Choosing Paths

Last week I finished a darling portrait honoring a wonderful cat. Loki was a fairly famous cat in the Ballard area during his time I hear. My dear friend Kirsten commissioned me to paint his portrait for her beau Matthew, who had recently lost this companion of close to two decades.
Loki's portrait was a challenge and an honor. I'm so glad that I've found a way to use my skill with capturing an animal's personality to help bring joy to folks.

The success of this piece also came at a time when I've been thinking through whether I was going to proceed with taking on this full-time art "job" or not. It is such a scary thing to leap whole-hearted into supporting yourself. So scary that I've yet to fully do it. This whole summer - all my travel and road-tripping has been about trying to think through and prepare for what I want my future to be:
To be solely responsible for my finances through art - to always be in pursuit of using my art to make money...
To seek out reliable but flexible employment so I can keep the freedom to only paint for myself.

These questions have haunted me for a long time. Part of what I'm realizing though is that I no longer want to paint just for myself. It is SO immensely satisfying when someone else loves and cherishes my work. It may very well be the whole point of why I feel so compelled to make this work.

It is such a big endeavor though. How does one even start to "market" oneself? I need a business plan and a back up plan. I need notes and lists and contacts. I need some luck.

To top it off with extra irony from the Universe: The day after all this was churning in my head from a strong job interview, as I was seriously considering taking on full time employment again, I sold a painting. Greenwood Common had been sitting up at NW Fine Woodworking for two months and was slated to be picked up within the next week. When randomly, it sold. How's that for adding to the mix?
Boy oh boyo.

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