I got in a January slump. I got so bogged down in goal-setting and resolution-making, that I forgot to draw anything for three weeks. And then I started thinking that I hadn’t drawn anything and I hadn’t sold much of what I already had in stock. Slightly obsessively stalking an illustrator I admire on Instagram was torturous, as she complained of the too-many-orders she was taking whilst featuring outgoing piles of addressed parcels. And then I started doubting this whole business venture.
A burst of sunshine and the promise of a new week helped me turn things around. I unfollowed the illustrator, as our unrequited relationship had turned toxic. I decided yesterday to give myself a break, and now for two weeks just draw some fun things that have been in my mind. A rooster, since admiring one on a recent weekend trip to a nearby nature trail; a pair of variegated fairywrens, because I loves their species name and that they are socially monogamous; finish a prickly pair drawing I had started before an late-Autumn flourish of wedding bouquet orders…
And yesterday I also did something for the first time. Normally, I draw in silence. Silence, when it can be found, is so revitalizing in our home. Sometimes the noise created by my four and two-year old daughters – the repetitive singing of mispronounced lyrics, the buzzing and banging toys, the cartoon theme tunes – all reverberate in my head and suffocate me. So silence is precious and fruitful. But yesterday I listened to a Podcast whilst drawing. Firstly, an interview with copyright lawyer, who helps demystify the law surrounding licensing and intellectual property for creatives entrepreneurs. And secondly, I listened to a slightly bullish millionaire saleswomen/author talk about bankruptcy and her subsequent bounce-back. I didn’t think I was going to like her much. But she made one point that has stuck in my head for the last 24 hours: Stop thinking about making money. Instead, think about what you create the best. What is your niche? How can you offer value?
Consequently, I’m currently offering an eclectic series of one-off original illustrations for £95 each, including a mount, recorded delivery and a Certificate of Authenticity. Usually my commissions drawing start from £295, but as these don’t have the man hours of communication to-and-from a customer, and in fact aren’t as detailed (read, time-consuming), I can reduce the price. It’s an experiment, but hopefully one that will introduce me to new customers and reignite some creative freedom at the same time.
Have you ever been stuck in a creative rut? How did you get out of it?