Farewell, 2021!

2021 was perhaps my best year ever as a hobby artist. I made some some beautiful things. Many of which I am filled with pride over. It is hard to say “Farewell, 2021!” for so many reasons. But tomorrow is a new year.

When I decided to rebrand myself and launch a new website and try out new ideas in 2020, I think the timing was really bad. I no sooner decided to jump back into this with both feet, when stirrings of the strange pneumonia circulating in China began to hit the news. Within a few months, the world had suddenly changed and I will admit that I was feeling very un-creative and apprehensive.

Instead of making art like crazy during the shutdowns, I turned to hiking and gardening and the outdoors in general. Tyson and I spent a ton of time together exploring nature, losing weight, getting fit, and being cautiously optimistic about what the future would bring.

I actually had to force myself to make the few things I did that spring. I wanted badly for pieces like Poppycock and my new Fat Cats design to act like a lubricant and get the creative juices flowing, but it really didn’t. I think the joy of nature kept me outside and I associate “arting” with being inside, and especially with relaxing on the evenings and weekends.

Things changed in the fall, however. I decided to add listings to my Etsy shop, sell off a bunch of older artwork, and bring my Scrollwork cats out of retirement. I also made a few generic scrollwork monograms. This led to commissions over the holidays and things just took off from there.

Over the winter I added more types of Scrollwork Cats to my lineup and expanded my Monogram listings as well. I was so busy I almost couldn’t keep up with it over the spring. It was fun, but a little bit too hectic. Especially with a full-time job.

During the summer of 2021 we undertook a massive remodel of over half our house. Let’s just say it was not fun. We had no bathroom for nearly two months and even after we had a toilet again we didn’t have tub… blah, blah, blah. I had to cancel several commissions over the fall because the house was in such disarray that it wasn’t conducive to creating artwork.

Now, during that time, with only a couple of large projects to work on, I was able to really dig into what I was doing. Lestat’s and Glesnner House were really quite spectacular. Why? Because I was focused solely on those projects.

Fast forward to December. Every year that I open up commissions in the fall, I get a ton of requests and I spend all my time cranking out art at breakneck speeds and always run late and end up sacrificing my own shopping and holiday preparation.

Thinking back over how the year had gone, I realized that quantity was no substitute for my quality of life. And, I knew that in order to be a happy, fulfilled artist, that the best thing I could do is shut down my Etsy shop, and only take select commissions. And that is what I will be doing today.

But, don’t fret. I still plan to create art. I just need a little more time to do it. I need to have fewer projects on my plate all at the same time. I would still love to make your dog’s portrait, or make an architectural masterpiece of your summer home, or even create his and hers monograms.

But Etsy isn’t the best venue for this, for me, at this time. Not only have their fees gone through the roof, their system doesn’t allow options that I need like two-tiered shipping because mailing an 8″x10″ costs way less than an 11″x14″. I also can’t be playing listing whack-a-mole and trying to keep listings up as advertisements, but having too many orders land all at once.

For 2022, I’m going to be taking commissions, but instead of you buying an Etsy listing, you can just contact me. Tell me about your projects ideas. Let’s work together to make a masterpiece.