'show' bigger and better. I want it to be a visual treat, to compliment my sketchbooks.
I want to make lots more lovely creative products that show off my drawings. And, I want to get out there, further afield, and meet and share them with more people.
And, I want more adventures. So that when I finally get back home,
to sit and draw, I'll bring all that I've learnt and seen back to my work. And make it richer than ever.
Looking forward to the New Year already.
I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. Absolutely none. I'm glad it ended on such a positive note. I think I've inspired myself!
One day, not too far distant, I'll be able to say "I know this artist!And I have some of her earlier work." And people will offer me all kinds of silly money for an "early AJ" And I'll say "No way!"
So pleased for you, Andrea.
Andrea, I treasure your book I ordered earlier this year, LOVED you SBS klass, and stare in adoring astonishment at your illustrations, both of people and of things. You are already an accomplished illustrator, all you need is do exactly what you mentioned here, and do it with gusto!
Andrea! You are such a sweetie! You deserve to see all your dreams accomplished in this new year! I am in Sketchbook Skool and I had you as a teacher and I can say it's true what I am saying. Lot of luck! You deserve it! Love your art!
Congratulations Andrea, what a brilliant year you've had. I have been following your blog for a while now and it's great to see you blossom into the professional you really are. Keep up the good work and I loved this extra long post.
As usual, the sketches are beautiful. Love your lines.
Hope you keep sketching more.
I was so happy to meet you this year as our Sketchbook Skool teacher. You have inspired me greatly with the energy that emanates from your work. There is always a story going on, even in the simplest page, but of course your complex drawings just make me want to dive in and live there.
As you inspire others all the time (-:.
Wish you all the best for 2015, hope your plans will work out the way you expect.
Love your work, do you do it on site or work from pictures? I always get a little uncomfortable working where other people can see what I'm doing. :) thanks for sharing!
Fantastic, inspiring post - thank you.
Andrea - have loved your work since the first time I saw it an dhave been very happy to have had the cahnce to purchase a few zines and your lates book bundle. Its so hard to balance commerce and creativity and I am delighted to hear that its beginning to work out for you even through the tough economic climate. We don't need to "sell-out" our creativity, but - through a process of trail and error (market research?) try to understand what - out of all the things that we like to do - are people willing to pay for, and at a price which makes it commercialy a viable proposition for us. keep it up! You are an inspiration to me
all the best for 2015!
Aw, gosh, thanks so much! All of these lovely comments have really made my day.
G Frank Nin,
I work on site. Not from photos. It wouldn't feel right for me to work from photos. That's just a personal thing and everyone works, differently, of course. Finding a sketchcrawl group helped me in feeling less uncomfortable about people being around. Find some people to draw with. It really helps.
Thanks so much to everyone for the kind wishes. I hope you all have a fantastic creative 2015, too.
Keep at it! I've loved your work for years. The world is a better place with your artwork to follow.
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