I’ve gotten more done on the Hand lettering class project and I’m still experimenting with the background:
The sun is setting on another year and I have been thinking about goals, both old and new. It’s important for me to remember to celebrate accomplishments first, before moving too far into the goal-setting stage. I found myself ignoring that last week, my thoughts focusing only on what I’d like to achieve in 2015. Taking a moment to compose this post is bringing me back to more positive reflection.
For 2014 I am proud to have welcomed a new rescue cat into my home, The Amazing Mongo! He has a very loving and entertaining personality. I am also glad to have deepened some new friendships and renewed some older ones. I brought my artwork to three craft shows and heard great responses from new fans. I conceived of, produced, packaged, and began selling a set of temporary tattoos in my Etsy shop: “Foodietoos.” My parents and I went on trip to visit beautiful Tuscany and Rome (the latter has a very different beauty compared to the Italian countryside) in the spring, and then visited my brother in Colorado for a week in the summer. (Greg and I spotted a bull moose in the forest one morning!) Friends and cousins came to visit me throughout the year and we enjoyed what the city has to offer. I have been keeping sharp at my freelance day job in magazine production and helped the publication complete some important articles. I’m so thankful to be part of the process each month. I made sure my friends kept laughing. I discovered a new genre that I’d like to explore with my drawings … which leads me to 2015.
Goals and resolutions are definitely important but I never can actually accomplish everything I set intentions for at the beginning of each year, unless they are very low goals! (Eat fruit. Don’t wait 4 weeks to do laundry.) I have learned to not let myself become discouraged if the way things turn out isn’t quite the way I expected or would have liked them to be. It is too easy for me to get into a negative mind space and start thinking about what I “didn’t work hard enough” at, or “didn’t do enough” of, which tends to dissuade me from moving forward.
Looking back at what I did in 2014 reminds me that I am living a full life and I have to allow myself to be fluid within it … if I only stuck to my goals I might have missed out on some surprises and detours that enriched my year.
In light of that, I’m not going to post any of my specific goals here (Are you surprised? I am, too.) but I will share my general mantra for the New Year: Keep exploring, stay positive, reach out and up. (I stole that last one from yoga class!)
What about you, do you prefer very specific goals or more general ones? Why?
A quick post to remind you that if you are in the New York City area this Sunday, September 21, I hope you’ll be able to stop by the Ridgewood Market in Queens.
I will be there selling items from The Nancydraws Shop: Foodietoos, greeting cards, prints and original art from my “Love, New York” series. Look for my purple and green table display!
The Ridgewood Market is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Gottscheer Hall, 657 Fairview Ave. Ridgewood, NY 11385 (between Linden St. and Gates Ave.)
Near the L, J, and M trains
In recent months I have been thinking about different ways of getting my art into other people’s hands as a fun way to get some attention for my artwork. Being a self-marketing machine gets pretty dull and repetitive, and for the amount of time I put in, it is often without much reward or acknowledgement from the public. What I do never seems like enough and I always expect, or would like more reaction than I get. So I made a fun challenge for myself and my friends Thelma and Louise (as luck would have it, they were interested). I wanted to give prints of my “Love, New York” artwork away as a fun surprise for the recipients. I figured what I had been doing wasn’t getting a lot of attention, so why not try something else, and I held the same expectations for this experiment.
I have a handful of images for my “Love, New York” illustration theme and one focuses on a woman wearing a leopard-print coat, sunglasses, green turban, and she carries a large orange tote bag. For “Turban Lady,” my idea was to secretly place a small number of prints somewhere inside of a department store without the employees noticing. I came up with a plan to visit a few of them in Manhattan with my gorgeous volunteers. Each of us were to shop in the store as if we were looking for clothing or an outfit. While in the dressing room, we’d conceal a print in the items of clothing. Each postcard-sized print was inside of a clear, plastic sleeve with a pipe cleaner attached to it for easily attaching to a tag or hanger; they were also sized small enough to be able to fit into a (preferably leopard-print) coat pocket.
At Store #1 there were a huge number of employees out on the floor which got me nervous right away. I couldn’t walk 3 feet without someone new asking me if I wanted a dressing room or help finding something. It seemed as if they somehow knew I wasn’t really shopping! I got over it and attached my cards to the items, after trying them on, of course. We were sending each other image texts from the dressing rooms! Here’s a cute pair of shorts on me. (Pardon my black socks, I know they are a “Don’t” with shorts.)
Placing the cards amongst the fashions in Store #2 was much easier, and Thelma joined us at that point, so that meant more free art for their customers. She was even bold enough to place one of the postcards inside of an orange handbag right out on the store floor.
We had one or two more cards left so we made a third stop and left the remaining cards there.
I included my contact information on the reverse side of the card and asked if the people who found it might get in touch with me and let me know something about them. Unfortunately no one has responded, but we went into it knowing that we might not hear back. It’s entirely possible that with the large number of security cameras around, that people in the store noticed what we were doing and didn’t approach us, but tossed the cards.
Basically what I got out of the experience was being able to act on one of my ideas, a fun afternoon (we went out for wine and a snack afterwards with Cherise), and a touch of mystery. Who knows, I may still hear from someone, so stay tuned for that and my next art giveaway idea!
I made a deal with myself tonight that I’d write a blog post or do some work related to my illustration business before I ate dinner. This is usually my game plan on the evenings that I come home from my day job in magazine publishing and don’t have any set social plans. Luckily tonight I’m making my Mom’s classic pasta salad which does not need to be eaten hot, so I made it first and sat down to write this, so it will be ready for me when I’m done writing.
I always love a tasty, healthy and fresh meal to feed my body and this meal will be a soul-feeder too, I was just on a family vacation a couple of weeks ago and a recipe from Mom’s collection is a comfort for the times I miss being with my family in person.
Working toward my goals and dreams is the ultimate soul-feeder, of course. I never seem to have as much time as I want for pursuing those goals but my thoughts on that lately have been to make the most of what time I do have.
My current project is the creation of original art to sell in The Nancydraws Shop… I won’t give it all away but it has to do with living in New York City as an artist and appreciator of the beauty and unique situations that are part of that experience.
I began some experimental sketches and tests earlier this summer (see the image below), so far I’m happy with the way they are coming along, and feel hopeful that I’ll get a good response. But the process of creating something in a new way is also important, and its helping to bring the fun back into my artistic technique. I am looking forward to seeing where that will lead me down the road.
Now, back to feeding my body, be well until my next post!
Last week I received a special order for my Hanukkah card, “Percival’s Noodles,” via The Nancydraws Shop on Etsy. The customer wanted 12 of them, saying that they were perfect for her Chinese-Jewish family!
I definitely hadn’t had this scenerio in mind when I created the card, but that’s one of the great things about Etsy, there are so many special and unique items for sale, you’re likely to find a one-of-a-kind gift (or card!) for someone on your list.