The Planning Phase

There are times where I feel like I am not doing much. In reality, it's a little bit of lots of things that are working toward something bigger, but it becomes such a blur. That's how this approaching April is feeling. As usual, the year is going by way too fast: the projects I want to accomplish are not as far along as I would like, I wanted to have my taxes done back in February and I panic as I see the year rolling by and not getting a proper start on my children's book. I like to let things happen, but sometimes a little bit of a guided path is necessary.

View from a recent hike on Saturday in Napa's  Skyline Wilderness Park

View from a recent hike on Saturday in Napa's Skyline Wilderness Park

With the first quarter of the year being done, I think I need to acknowledge what I have accomplished so far:

  • Applied for an international art residency
  • Applied for the West Elm/Minted design challenge
  • Applied to be a contributor to a new magazine
  • Opened a shop on my website in addition to my Etsy shop
  • Ran my first giveaway
  • Nearly completed my redesigned wholesale line sheet
  • About to have my work in one new store
  • About to have my portraits in a wedding guide
  • Close to launching my travel paintings
  • Close to launching my tote bags

So this brings me to a public to do list. If I let you know what I am doing, I will be far more likely to do it. I made a public list at the beginning of the year, so here's another one.

The list!

  1. Complete drawings for my Shelter show
  2. Edit and add ALL custom portraits to my website
  3. Deep dive into the rest of my taxes
  4. Shoot stylized photos of my art prints and their packaging
  5. Order business cards and postcards
  6. Write to stores for wholesale (past and potential)
  7. Print my first few tote bag designs in April
  8. Sketch and write one new page for my children's book
  9. Finish a few Skillshare classes
  10. Add more designs to Society 6
  11. Try out Spoonflower

Some of these items are ongoing, but I definitely want to accomplish most of them in the next month!

What do you need to get done?

Dog Days and Total Reinvigoration

Dog Days refer to the hot middle months of summer. While it's not technically summer here in California, it has been remarkably warm and it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so that's why this post got that title. This is a portrait of Brutis, a very fine dog I had the honor of painting. It was one of a few Valentine's Day gifts I was commissioned to paint. He has the best color coat and sweetest disposition.



I rarely get sick, but I managed to catch a mild cold this past week. While it's not been too bad, I'd prefer feeling 100%. I think all the homemade soup, mandarins and a few hot toddies helped me get over it nicely.

It's been a very busy week, but different from what I'm used to. I'm reorganizing how I schedule my finances, time and projects. I keep looking for the finish line, when it's done and I get to paint and experiment. I'm trying to be super organized this year and I'm learning to be less busy and scattered as I was in 2013. So far, I really feel the difference.

Midst all this planning, I have cooked a few amazing meals and spontaneously decided to paint the front door of our house. I allowed myself to only choose from leftover colors from a public art project I did last year. I went with 'Navajo Red', a reddish orange color. For some reason, painting the door caused a light bulb to go off in my head and I realized I want to be more creative in all aspects of my life, not just with my art making. I feel like I have been so bogged down in the little details that I have been largely ignoring all the other ways I can make life awesome.

The new orange door

The new orange door

I was too excited to wait until the door was finished, but you get the basic idea. It turned out more orange than the rust I thought it would be, but orange is the color of health, beta-carotene, passion, adventure, transformation and increases creativity and appetite. Sounds good to me. 

What do you think?! I love it!