Reinventing the Season
& practising hustle reduction
I am trying on a new November for size (and also December.) One that doesn’t require hustle to create art for a seasonal in person show , or updates to my shop ..No Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales planned. I have one more art workshop to facilitate (which will be fun ..zine making!) and potentially two more locally. Low key. This is all part of my post-retirement learnings -reduce the hustle-eliminate panic and frenzy!
There has always been a part of me that feels art and Christmas somehow don’t connect . It’s so personal and every person has their own particular kind of taste in art. I enjoy making Christmas cards for my own friends and family. I do not enjoy pressures and deadlines ..and rush. I have made peace over the past few years with the notion that Christmas for me is not a time for crazy expenditures or frenzied shopping.
I have spent too many seasons in my life searching mindlessly for those perfect gifts only to feel depleted and let down by the receivers less than enthusiastic response .
There have been years where I have made gifts for family and friends and this was a satisfying experience even though reception was not always warm and fuzzy !
My mixed media art is predominantly portrait based with and although I have cultivated a loyal following it is a niche patron group. Buying my art for a gift for Aunt Lottie probably wouldn’t be a winning situation (Unless she had been following me online and secretly pining for a particular painting. Haha it’s happened!)
My favourite gift exchanges were at one workplace where we recycled odd and useless often comical items from home and gift wrapped them . We drew numbers and traded and stole from each other the most outrageous and fabulous things -we called it Aunt Edna ..There was no pressure and almost everyone left the party with sore stomachs from laughing too hard. It was pure fun . (I will admit a few people did not get it and expressed disappointment in not receiving a “real gift”)
For me -selling online is my preferred avenue as I live in a small Ontario Town and can easily saturate the local market. lately I have not been pushing or marketing my art in my shop..! have had lower sales since I have taken a relaxed approach to “putting my art out there”. I am ok with this .I have never done a huge push for seasonal sales and if anything feel nervous about shipping in December -when arrival times can be unpredictable.
I recognise that For some artists and artisans Christmas and other holidays are huge opportunities for sales. I write about this in my Artist jetpack newsletter..Artist jetpack
As for me this year ..I am planning to appreciate the small moments ..
I love the glow of candles, snuggling in with a steaming cup of tea or cocoa , putting up a few strings of sparkly lights and spending time with loved ones and dear friends.
Redefining the season for me has felt healthy and balanced unlike Christmases past where pleasing others and following /catering to other people’s expectations and traditions left me feeling drained and empty. So this now includes my art practise and output.
Where will you put your creative energy this season? What rituals will you practise to bring you pleasure over the next two months??
Yours in Art,