Friday, May 16, 2008

Big Spring Update:

Crazy busy here – but I’m long overdue for some updates


I won’t be going. For a couple of reasons. Primarily financial. See below :)

My current work load:

I’ve gotten another job. As you probably know I already have a small boarding stable (4 boarders and my donkey and my own ‘special needs’ horse). This is sorta still drawing even but times are anxious for the real horse world these days. So a few months back I decided to get a part time evening job. It works well around the horses -> I have total flexibility as to when I go in do it. And it’s close by so I’m not wasting too much gas to get there. & If for some terrible reason I had to go back to the barn in the evening (say for a sick horse or bad T-storm cropping up I suppose), the ability to drop what I’m doing and go do so is no issue with this job. This has been key to me. A truly flexible hours job is hard to find.

It doesn’t “pay” but managing a barn is a big responsibility. Please understand though I do the barn managing gig for the sake of my own horse’s health (to keep him in the safest/most natural situation possible -> Connecticut has very little land and most, almost all, barns in my immediate area do not do 24/7 turnout with lots of good hay which is critical for him). It doesn’t make a profit but it does save me money as historically (in his first 4.5 years of life before started caring for him full time) I used to have extremely high vet bills with him and other past horses that I’ve boarded around here. Bills for injuries and colics. Totally avoidable things 75% of the time. That is really why I do this barn managing gig. I haven’t (really) ridden in years, it’s more about just being outdoors and the therapeutic value of it. All the same, it’s made it a real challenge to getting other types of work to make sure ends continue to meet.

So the time I’ve chosen to do these 20hrs a week of additional work are the hours I’ve historically accomplished very little during (those evening wind-down hours). However I did used to get a lot of evening internet time (mind you it would be interrupted by phone calls and making dinner and quality time with the man even when I had these so called “free” evenings!). ;) So in a way, it’s great to condense those things and be more focused and productive with less time. All the same, I still haven’t really found an ideal time to write emails and post online as much. After morning barn chores seems best in theory, but I’m still a little buried (and, admittedly in reality a little tired as I adjust to this new schedule). Bottom line is I’m not spending as much time on the art and client relations as I used to. Only about 30hrs a week now.

April thru May has also just simply been a tad frantic for me for several additional reasons. Obviously there’s been studio work and bookkeeping for my resin sales and finishwork in progress. Also there has been coordinating spring shots with all the boarders. Farm maintenance that typically comes up in the spring. & again I’ve been trying to buy up as much hay as possible before gas goes up too much more. This literally meant stringing out some other bills and playing ‘creative financing’ with my own costs. After discussing things with the hay man I’ll probably continue to try to pack the loft to the rafters far sooner than normal this year as well – again pinching pennies in every way possible to ensure I don’t wind up in dire straits come fall/wintertime. The 2nd (3rd really – lol!) job will help me to do this far more easily. All in all it’s been a matter of juggling jobs and money really. That’s the biggest reason right there not to commit to spending half a tractor trailer load of hay on attending Breyerfest. No matter how I slice it, I can’t justify it.

I will very much miss the greatest social event of the year again though. I’ve had such a great time in the past hanging out with everyone. I do plan to get to a few local shows this year again still. I simply MUST see my hobby friends (to heck with the business side of it – it’s just great to visit with yall!). :)

Advertising plan in lieu of Breyerfest is to simply get my work out and about where people can see it in person. This is why I chose to do the Hazel train (proxy across the land). If this seems worthwhile maybe proxying more in the future is in order? Certainly is cheaper than long distance travel for me. I have to pay (multiple) people to care for the horses when I’m gone as well so traveling isn’t easy. Even day trips usually require me to make sure one feeding has someone lined up in case I’m not back in time.

I also have another secret. Several truly exciting painters will hopefully have painted Hazel’s somewhere for sale (or bidding) ;) at Breyerfest. In my opinion these great paint jobs on my sculpture will be far better advertising than me spending well over a grand to go sit there with my one lonely unpainted item on display for “ordering”. (hehehe! isn’t that just the saddest image? Woee woe woe ;) chuckles – it’s more fun than that for those attending – really!). But seriously, it really is hard to justify with just “one item” … especially since I cannot afford to pre-cast resin stock to have on hand for sale.. Note however that MVS will *still* be there for pick-ups, don’t worry! I established that a while ago (long before ordering info went up).

In the studio:

I don’t want to rush “bitty bosco”. He probably won’t be “done” by Breyerfest (even if I had started out rushing once I’d found the info I needed on how to customize the tricky parts of him, like the tail area, scan-able.. he wouldn’t have been done by BF. At least not detailed out in mini form to an appreciable “pre-order” quality state imo.). Casting couldn’t begin until Aug anyhow and at the moment, simply put, the spare thousand dollars to shrink him doesn’t exist. I need to be 100% certain of a # of things (my schedule, the prototype’s quality & my finances) before I go racking up a credit card bill for him to be shrunk.

Currently, studio-wise, I’m wrapping up some commissions. The highly punctuated schedule is indeed making this a tad harder to do. I’m getting better at painting & spraying timing so that I have something to work on at all times that’s dry.

NAN Donations:

This year the only donation I’m doing besides that medallion I’d done for Lisa G.’s show, is to NAN. Last year I donated a Bosco resin but life gets in the way and the painter couldn’t meet the time frame needed by NAN by the time I’d gotten the customized resin to her. That lot will be going up this year I’m told (yay!). It will come with tack. Very cool. :)

New for this year is that Steph Michaud allowed me to talk her into donating a paint job to the ’08 NAN auction despite her CRAZY time demands working full-time painting and raising a family. I’m hugging her again mentally as I type this. She’s going to be customizing a Hazel. I’m simply thrilled. Steph’s command of color palettes can make me swoon. She’s no slouch with making little changes that make a horse cool and unique too. The latest news from Steph is that she’s done some changes to her mane and tail to make her unique. I’m pretty excited to see as Steph really has innovative ideas and at least once I’ve said “yes! I thought of sculpting it that way originally and love it!”. Anyhow, needless to say I’m excited.

Ok, so wrapping things up. I’m working more out of the house right now and thus will be in the studio/online a bit less.

Thus my tentative upcoming sales:

  • I still have some unpainted resins by other artists that I plan to tote to a few local shows and/or relist on MH$P
  • I’m still convincing myself that some of my own are never going to get painted and I ought to sell them too (Bosco, dinkies and maybe a Flitwick)
  • Definitely going to be wrapping up my painted Trad Independence resin soon
  • Have a couple of others more “mid-way” should I get a gust of wind in my sails that could be done by late spring at the soonest
  • Bitty bosco is the most high priority item aside from my commission/paint deals at the moment
  • Second to bitty b is Rocky (last seen here )
  • Hazel castings will be for sale on an ongoing basis J

It took me 3 days to get those thoughts organized while running around. Hope all of that made sense! Yikes that was a mouthful!!

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