Inglourious Artests

(For in-joke reference, see Inglourious Basterds)

Today, I am grumpy and thought I would share.

What makes me grumpy?  I am not in the studio.

Why am I not in the studio?  Because as a one-man business, I’m doing business upkeep instead.

What business upkeep might that be?

  • Taxes – I do them in Turbotax myself because I am hard-headed and don’t want to pay someone else to do essentially the same thing as going through a step-by-step program that walks you through them. (Just my opinion..probably wouldn’t recommend this course of action to folks not comfy with a computer and lots of tedious reading.)
  • Gallery Setup – I recently bought a space in a local gallery, meaning I’ve had to fill it with signs, frame & hang work, take inventory, and any number of endless list of things just to make it presentable.
  • Filing Receipts – This goes hand in hand with taxes. Got to keep good records of your expenses and income!  I use Quicken to keep track of my cashflow and record receipts.
  • Making Phone Calls – As much as I’d like to think I am SO awesome that people will come to grovel at my feet and offer me opportunities, I’ve spent much of my time on the phone lately setting up book signings, repeating the same marketing spiel over and over.
  • Updating Website and Shops – Entering products one by one, picking categories, uploading product images, and all that fuss are required for marketing my work on Etsy, Artfire, etc.  This tedious activity is the sole flagship of my online sales, meaning there is no escape from doing this duty!

There are times when I am willing to trade a kidney if I could have someone do this crap for me so I can spend more time in the studio. Alas, no one has taken me up on that kidney offer!  Alas again, this was my choice to run a business and be a micro-manager of every facet, therefore there’s no one to blame but my evil twin, Mangela!

If there was a time I was thinking on how awesome it would be to draw ‘pretty pictures’ all the time and bring the enjoyment of sexy otherworld creatures to be adored the world over, that time has passed!  Running a business requires just a pinch of shameless self-promotion with a dash of evil.

Evil being the thought of preying on people’s impulsive spending tendencies to make a sale (IE. the acquiring of a credit card terminal to persuade those with plastic money, for instance), of convincing them they need things that they really don’t (IE. my pretty pictures of stuff). Evil being that undercurrent in my thoughts, no matter how small, that leads back to how I can help promote myself.  Evil being the realization that, yes, the purpose of any business is to make money, in addition to anything sprang from morality and inspiration, that drives your urge to keep waking up every day and doing this thing called a business.

So, balancing a bit of wickedness with all this pretty talk of ‘doing what we love’ I’ve talked about on this blog!  (And I do love this, for all that I purport my grumpiness).  I will keep creating (when not upkeeping).  I will keep drawing sexy otherworldly pretty things because I damned well want to.

But first, gotta update a few more websites…

….Kidney, anyone?


  1. Oh Jay how I wish it were true I was organized! I keep thinking if I were better organized, I’d have less days of grumpy where I’m working on all these different sort of non-art things.

    The best way I’ve been trying to manage it lately is to designate days for doing certain things. Friday, for example, is a filing and cleaning day. Wednesday is a calendar updating and marketing updates day.

    That way you wake up for that day knowing what you need to do and it helps regulate your schedule so you don’t feel like you are doing boring paperwork junk ALL the time.

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