Monday, October 24, 2011

Commissions in 2012

After lots of thought and consideration, I have decided that I will not be taking commissions from self-publishing authors for book covers in 2012. Before I got pregnant I had time to give self-publishing authors the attention and advice they needed. Increasingly I find that I don't have that time anymore, and dealing with individuals who don't know the specifics for trims, bleeds, and so on, takes more time than most self-published authors can afford to pay me for. I have also found that I can't charge as much with a self-published author as I can with a small press or other publisher, and I don't think I need to expound upon the expenses of a child, particularly one who was recently hospitalized for an extended period of time. I also feel that my commission prices are too low considering the amount of time, care, and level of detail I pour into my work, and most of my self-publishing clientele cannot afford to pay more.

I have found over the last few years that I thrive in environments with deadset, short-notice deadlines. I like chaos. I like e-mails at 11 PM that say, "We need this by 5 PM tomorrow." I don't do well when the process gets drawn out and depends on the availability of funds, the author's ability to be available every day to approve each step, and so on. It just drags on, and on, and I get bored easily. I like short, fast, and sweet.

If you have a contract from me for a book cover, and you really want one, you have until November 1st to return a signed contract. All book covers signed during this next week will be scheduled for beginning and completion in January 2012. I will be painting Christmas stuff all through November, and I like to take December "off" to paint, ship Christmas gift orders, plan paintings for 2012, get caught up, and probably work on stuff for publishers.

If you want a book cover done, but for whatever reason it doesn't work out with me, you can't make the November 1st deadline, you can't wait till next year, or whatever, I will happily provide a list of colleagues who are willing to take you on as a client.

Sorry if this seems to have come out of the blue. I have been thinking about it a lot this year and I've recently decided that this would be the best thing for me, but I didn't want to say anything until I was absolutely certain. Thanks for understanding.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


This week has been so crazy I don't even know where to start, and I'm only really here because I need to get rid of some junk-thoughts.

We are remodeling... again. This is probably it for the rest of the year. Once this is done the entire interior will be done with paint, leaving only the trim outside and the garage doors to paint next spring. We've got new kitchen lights so the mismatched flourescent fixtures are gone, the linoleum is completely gone and replaced with tile, new baseboard is going up, and the back hall closet is being made over. It no longer looks like someone had a cage fight with an angry raccoon wearing 2 pairs of black-rubber-soled sneakers in my laundry room, and pretty soon all the holes along the bottom of the wall will be covered over by the baseboard. It's crazy how many scuff marks, scratches, holes and dents were behind the dryer. I don't even understand how it could have gotten that way, unless the mutant raccoon cage fight I mentioned before was a real thing.

My husband also mused that it could have been the time out corner for a very troubled child. I am not sure a child that troubled should be given time out or appeased with offerings of human sacrifice.

We'll also have a remodeled bathroom, so then both of the bathrooms will be redone. I have never seen a house with worse bathrooms than this house had, and the master "suite" was more like a bedroom with a hallway attached that someone had thrown bathroom fixtures into. It had a door at both ends and a pygmy shower you couldn't wash your feet in because your butt would hang out the shower door, but it was actually the better bathroom of the two. The other was not-so-lovingly nicknamed "the truck stop bathroom", and no one used it unless they were planning on crop-dusting it with last night's Mexican dinner.

I am quite possibly the most spoiled artist in the world right now. My grandpa has done most of the work by himself and has paid for most of the materials to do it as well. I am not sure why he likes me so much but I feel pretty lucky to have him. I think he's hoping it will help us sell the house (hard to imagine it wouldn't) so we can move back to where he lives. I don't want to move right away, because I want to enjoy our basically new house a little bit while it's not in construction, but I am also anxious to get back to Washington. I will miss our friends here pretty badly, but I don't like anything about Montana.

And of course while all of this renovation insanity is taking place, I am tucked away in the studio trying to keep up or maybe just not get as far behind as if I just gave up entirely for a week. I don't think I am keeping up by a long shot. I need to invoice and pack orders and I can't even believe I have orders to pack. It seems like I did so much this week there can't possibly be more work to be done, right?!? Hah. There is always more to be done.

I have been putting dog tag necklaces I made up on Etsy, and last night we finally got the canvas printer running canvas prints and now I have a ton of canvas prints to deal with, but they look freakin' sweet. There's also going to be some 1 of 1 hand-embellished ACEO/ATCs and who knows what else? I hope there is a nap somewhere in there too. I'm beat.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I've been hearing a lot of rumblings lately. Specifically, from my stomach. Not sure what's going on in that department except that it frequently hurts and I haven't been getting a lot done since it started. I'm on some medication that will hopefully help, but until then it's kind of touch and go.

I will try to update the blog a little more though, I hate it when I log in and see it's been weeks since I posted anything. Eek!

My house is all torn apart again, so that's also put a damper on creative pursuits. In the end it will be worth it. A lot of my kitchen and laundry room floor was apparently rotten, so in addition to getting tile a lot of the sub-floor has been repaired. There will only be a few more small things to fix and then the house will be totally renovated. It's weird to remember what this place looked like just two years ago when I moved in. My poor husband has totally lost his man cave, but even he has to agree it looks good.

I did finish a digital painting yesterday, but I'm waiting to release it because I have a huge backlog of #1 prints to auction off, and last night and this afternoon I cranked out 3 cute ACEOs. You can find those in my eBay store. I'm going to try to do an ACEO every day for a while. I'm getting pretty fast and they don't take much time at all anymore. They used to take me hours and were not really worth it, but now each one might take 1-2 hours at the most. They are still really tricky and sometimes I get really bad hand cramps from the tiny little details, but they are really cute and fun.

I have some more paintings in progress, but when don't I have something up my sleeve? I have a new pen & ink drawing, and I hope to do more of that this winter, a couple of digital pieces, an acrylic painting, and we're working on canvas prints. My husband finally figured out what was wrong with our canvas printer and I'm excited to put him to work stretching canvas prints.

You read that right - the epic Epson 2200 saga has finally come to a close. After replacing all the motors my husband discovered a little lever-thingy was out of alignment, and after an hour of struggling to reach the tricky little thing since it was pretty deep in the printer's mechanical bits, he finally got it to slide into place. No joke, as he hit the power button and the printer churned back to life, his netbook started randomly playing him "Ride of the Valkyries". I figured that was a sign and when no flashing red lights appeared, I did a little dance.