Thursday, January 24, 2013

So far, so good..

So far, a mere twenty four days into it, I am still keeping up with the caricatures. Using the 'Trending Now' section of Yahoo's home page has certainly made the decisions much easier. It also gives me a few choices so I don't have to necessarily draw someone I really don't want to waste any lead on, like the Octomom. Who really needs to be reminded of that hot mess on welfare?Jackie Chan, however, is entitled to his opinion like anyone else and it doesn't diminish his incredible skill or charm, as far as I'm concerned.

This cold weather is also keeping me productive making pottery! It's the perfect time to run a kiln when it's seven degrees outside. Especially when we're expecting another outrageously hot summer this year. I'm still focused on expanding and rounding out my line for the wholesale market. In addition to the french butter dish seen drying in the background in the photo below, I'm adding martini-style goblets, with wine goblets soon to follow. One of the set below made it into the kiln and is being bisque fired as I write this.
 And finally, people are thinking about tattoos again! It's that time of year, the holidays are done and for most people, swimming is months away. That coincides nicely with a tax return for some, too. I have one big piece coming up of a phoenix that I can't wait to start! But speaking of taxes, my year end accounting and the new shipping rate increases have me considering leaving Etsy to build my own storefront as part of my website instead. to keep things simpler, with a built-in shipping calculator so someone on the east coast doesn't have to pay west coast rates, then wait for a refund of the significant difference. So now, I'm off to research the possibilities.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's a brand new year with brand new possibilities. My sister inspired me to attempt a year long project. Whether or not I can do it remains to be seen, but I've started. My goal is one caricature a day. I had an experience just before the holidays that had the potential to sour me on caricatures. Fortunately, I have too much fun doing them to actually let that happen. One thing has changed, however. Other than celebrities or politicians where there is a plethora of reference material available, I will no longer take on studio caricature jobs. They just tend not to work out, and after much effort, I tend not to get paid. Which is a drag, to say the least. Caricaturing with the subject sitting directly on front of me is entirely different than working from a photo or two. Unless it's someone I've met and interacted with, and then referred to photos, I have a harder time capturing the character of someone. With the celebrity caricatures, I can watch their faces in action. This project will probably end up revealing what kind of television shows I like to watch, or who gets on my nerves. This first set for the first three days of the year will tell you I like to watch Top Gear, that's for sure.
I drew them in pencil on the reverse side of bits of scrap poster board. I'm sure I'll get around to some color pieces, but pencil is always so much fun. And if I actually stick it out and do the whole year, I might even bust out the scratchboards. In the meantime, I'm now scheduling events for the upcoming season, drawing at birthday parties, reunions, wedding receptions - who knows? It's always different and always fun. I will be posting my daily caricatures on my Berkshire Caricatures Facebook page.

East Street Studios has a new rule for 2013 as well. Now there is a deposit on tattoo designs or drawings. If you fail to show for your appointment and don't bother to call, you lose the deposit. I'm not sure why people don't take tattoo appointments seriously, but they don't. And all too often I'm set up ready to go, so even more time is wasted. I have taken steps to be ready up to the point of pouring the ink and opening the needles and tubes. My machines and cords are wrapped, my bottles are bagged, my inks are chosen and on standby, all ready for action. It's not as if I'm open for walk in traffic with a wall full of flash to cover the missed appointment. For many shops, this has been the standard practice. I see the wisdom in that now so there is a $60 non-refundable deposit required for a drawing or appointment.
 Beyond that, I'm already planning my gardens and rooting coleus for window boxes now that the days are getting longer and daffodils are right around the corner. We have some big landscaping changes happening this year, including a driveway redesign and new stone walls and fencing. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!