The Ugly Truth About Making Art for A Living

Before I dive into the actual post, I want to thank everyone who entered my giveaway!  The winner was @jes.turco on Instagram!  She is a fantastic artist herself, so go check her out!

I consider the readers of this blog to be like close friends, so I have to be honest with you.  Sorry if things get a little “too real.”

I have been in a pretty nasty rut creatively… since around April.  It’s the main reason I took such a long hiatus from writing, and it’s also why I’m having such a hard time sticking to a schedule.  It even factored into why I didn’t participate in Inktober, which you can read about in my last post

Basically, I’ve had too much to do, and the idea of doing it all was overwhelming.  So to combat that, I did next to nothing.  Very little commissions, very little design work, and very little writing.  I tried venturing into other tasks like interior design and refurbishing, and I’ve been having a blast with it, but my artistic tasks began looming, festering even.  Remember being a child and doing absolutely everything in your power to put off homework, but the fact that you had to do it still haunted you?  That’s how I felt, but about the things I love the most. I have had a painting I’ve been needing to get done for SEVEN months that is not finished yet, because it was so daunting and I had so many other life situations happening around me I couldn’t possibly work on it.

As I’m sure you’re aware, painting and design is my passion.  Having these things turn into a chore sent me into a bit of a depression, and I’ve been feeling sorry for myself instead of actively working towards my goals. Honestly, there’s no other way to put it other than it sucked.  It sucked for months on end.

The past few days, I had to slap myself back into reality.  Why am I sitting around and watching my life pass by me without doing what I love?  Why am I letting things get so out of control instead of sitting down and working when I know it’ll make me feel worlds better?

That painting that I’ve needed to do for seven months?  I finally got the outline done.  The hard part is over.  All that’s left to do is paint it, and it’ll be ready in time for Christmas.  

Oh, did I mention this painting is 24” x 48”?  It takes up my entire table.  You can see why I was so intimidated.

This whole debacle of not wanting to paint has been a result of not taking the time to make any art for myself that I enjoy, so what I’ve learned from this is it’s important to take a break, but make sure you’re actually healing during that break.  Do what you love, then come back to your work stronger.  I’m literally going to spend tonight drawing something I enjoy for myself and then working on commissions.

Speaking of Christmas

I’m officially opening up Christmas commissions!  Get your order in by December 1st for it to be ready in time for the holiday!  I know, this isn’t a lot of notice, but I’m just now getting back on my feet.  As of today, I have four slots left for Christmas commissions.  To order a custom painting, email bmartin.artdesign@gmail.com and we’ll work it out together!

In other news…

I have a big secret to share with you.  I’m only announcing it here on the blog until I’m ready to publish it all, but it’s something I’ve been working on for the past week or so that I’m really excited about.

I’m going to be splitting my brand into two.  Up until now I have kept my design work and my traditional art together on the same formats as a means to show myself as a whole person, rather than showing the two aspects of my art. However, I’ve always felt they’re relatively segregated, and although they’re both forms of art technically… they’re completely different.  I have different target audiences, different styles, and different goals.


I’m not even entirely sure how I’ll be going about this yet.  But I’ve been toying around with logo ideas for my design work.  Here is my unofficial first attempt:

And since I focus so much on critique in this blog, I’d love your opinion!  Looking at this right now, I’m already seeing things I’m going to change, but it’s good to have other eyes on your work.  Send your critique to bmartin.artdesign@gmail.com.  Just please, don’t be too brutal!  I’ve been more sensitive than usual lately, you know.

More about Design

Not having done Inktober made me feel pretty garbage, so I’ve been doing the Daily Logo Challenge instead.  When I’m done rebranding, I’ll publish them all, but until then I’ll show you the first one.  The prompt was Rocket Ship:

You can find the prompts at https://dailylogochallenge.com, take the challenge for yourself!  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Rebranding should hopefully all be finalized by New Years!  New business cards, new social media, and one streamlined image for each business.  It feels like I’m constantly changing my image and my business, but that’s human nature, right?  We are always evolving, attempting to better ourselves.  I hope you do something to better yourself too.  Wish me luck!