Week 52 – My sabbatical is over! Where did all that time go, please? I hesitate to look back on what I wanted to achieve versus what got done. In hindsight, my expectations might have been … a tiny bit unrealistic.
So, the good news first. The manuscript for the first book is ‘completed’ and ready for an editor and first readers. The illustrations, however, have not made it out of the roughest draft stage possible. I might need to face the fact that I don’t have the aptitude or the skills to get anything matching my own expectations done … I’ll persist for another three months and see where I can get to.
The new paper mache sculptures series is going well and seems to be well received. It will never create a steady income (it takes too long to create and market individual creatures), but it is fun!
Soft sculptures & Plush
As planned, I parked the series but still accept custom orders. Again, more for fun than anything else.
I reopened my Felt and Etsy online shops – they offer the best value for my little venture. Sales are slow but met my (very low) targets; however, the increase in international shipping costs will restrict my markets to New Zealand and Australia for the foreseeable future.
No tangible outcome in twelve months :(. This is devastating, seeing that it is the only medium that can create a steady income. My issues seem to boil down to an inability to find a voice and style I am happy with – a similar challenge to what I face with the book illustrations. I will combine those two challenges into one and work on an illustration style that translates well to a more experimental printmaking and painting approach.
Ah well, the renovations did not go to plan at all. I finished the external painting. But, instead of a new access and fence to the council walkway, I now have a fence and retaining wall to the west side of the section. And, instead of new decking in the backyard, I now have a new kitchen garden in the front yard.
The best investment by far are the three new skylights, and the best DIY project is the large wardrobe in the living room.
I will have to face the fact that cleaning up the incredible mess I created everywhere, finishing both the access and the backyard, and replacing the crumbling shed will take another year or two (and cost more money than I have).
Where to now
Having said all this, I feel I am now in an excellent position to keep going. Strategies, tools and processes are in place, and things are starting to take shape, and I have just enough funds left not to have to think about a daytime job yet.
As always, thank you so much for your interest and comments on social media, and don’t forget to use the coupon MINUSITE2021 to get 10% off at minu.felt.co.nz and to follow @minuFreitag on Instagram, or Pinterest, or Twitter or more pictures and vouchers.
Progress this week
Art(work): Good progress on the paper mache tribe, but running in circles with my illustrations.
Promotion and social media: Steady on.
Editing and rewrites: I am going to meet with two editors over the next weeks, and will send out sample chapters to first readers.
Renovations: Bought posts, bearers, brackets and cement.
Garden: No progress. (Wet weather and a cold don’t mix well.)