Friday, November 15, 2013

Would you?

I did something brave today. Or stupid. It really depends on who you talk to. I put my two weeks in at my day job. In the coming weeks I will be working to transition into my new role of full-time freelance artist.

This decision wasn't made lightly, nor on short notice. This past year I've been fortunate enough to attend art shows, garner a following and take on new clients who have steady work for me. Some even within the Austin area. I signed my first art licensing agreement for my pendant designs. I am wholesaling to Dragon's Lair and, in the future, a company that travels to cons around the USA selling buttons. My lip balms are selling shockingly well. I've already got plans for new products and art pieces for 2014.

There will be pitfalls and setbacks. It's probable that I will need to take on a part time job here and there to supplement. But I'm no longer content to wrestle with The Conflict. The Conflict: where I eat, sleep and positively live for my creative endeavors, yet I find myself 9 hours a day doing something completely opposite, something that doesn't line up with who I really feel I am. Square peg, round hole, day in, day out.

And, "Tough," they say. "That's life," they say. "Welcome to adulthood," they continue to say. And they're not wrong. We do what we have to in order to survive - that is reality, and don't I know it. But I find myself in a rare position where the stars have all of the sudden up and aligned. I want to take the chance. I want to see what could happen if I put 100% of my effort and time into my work, the work that really matters to me.

And the cool thing is, it's not an all or nothing deal. If it doesn't work this time, I'll rally and I'll try again. And again, and again, till I figure it out. You want something bad enough, you figure out a way. I made and packaged lip balm till 3 AM this morning, filled orders till 4, and I'm waking up early to Skype with one of my freelance clients, then make a lip balm delivery and then go into work to talk with HR. You just. Bloody. Find a way.

If you were to ask me right now if I'm scared, I won't lie. I'm terrified. You can ask my husband. Who, by the way, has backed me 100% in this and has offered some very grounding, solid advice during this emotional time. But I'm going to try this out, while I'm still young and stupid and full of dreams.

I've got a chance to change my fate. Let's see how this goes.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nik's Picks: Pentel SES15N

I like the idea of featuring stuff I've recently discovered in a weekly or bi-weekly or who-the-hell-knows-how-often blog article.  I pretty much live online and in my cyber-travels I discover tons of artists, craftspeople, music and videos that register on my Squee-o-Meter.  So, whenever I find something squeeworthy I'll share it here.

Let's begin!

Add this to your Art Arsenal: Pentel SES15N:

What It Is: The most impressive brush pen I've ever tried

Why I Love It:  I've worked with Microns, Copic Multiliners, Prismacolor Liners and PITT pens.  And let me tell you, as far as getting crisp, smooth line weight with minimal effort goes, the Pentel SES15N takes the extremely well-drawn cake.

At first I was afraid to put too much pressure on this baby, having been burned with my liners in the past, but it can take the heat and deliver anything from thin cross-hatch lines to bold thick border lines.  Pressing at my hardest it probably delivers a light weight of 1.0, it's thinnest a 0.3.  Also although this mimics a brush pen, there are no bristles.  Which means no stray stray hair effing up what was once a perfect pen drawing of Wonder Woman.

The only downside to the SES15N is that it uses water-based ink, which means alcohol-based pens like Copics or Prismacolor markers will smudge your lines like mad.  But if you're lining with a mind to add color with Photoshop later, this pen's for you.

Where To Buy: I purchased mine directly from the Pentel site here.