Last year, for the first time, I made a list of my accomplishments in 2012 — followed by a later posting of goals for 2013. I kept better track of my time than I had before — and both used my goals and, for some items, ignored them when they didn’t suit me. (I’m allowed.)
2013 was a big year for me — I sold three of the six pieces that I made — and I finally broke into the sunshine at the International Quilt Festival/Houston by winning a blue ribbon in my category. I made a lot of new friends — and lost one just before Christmas to breast cancer.
It was a year of highs and lows — but I’m still here — I’m still kicking — still creating — and I hope to share a lot more in 2014.
– Made spreadsheet of goals with a timesheet.
– Printed two years of blog posts into books (1997 & 1998).
– Developed seminar on choosing fabrics creatively (delivered to my Fiber Art Fusion group in February).
– Piece published in Machine Quilting Unlimited article about Sacred Threads (Beach Guardians).
– Accepted into International Quilt Festival special exhibit It’s Raining Cats & Dogs (Firecracker).
– Won first place at IQF/Houston in the People, Portraits, & Figures category (Lincoln).
– Accepted into the La Conner International Quilt & Fiber Arts Show in La Conner, WA (Amelia Earhart).
– Won 1st place at the La Conner Quilt & Fiber Arts Show (Amelia Earhart).
– Sold The Bowl Judgments to a private collector.
– Sold Firecracker to a private collector.
– Sold The White Raven to the International Quilt Festival collection.
– Created 5 portraits and 1 abstract. Original goal 6 portraits. Currently halfway through a family portrait.
– Entered Art Quilts XIX (was not accepted).
– Exhibited at East Cobb Quilt Guild Show (Beach Guardians).
– Won 2nd Place in the Original Design category at the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show (Beach Guardians).
– Accepted into Georgia Artists show at the Abernathy Arts Center (Lincoln).
– Participated in SEFAA’s Fiber ARTlanta show (Bukonyan Elder).
– Accepted as an artist at ArtsyShark.com and was featured on their website July 1st.
– Increased Facebook fans from 23 to 77 (goal was 46).
– Designed new labels to use on the Mac.
– Designed & printed new business cards.
– Designed thank you cards with Lincoln. These were used to thank all of the IQF/Houston sponsors.
– Updated FaceBook banner with new work.
– Updated the menus on my website by moving older work to the back and grouping portrait and abstract work into new galleries.
– Started tweeting articles of interest to fellow Creatives.
– Started a weekly blog post of my tweets called Tweek!
– Tweeted 183 times during the year (although 46 of them were made during my time in Houston).
– Made 254 posts on my FaceBook page and met my goal of posting 3 times per week 85% of the time.
– Made 42 blog posts on my website and met my goal of posting at least 1 blog post per week 65% of the time.
– Spent 455 hours in my studio, 55 hours on my website, and 53 hours doing other administrative things related to my work (like entering shows, shipping, shopping).
– Updated my website for each of my new pieces.
– Added Buy Now buttons (with links to PayPal) to all of the pages of pieces for sale.
– Updated my artist resume.
– Maintained a regular log to account for my time in the studio, on my website, & other administrative tasks related to my art.
– Reached my pre-pregnancy goal weight (took me 17 years but I got there!)
– Continued to take hundreds of sports pictures and share them through DropBox.
– Curated the Fiber Art Fusion exhibit It’s All In The Cards with Rebecca Reasons-Edwards which showed at both The Art Place in Marietta and the SEFAA Center in Atlanta.
– Grappled with my hosting service to move the website from a legacy server to the grid. (I should get a medal for this one. GoDaddy just let my site crash and never notified me that I needed to move to newer technology. I now plan to call them annually to discuss the health of the server on which my site resides.)
– Played role of year round lacrosse and choir mom.
– As of 12/27/13, there were 13,483 views on my website, an increase of just under 6% from the previous year.
– I started my Twitter account with no followers and currently have 21 (small — but it’s growing every day!)
– From August through December, donated over 100 hours in a start-up company.
And then there were some things on my list that I just didn’t do. I saw them there — and I either didn’t enjoy what I had started — or I didn’t feel motivated to do it at all.
– Complete draft of book on textile portraits. I may still do this — it’s just not at the forefront of my mind right now. I’ve also been asked to teach classes. The truth of the matter is that these are big projects — and doing them would take away from studio time.
– Create email/snail mail list. I see this in practically every article I read about art marketing. Maybe I’m lazy but I struggle with keeping up with the blog and Twitter. I don’t have an interest in making a newsletter right now.
– Participate in SEFAA Square Foot Fiber Art Pin Up Show & the Abernathy Art Center Pin Up Show. These are shows that ask for 12″ or smaller pieces — which is not what I typically do. It’s hard for me to pry myself from one of my larger projects to work on smaller ones. I tend to work on one project at a time and don’t start the next one until I’m finished with the one I’m working on.
– Visit at least 12 galleries in Roswell & write a blog review (only did this in January and February). This sounded like a great idea at the time. It was my desire to spread my wings and prepare material for my blog other than my own studio work — but the truth of the matter is that I work in a vacuum. Leaving the house changes the creative dynamic for me, and when I get wrapped up in a project, I like to concentrate on it to the exclusion of other things. I did find a different outlet by sharing articles about art on my Twitter account and then summarizing them each week on the blog in a Tweek!
– Make 2 small pieces a month & list small pieces for sale at ArtFire.com or ArtfulHome.com. This was (and is) a great idea — but as I’ve said, I tend to work on a larger scale. There is something to be said for creating smaller pieces — they are infinitely more marketable and more likely to sell (particularly in the current economy). However, to be smaller, they also need to be simpler — most of the pieces that I find engaging and develop into fuller projects are complex — and I find that more interesting.
I did spend the year with a focus on marketable pieces. I stopped working on people (with the exception of The Bowl Judgments — although you could argue that the angel falls into a category of her own). Many people will see a portrait of a person and say something like “one day I’d like you to do a piece of my grand-children” — but moving that into an actual sale is extremely difficult. Animals have much broader appeal as subjects than people. Anyone that has had a bull-dog will see artwork of a bull-dog and want it.
And although I sold three pieces — which I think confirms my theory about the marketability of certain subject matter — I have to acknowledge that the blue ribbon of Lincoln tells me that there is still room to work on portraits of people — as long as the subject is carefully chosen.
I won’t say that my end goal is to sell all of my work — I think I make my work for me — but it is nice to have a way to cover your expenses and have something left over to contribute to your family.
Good-bye 2013 — it’s been a hell of ride!