weighing my heart to find my worth

so i ordered a painting from an artist i adore on instagram
she paints portraits of women from 1950s yearbooks 
but adds bruises & blood to their smiling faces
the piece i bought 
however
was a watercolor heart and a parrot
a very small piece
i did not realize how small until it arrived
but i did not regret the money i spent
because the painting makes me happy
& she included an additional small painting 
of a hawk
& she is a wonderful artist
with a unique eye

two days after i paid $45 for  her 3″x 3″ painting, i sold 10 of my sea creature cards for just $5 a card. 
granted, i sold them to a friend & had not agreed on a price before hand. 
but, i realized
i am totally worth more.

my kids yelled at me when i told them how much i paid for the watercolor–not because i spent money that we do not have on art–but because i am not asking for more for my own art. 

my problem is, i think i am worth the world, but i fear no one else feels that way.
which makes pricing my art, my creations, that much more difficult. 

in other news, my newest muse called for a squid to be added to my collection of sea creatures. 
i was skeptical. as much as i love squid they just remind me of penises (maybe that is why i love squid)
but i am totally in love with how this turned out.  

progress

i am almost finished with this commissioned piece.
i like it. it reminds me of shel silverstein (who happens to be one of my favorite male artists.) so i felt happy about that. i also love being able to get messy with my ink.
i just emailed the people who requested it & quoted a price. then vowed to myself to start doing that before i accept a job.

so there’s that.

also! i find myself, when thinking of good things to come, thinking of artwork rather than relationships. which is a big step for me. i tried to express that in my last journal  page “a letter for me,” but i think maybe i didn’t say it the way i meant.
i am trying to explore these things further in my art journal, but i have just gotten started.
meanwhile…
my minions are back from their week at their dad’s and i am struck by how i go from living in an isolation tank to living in a house full of feral monkeys. it’s quite a shock to my system.
something i should maybe start preparing myself for…other than just buying alcohol.

yesterday i heard my ten year old boy (iggy) say of my seven year old girl, “misha is running a fight club–” i did not catch the rest of the conversation. i just hid.

then while i was doing yoga for ptsd , iggy & fidgit put on a movie i got for them and then iggy was in the doorway lamenting that the movie was black & white and how could i do that to him as i know he just hates black & white….
i assured him it would turn to color as it was not a black & white movie, and i kept doing my yoga.
fidgit then appeared in the doorway after some loud scuffling. he said something about iggy attacking & injuring him but all i could think to do was ask (of the movie) “is it colored yet?”
to which he replied, “no, but it will be soon.”
“good,” i answered right before he began wailing about my not caring that his bruise would soon have color.

for some reason that communication mix up really struck me as funny.  i started laughing & could not stop.
i would think i was losing my mind…but i am going to blame the yoga. yoga tends to release things for me. usually i cry. it felt nice to laugh like i did not know how to stop.

even though i probably further traumatized fidgit. (it still kind of makes me laugh though)

figures.

today is another experiment with white on gray tone paper. it was kind of a quick one. darker & weirder than yesterday’s super happy one that provoked thoughts of beatrix potter and disney. maybe an antidote to the sweet of yesterday’s ink.
today’s is kind of sparse…but it felt done. so i let it be instead of trying to fill up negative space.

so! now that people are asking for originals (only a couple so far, but i’m hoping it will become a trend) i am having to learn how to price my stuff. from a book about selling art online, i was given the advice today that if you are not a little bit uncomfortable with the price you are asking–you probably are under-pricing your art. that made sense to me, as i’m sure it does to many other artists. so that is going to be my major tell. i am going to imagine asking for prices and see where my comfort zone is–and then push it.

also! in learning to value myself & my art, i am going to have to invest in more good paper. yesterday’s was done on watercolor paper whereas today’s was done on lighter weight paper. when i use the pad i used for yesterday’s, my work is almost always of a better quality. the stain works better & the paper holds the ink better. the mixed media & sketch ones i like to goof off in do not translate as well. which is fine, until someone wants to buy one & i am all like, “well, the paper is crap.” so i really need to invest in more of the good stuff. though i do like how the ink messes with the weaker paper. i would probably mount/back the lighter paper with thicker paper or mat. i did that today with one that was done in my journal, “jar of hearts.” i removed it from my journal and affixed it to a heavier piece of colored paper.

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because that journal paper is so thin, there is some noticeable glue marks however. fortunately, the buyer was okay with it. i need to play around more and figure the best way to do this. make sure i can present my art in a marketable & professional-ish way.

i have a lot of stuff on mediocre paper. but i think the art is good even if the paper sucks. so i think i will just price them accordingly.

i can do this. this is not scary. i can do this. this is not scary. i can do this.

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