Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Struggling

I have not blogged as much this year as in previous years because I have been struggling. Even despite doing the NEIS scheme I am finding it very difficult to make ends meet from my business, add to that my car debacle of last year, and my block of land not selling since I put it up for sale 3 years ago, renting in Geelong where the rents are ridiculously high for what you get, being a single mum with a teenager still finishing high school ( thank goodness she has a little part time job and she finishes high school next  year so I am stuck here until then)- well it's just very difficult. I can pinpoint what is happening to some extent- our very high dollar means that  my earnings from overseas have roughly been halved ( when I teach in Europe and internet sales),increases in the cost of postage ( over 40% in the last 3 years) means I have not pushed my books too much to overseas  and  sales of bigger work has been cut from 10-12 pieces per year to  3-4 if I am lucky, and that is a direct result of the state of the economy ( I wish i could get a dollar for every time someone says they wish they could buy a piece), and many cancellations of classes this year and last year . For example I was supposed to teach in Sydney last weekend but it was cancelled. I tried very hard  to search for a job last year and still actively look for job opportunities because at the moment I am just going backwards- I lie awake at night worrying and cannot seem to motivate myself to work harder as I am a firm believer in working hard and giving to the universe ( so I have been volunteer guiding at the Geelong Gallery and also have taken on  committee and exhibition duties at Geelong Patchworkers and Quilters).

I can rent some workshop space at the Blanket Box- which is just around the corner from me and I will be doing that but I have to revamp my workshop brochure and descriptions and also make some additions to the brochure- so watch this space once I get a program sorted out, which should be soon if I can find the motivation to sit and do it.

The reason i am agony aunting is that I have been using my daughters' car but it needs the timing belt renewed and a major service, and since I have been using the car and intend to buy it off her, as she cannot park it at the student house where she is living- I rang to book it in this morning after stalling and stalling and then deciding I cannot afford for another car to go to car heaven-  ouch what a costly affair that will be, and I am not sure how I am going to pay for it, but also know I cannot afford the consequences should the timing chain decide it's had enough.We live very frugally as it is and there is just no give in my budget for major expenses like this- its hard enough getting money together for rego and insurance.

I find that all this worry has really impacted heavily on my work rate and my enthusiasm- so in an effort to  take the bull by the horns I am working through The Artists' Way by Julia Cameron because I feel severely blocked and surely things will improve at some stage??? I also have to book a trip to Europe as I am demonstrating at the Abilmente Fair in Vicenza from 18-21 October and am also teaching workshops in France after 21 October ( I am available for workshops in Italy and France if anyone is interested).This may seem extravagant but in all reality I have nothing lined up in Australia during that period, and  I actually have enough points on my Qatar  Airways frequent flyer program to get over there paying taxes only- phew , it's about time!

I will be photographing older work and will put it up on my blog and will consider all serious offers to buy as I need  for something to happen!

Meanwhile look on my blog and see if there is anything you would like to buy- sentinelle panels in any colour you like, owl panels, cat panels....just name your colour . There is also the opportunity to join the on-line linocutting class which starts on 1 September- this is not only about linocutting but looking at making your own stamps to create unique fabric.

Meanwhile I have finished the travellers' Blanket with circles. I will be sending it to England for exhibition at  Leamington Spa Art Gallery- I had hoped to make some smaller pieces for sale- but I need to find some extra energy!
 I finally did some stitching on the bird linocut panel I printed ( this panel is also for sale, just printed and not stitched for $14 plus postage). I think I  may add some colour with a shiva stick in the flower areas- I am still procrastinating. The green panel below is the back of the quilted panel and I like it almost as much as the orangey panel.


A few weeks I came home to find that the landlord had chopped down the  plum tree in the front yard, as he had to chop down another tree that had fallen over ( I was a bit sad about this as I quite liked the  plum tree and the blossoms are pretty in the spring time)-  the stump has been sawn level with the ground and with all this rain the stump glistens, but isn't the graining in the wood beautiful?



9 comments:

Living to work - working to live said...

You have my sincere sympathy - but keep positive!!

Linda Forey said...

I always read your posts, but rarely comment, however this time I felt I must. I wish you lived closer to the UK so I could do your workshops - the one I did many years ago with you still stands out as being one of my favourites. So please carry on, fight though this trough in life and work, and I hope you come out of it all soon.

Living to work - working to live said...

Me again - just found these book recommendations on another blog. They may help http://www.juliacrosslandart.com/2012/08/creative-business-books-aka-growing-your-dream-biz-the-fun-way.html

bois-fleurie said...

When things aren't going well I have learnt that nothing stays the same and things do get better somehow.I realise I had a problem believing this when I had frightening problems but looking back I see it is true for me and I hope it will be for you.If you do come to france please let me know,, I long to do a workshop here.

Petra said...

Small art for à small price should be nice for me. Or find à coach to help you with finishing projects. I can give you tips for an Coach without costs. I regconise your position and i was there (years ago). Just start is THE only step.....
It is all about internal motivation and mindsets.....
Whis you everything you need
Petra (online blanket course)

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about getting a job, being an artist is all well and good but some times you just gotta pay the bills.

Dijanne Cevaal said...

Thanks for the book suggestions living to Work- and also your reviews of them on your blog is very helpful.

And to anonymous who suggested I get a job- if you read the post you will see I have been looking and am still looking because as you so rightly point out bills need to be paid- but the long and the short of it is, despite many applications and having my resume and cover letters checked out to see that they are ok , once you are over 50 in Australia it becomes difficult indeed, plus all the tooting about how great our economy is- in all reality the region I live in has not seen any economic turn around- the reverse really with many jobs going by the wayside even as recently as last week.

ann vanherle said...

Dijanne, ik blijf je volgen en moreel steunen . Hier is het hetzelfde probleem. Femke kan nog altijd niet leven van haar studio en moet in een broodjeszaak gaan bijwerken. Ik ondervind ook dat de mensen minder geld uitgeven aan hun hobby ( want voor de cursisten blijft het een hobby) en is het moeilijk om een workshop vol te krijgen.Als je in de buurt bent , altijd welkom!

Ann Ferguson said...

I think one of the most demoralising things is job searching and having the government breathing down your neck. I don't have any pearls of wisdom - I've done the Artist's Way, NEIS and now support myself and my teenage daughter through my fabric boutique and eBay Store in rural QLD. It's not easy, not exactly what I want, but it's a living. You can do it!