Over the past year I have been very quiet. I've been going through a massive round of art block and have been fairly unhappy with the work I've produced. I'm not saying that I'm not doing quality work for clients, but from a professional standpoint I've been feeling like I've hit a wall. Ideas a there, motivation is quite limited. It doesn't help that the day job has been extremely stressful and my health put a lot of things on the back burner.
It's the double edge of being a part time artist. Sometimes your life outside of the art completely takes over. I work in IT/ computing. I've moved roles several times and am now re-learning things as I delve back into pure programming - just using different languages/ frameworks and technology stacks. With learning anything new, you go through periods of feeling as though you've forgotten everything you ever learnt, and wondering if you will ever get good at it.
I'm in that stage now.
Some days are better than others. But having a chronic illness on top of the day job has meant I've had to learn to be a lot kinder, take more time out for rest, and try not to beat myself up for not producing work. Migraines have been forcing me to stay off the PC while at home... but trialling some different medication and so far things have been going ok.
I've been moving artwork designs into RedBubble. Shipping is becoming very expensive from Australia, and really, really slow (plus I have 1, sometimes 2 windows a week I can do shipping). I've gone from under 2 weeks delivery for international parcels, to 3 weeks minimum... and I have zero control over it. Also, no tracking. And on top of that, parcels now cost about $24 AUD minimum. Small prints I can send flat as documents for under $8, but they still take three weeks - and to be quite frank, I'm getting tired of wondering if a parcel is lost, or if it's just got stuck in customs. I'm likely going to shut down Etsy and move all my digital stamps here to my shop (digital stamps are cheaper here anyway) and then figure out some grab bags of prints and ACEOs. I have a lot of originals floating around which I might put up here (contact me if you ever are interested in owning an original painting). If you want to buy prints from me, I'm not going to say no, but print fulfilment is a bit easier for me to manage.
Commissions are still OPEN. Commissions are generally fairly structured so tend to use a different part of my artistic brain. I can break them up into scheduled work, I don't need to rely on my own 'muse', it's generally drawing to spec - it's a collaborative process between me and the you as the client. There's research and boundaries and getting to bring someone else's characters to life. In fact I'll be releasing a new commission fairly soon, hopefully before the end of the year.
I've attached a screenshot of some rough examples of prices for character commissions. I'd focused on book covers for the last few years which I love, but I miss doing character portraits. I moved away from them because for a while all I seemed to get were male commissions, or people asking for characters that were not in my realm of interest - I make no apologies for liking to paint pretty people. You want someone to paint a grandmother or a butch female fighter, I'm probably not the right artist. I love diversity and strong characters, but I also like to paint the type of art I like to paint. I want to dip my toes into GW2 characters and even World of Warcraft. I am trying to get into playing World of Warcraft, I play the odd DnD game, but I am a daily GW2 gamer :D