Well, while I was planning and working toward leaping, life took care of it for me. My "day job" evaporated and so here I am! Ready or not, here I come.
Since I saw the day job collapse coming, I ratcheted up my marketing a month ago. What worked for me like a charm a few years ago has resulted in a few nibbles and then..silence.
So I'm thinking that while this economy settles down more, and I have a bit of a buffer moneywise til I have to earn my own keep again, I'm going to take a step back and really work on upgrading my skills and networking.
I am going to take some life drawing/painting classes this week, that are drop in and pay for the day. They are offered by the historic art clubs in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Sketch Club and the Plastic Club. I think they will help me enormously. My son who is a trained artist insists, and can your kid be wrong? :D
Second, I am going to paint, paint paint. Acrylic or oils? I've done both, like both, but haven't done either enough to feel comfy. I think I'm going to revisit them both since I have the supplies and make a choice and run with it.
Third, I am practicing my children's portraits. I have already begun with a double portrait of my nephew's gorgeous daugher and her cousin, two little princesses. There are enough kids in my life now for me to get lots of practice. I think I have to be a full-service portraitist for me to survive in this economy when I go back to commissions.
Fourth, I am going to take painting classes. I just missed getting into them for the fall, so for sure in the winter.
Fifth, I'm keeping my online presence going so I'm not starting from scratch when I restart commissions.
Sixth, I'm going to do a newsletter. I have hundreds and hundreds of people who have either bought my art or expressed an interest in it. I have never taken the time to recontact ppl who have expressed an interest in my art!
Seventh, woodcut prints. I really enjoy doing them and have a lot of ideas for that. I have some on Etsy, but have never sold. I think it's because I have so few of them. I have the time to do more with them and more of them. I'm hoping to progress to getting them juried into shows.
Eighth, I am working hard to regain my stamina that was totally zapped by sitting in an office every day for 3 years.
So those ar my plans for now. All of them need to be done, but the priority is definitely in the art, not the marketing.
I'm also looking for a part time job. I'd like to mix it up a little, but I'm not sure it will by typing for lawyers again. I just don't think I can drain my soul again doing something that does no good for anyone. What I did was try and make sure insurance company "A" paid less for the accident than insurance company "B". I would like my efforts to do SOME kind of good, not to just make money for a lawyer and insurance company. I'll see.
Of course, my biggest enemy is wasting time. I can't use the excuse that I'm too tired, I have all day. Of course, all day is an enemy, too! It's easy to goof off early on when you have ALL DAY to accomplish something.
Those of you who are already fulltime, professional artists, know that all of the above are necessary, other tips are welcome!! I can use every suggestion I can get! Robin