Two more 5 x 7’s done. The power of art panic compels you!

Went out and got a mousepad rack, and a small tabletop print rack for jumbos that we will try out (and if I don’t like how much space it takes up, I’ll use it as a magazine rack in the bathroom!) Figured out what kind of stacking shelf things will be the right size for T-shirts, and will go back tomorrow for a set. I am grimly determined to be efficient this time. I have realized that I will probably be doing conventions, in one form or another, until I am either dead, have given up art for a career as a chicken tamer, or become absurdly rich* and the outlay of fifty or sixty bucks worth of gear will A) make the table better organized, and far more importantly, B) keep my stress levels and scrabbling through merchandise much, much lower. I am not at a point where I need some kind of professional Uber-display, and probably never will be, but something other than the “Dump the merchandise on the table and let the buyers paw through it” method is definitely now in order. So I’m feelin’ pretty good about that aspect of the Con, even if the art show has consumed me in terror.

Working on an 8 x 10 of that charming duo, Donkey & Goldfish. While I need as many more in that sort of size as I can hammer out, I’m nevertheless tempted to throw caution to the winds and do another big ‘un, even though I don’t need more big art, (I already have four or five large pieces, including the exceedingly large Frog Tribe) and it almost certainly won’t sell. (Large art almost never sells for me at cons–this isn’t modesty, it’s market research. *grin* I’ve only ever moved two big pieces in con art shows. You need a few to pull people in and go “Wow!” but the general price range is for the stuff under a hundred bucks.) It’d be either the Baroque clock or the Anxiety Creature’s ribcage cave. We’ll see how I feel this weekend…

*Insert helpless hysterical laughter here. I’ll wait.

The Anxiety Creature Screams (Reprise)

I was mellow. I was calm. I was…pretty Zen, really. I knew I had to do a few more paintings for Trinoc, but you know, not that big a deal. I’m mellow. I can cope.

I had enough art for the show. Three panels, not a problem. Maybe another 5 x 7 would not go amiss, but I have two weeks, and I was already thinking maybe I should leave the happy troll home, take it to Trinoc, it’s all good. The theme song in my head was being performed by Bob Marley, and for once it wasn’t “I Shot The Sheriff.”

And then the packet came, with the Anthrocon stamp, and I popped it open, still calm, still mellow, every little thing’s gonna be alllllright. And looked. And made a noise, somewhere between “SHIT!” and the horrified squeal of a piglet being squished.

They gave me five panels. That’s another sixteen square feet of art I gotta fill.

In my chest, the anxiety creature actually grinned, the smug grin of someone who has been proved absolutely right–I felt it grin, I could almost see the shiny of anxious little teeth in the dark–and then inhaled and screamed like an air raid siren. Its fellows descended from the wings, came shrieking down like hamster-sized versions of the Wild Hunt* and I did my imitation of Dr. Zoidberg through the living room before I pulled myself together.

It’s okay. It’s a good thing. More art space is good. And I have two weeks. I can do a LOT in two weeks. I can sell more art this way. It’s all good. It’s a good thing. I can handle it. This is because I made light of my angstless existence, I realize, and thus I am utterly to blame for Fate leaving a hobnailed bootprint on my forehead. I deserve it. I can handle the results.

…mommy.

*Yes, it would be a cute painting. No, I probably don’t have time.

More or less all I have accomplished to day is running off prints, and looking at art, and reading through the Narbonic archives.

This was not exactly productive, but I did get a lot of prints run off. However, I still have a lot yet to go.

I had a brief moment when I gazed out the window and thought “I’ve lost my angst. I have none. I have not done a painting about heartbreak or loss or suffering or grief in years. I am angstless. God help me. I must remedy this! I must do something that speaks to lost love and broken hearts and the unbearable weight of suffering! I must speak to mortality and the ages! I must…hey…you know, a little bunny and a freaky baroque clock would look awfully neat…”

And thus passed Ursula’s monthly struggle with her lack of inner demons, in the usual fashion.

More prints!

Finished a teeny 5 x 7 of a riding guinea pig. Currently sorting prints and updating the filing system, taking notes on what we need more of, etc. Since we’re looking at something like a hundred and fifty plus different prints, this is a pretty hefty task. I’ve cut a few that never, ever, ever sell, but it’s rough, since I’m too damn prolific, so I might get three or four culls, vs. twenty new paintings. Since a lot of the slots are empty (having sold out at some point) there’s a lot of consulting of master lists, and since things get filed in the wrong places, it’s usually easier just to yank EVERYTHING out, and refile it all. Once all the old stuff is in place, I need to update the master list with all the new art, and get it into the books.

There is a certain weird satisfaction in bringing order to chaos, mind you, so it’s not a bad job, just a time consuming one.

After this, print set cover sheets! And then I can gaze upon the hideous mountain that is…jumbo prints. *weeps*

Con, Thoughts, and Soliciting Suggestions

So I’m getting ready for Anthrocon, as a few of you may have noticed.

This is stressful, but not as stressful as it could be–the other day, I crushed my anxiety creature under the blocky hodgepodge of my math skills, when I realized that between the big art (including hopefully “Frog Tribe” if I can track down the little hangy deals) and the prints, I actually don’t have all that much room, and four to six small pieces would be more than sufficient to fill it out. So I don’t actually need to go nuts–a coupla small pieces, and it’s okay. (I DO need to go nuts for Trinoc, where I have lots of space, mind you, but I’m somewhat less stressed there, because my fantasy art, like “Squash Drummer” and “Squid Tree” can fill out a good bit of space. My art sales at Trinoc usually aren’t half bad, so I need to do some small pieces for there, but I’m not panicky about that yet for some reason.)

However, the big thing this year is gonna be the jumbo prints at the table, and here I have a slight problem, because my table space is not nearly sufficient to spread out ten or twenty different 13 x 19 prints in bags. While I can hang a few on the wall with velcro tape, by way of advertising, I simply don’t have an efficient way to display so many.

It occurs to me while writing this that if I can find one of those 13 x 19 binder books, I could just do them like the print books, only huge. (See, writing about your problems helps!) Does anybody have any other suggestions for displaying a large number of jumbo prints in a reasonably small space? My table is already much more cluttered than a lot of the other artists, what with three prints books and a slew of merchandise. (I’m wondering if some sort of little square rack for T-shirts/mousepads might be worthwhile, and where I’d get one…) Another print book, particularly a huge one…erf. But then again, I could probably fold the relatively small adult book into the other two, and just have the little blocked off section at the back.

Also! Semi-related–assuming that Ursula were craaaazy enough and linear enough to actually do “B,” would anybody be interested in a print set of A, B, and C of the animal alphabet, for say, $20? Or a set of the three jumbo prints for $50? (I’m wondering if it’s worth it to do B in time for Anthrocon and sell sets. Because I have so much table space, of course.)

Edit: SUPER SEKRIT ARTIST KNOWLEDGE — guys, if you’re selling art at a dealer’s table, get thee to www.clearbags.com and make an order. Trust the Ursula. Twenty to forty bucks on bags will make your life so, so, so much easier.

You know you’ve been drawing a webcomic for–I hesitate to say “too long,” since I really like Digger, but still, long enough to be slightly deranged–when you’re putting word balloons in and are staring blankly at the page thinking “What…is wrong…with this picture?” and it takes you five minutes to realize that you forgot to draw the characters in one of the panels.

Hey, there, boys and girls!

Since Digger is up for a few WCCA nominations, and Graphic Smash wants to give the people voting a chance to read the comic without having to get a subscription, so that they’d be more likely to vote for it, if you hustle over to http://www.graphicsmash.com/toc.php?name=digger for a limited time only (i.e. a week or two) you can actually read the archives free. It won’t last long, mind you, but it’s worth checking out, if you’ve been wanting to and haven’t had a chance!

And if you enjoy it, consider subscribing later! Or purchasing the print collection, which should come out next month from Sofawolf, and which will feature an exclusive story about the sculptor of the statue of Ganesh, as well as being, y’know, a seriously snazzy thing all around, which you can read in the bathroom or on the plane.

Edit: Also, while you’re on Graphic Smash, “The Tenth Life of Pishio the Cat” is also free, and definitely worth checking out for people who like the animal comics. *grin*

Okay okay, a VERY quick scrap. Devoid of detail, but you get the gist.

http://www.deviantart.com/view/19557090/

You know, done in dark reds and grays, that’d make a really disturbing painting.

I got four small painting done this week for the Anthrocon/Trinoc art shows.

I have three weeks remaining to Anthrocon.

At four paintings a week, that would be sixteen small paintings, which would be more than I would have room for/hope to sell.

I should not worry about the fact that I am completely blanking on more small originals, therefore, because I’ve done plenty this week, and next week I will doubtless have plenty more ideas.

….and yet, far down in that hollow cavern under my breastbone, the one that fills with the sensation of thousands of small screaming animals clawing their way to the top of the heap when I suffer the anxiety of doing my taxes or filling out student loan paperwork, or smell a Con on the horizon–far down in the bottom, heretofore empty, a lone tiny animal just trudged into view. It is a vague, nondescript, rounded little animal, a colorless hamsterish Anxiety Creature, eyes squeezed tightly shut, with stubby limbs and tiny, scratchy little claws.

And it just screamed.

The pre-con panic begins.