16.4.10

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul


In the fiendish way that these things happen, my deadlines all seem to have conspired to meet at more or less the same time. To finish the most urgent (handed in by 1st week of April) I had to eat into time I needed for the next one (second week of April) before I could even think about the third one (beginning of June). So, 40 design artworks painted up, scanned and posted off, and a quick studio tidy up before straight on to the next job.

This is what half a year's work on a design job looks like- excluding the artworks. A big pile of A3 sheets consisting of brainstorming, first amendments, second amendments and (God help me) third amendments. And in a few cases, fourth amendments. And then 40 of the blighters to draw up and colour. I have re-discovered three things;


1) Most people have no idea that illustration can be a full time job as much as any *normal* job and at times it is more than that. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the nice things in life like little walks, pottering in the garden, blogging, reading - and days off are out of the question. But I have given up explaining this, as no-one seems to believe it.


2) Similarly they don't understand that often one really does have to be creative *on demand* instead of waiting for the inspiration fairy to visit. This is what sorts out the men from the boys. As it were.


3) You can't please all of the people all of the time. This is a fact.


Added into this mixture was the dull dawning that last year I promised to take part in the 25th birthday celebrations of the lovely shop 'Teddy Bears of Witney', - and it is soon! They asked me if I would do an all day needle felting demonstration with a stall. Friends, I have never rigged up a stall in my life. I shoved it to the back of my mind until the other week when I finally put my mind to it. So I sacrificed some work time to source - a card display unit, mini-clothes pegs, photo corner mounts and oddest of all, red Japanese bondage rope. Which is apparently exactly what it says it is.



Who knew? It is rather lovely and just what I need to peg photos of my animals on. Finally, gorgeous
Moo mini-cards to hand out to potential customers.



I've been meaning to give them a whirl and I am so very pleased with them. The sturdy little box is just right for stashing buttons and beads in, when it is empty.


I'm rather looking forward to Sunday - the shop is kindly paying for a taxi each way, so I travel in style and there will be 250+ handpicked teddy bear enthusiasts there to entertain. I only wish I had some spare needle felt stock to offer, but I will have artworks and cards on sale; some funds for more Moo cards would be nice.

(The New Best News is that I have deadline extensions, which is relief beyond my wildest dreams).

40 comments:

ayelet(nishale) said...

I just LOVE the MOO cards!
you are invited to visit at my blog to!
have a great weekend!
ayelet

Jane said...

Congratulations on getting one deadline out of the way, and on the extensions.
Hope you have fun at Teddy Bears of Whiney.

knutty knitter said...

The cards are neat.

Good luck on the deadlines.

Its amazing just how much time things take. I figured that my own things never make slave wages even but I do love doing them anyway.

viv in nz

Claire said...

Oh Gretel, I am exhausted after reading your post, it all sounds a bit stressful!
Hope you are looking after yourself and everything falls into place at the right time.
All the best for the 25th birthday celebrations, I am sure your cards and artwork will be a hit and you will find a heap of new fans.

gillianleesmith said...

wow gretel you are busy busy but congratulations for getting your first deadline out of the way. the 25th celebrations sound wonderful and I do hope you enjoy them and enjoy meeting people who will really adore your work!

janet said...

Happy about your extensions...but I rather like your short hair..Ha, just a little american humor (very little). Your Moo cards are beautiful. I have been meaning to look into getting some for my shop. Gretel, you never have to try to convince me that you are not turning in a full time + work days. I think about you everyday holed up in your little studio drawing away and checking the days off your calendar. Keep imagining how lovely it will feel when you are all done. How will you celebrate? You and Andy should pack an extra special picnic lunch and go for a splendid Cotswolds walk.....and then tell us all about it! I can tell by all the wonderful comments on your blogs, that you have many friends who are cheering you on and that makes me smile.;-) Have a good time at the teddy bear shop..people will love you.

Menopausal musing said...

It was lovely to read that you had finished, but I sat fretting about the parcel being sent off. I would worry to death about it not getting there. Do you send it by special courier or something?

I also sat wondering how many "hits" Google would get re Japanese bondage rope....

Enjoy Sunday! :O))))

Mlle Miracle said...

Gretel, bon courage for all the thousand things you're doing. I wish I could be in that Teddy Bears's celebration and see your demonstration, snif!

GardenofDaisies said...

The Moo business cards are wonderful!! Hope you have a great time this weekend at your stall. Hopefully now that we have all seen your post, more people will understand that illustration and art are full time jobs!
I get a lot of that attitude from people too, because my business is run out of my home. They think I stay home and eat bon-bons and watch soap operas all day long. Crazy people!

Soozcat said...

There are certain professions that seem to bring on the skeptics.

"So, what do you do?"

"I'm a writer."

"No, I mean, what do you do for a living?"

Glad to hear your deadline has been extended... and hoping very much that you'll get a bit of a breather after the current batch is completed.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

I was so relieved when I read you got deadline extensions, you have so idea......The Moo Cards are simply brilliant, I wonder if we have anything like that here in the states.....Hope you get out for a good ramble sometime soon.

Frances said...

Wow, PG, I definitely appreciate what you write about deadlines arriving in layers. Sometimes I am not quite sure which month it actually is!

I think that you will have even more business after April 18. So, please do enjoy those taxi rides!

Great news that you have gotten some extensions on some of your projects.

Yes, it's very difficult to turn on creativity like a magic faucet.

Best wishes. xo

myletterstoemily said...

oh, deadlines are murder! i always wish
i had just one more day!

your moo cards are just adorable. you
are incredibly gifted.

Janet said...

As an artisan who makes one of a kind commissioned quilts entirely by hand, I know exactly what you are saying about the time such projects take, and the inability of others to understand this. BTW I just love your needlefelted animals and also your art and your cards.

Caroline B said...

Glad you are managing to keep it all under control!
Have fun with your stall - hope you will be taking orders!
Yes, it's funny how people don't have any idea how much work goes into producing a decent piece of artwork & just how hard it is if you don't feel particularly creative each and every day. What's not so funny is the amount of people who begrudge paying for something they see as your 'little hobby'....nyargh!
Love those Moo cards - worth having then!
(Behave yourself with that rope when Sunday is over....)

Southern Lady said...

What a cool job!! Carla

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Extensions. Wonderful word.

I wish I could attend Teddy Bear party! It sounds like loads of fun. And I love the Moo cards!

Twiglet said...

You seem to have everything well under control! Good luck with the Teddy bears' party - we would love to be there and see you "at it" as they say!

frayedattheedge said...

I love your Moo cards .... I've been meaning to get postcards made with some of my photos from last year's holiday. As for the time and effort that goes into your work - it is the same with quilts - peolple say can you 'run them one up' when you 'have a moment' ......

Graceful Moments said...

Busy, as usual, across the pond. I am happy that you got your project(s) finished and have an extension. The Teddy Bear party sounds like a good way to spend a day and I love the little mini-cards. I don't understand why people think that artists don't really work. Crazy, isn't it!
Good luck on your next deadline!

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

Creativity on demand!? That sounds tough...I do know how demanding your work can be, only because I have a couple friends in the articstic field. Looks like fun but it's hard, un-glamorous work! I bet your stall will be great and I wish you the best of luck and hopefully a good time will be had :)

natural attrill said...

Moo cards are nice arent they, they are really thick and feel good, I was suprised at how tiny they are. Your toys look fab on those cards Gretel, I hope they bring in lots of interesting commissions and sales for you.
Penny.

Wanda said...

Even your Moo Cards look lovely enough to sell♥...Wanda

Yarrow said...

I'm glad you have a little more time to juggle with, that must be a relief. Have fun at the Teddy bear party :) and I totally believe how hard you work.x

Chrissie said...

Have a lovely teddy bear party - everyone there will be delighted to see you and what you have made and you will be able to glow with pride. Well-deserved pride. Congratulations on your achievement Gretel.
(p.s. just exactly who put you on to that bondage cord?!)

PG said...

Hi Chrissie - I was trawling eBay for *soft red rope* and it was exactly what I was looking for - was a bit surprised when I read the description though!

CrazyJaneDesigns said...

You can't imagine how happy your blog has made me!! I know that sounds cruel, but it's not meant that way. I too have had a manic couple of weeks, with one deadline after another all coming together. It makes me feel I'm not the only one locked up in the workroom while the sun shines

rachel said...

Nice to see you back here. Hopefully you'll have a bit of time off to recharge your prodigious batteries after the deadlines have been met?

rossichka said...

Good luck tomorrow! I'm sure your artworks and pretty cards will have success! As for the different deadlines crossing one another I know what the feeling is! After passing through such an unbearable period I just wonder how I have survived...:))Still have a glimpse from time to time through the window for the Spring is SO beautiful!:-)

the casbah kitten said...

So busy, busy, busy! I'm sure it feels good to finish jobs and mark them off your list. Good luck at the teddy bear party, I'm sure it will be fun! And your Moo cards are absolutely delicious!!

Natasha said...

Hope your stand goes well. I'm sure it will be charming.
I'm very excited to see what all this work is going to be, Can't wait
xx

Frances Tyrrell said...

Thinking about you at the shop today, wishing I could magically pop over (it would have to be magically, what with the volcanic ash and all) and enjoy the event.

I love the little Moo cards, they are very fetching and keepable and I imagine people will be snapping them up.

Working to deadlines can be exhausting, and isn't it lovely to get the reprieve of an extension!
Often, when I am working at that pace, I think of how well I will use that dazzling productivity for other projects once the imminent deadline is met (it's a theory I have yet to prove).

Best wishes, I hope we get to see some of the completed work before long.

Jackie said...

Working creatively to order is a bind sometimes..but it does make you realise just what you are capable of under pressure.I think your teddy bears stall will be lovely.

Suze said...

I hope Sunday went well, and you had a fun (if exhausting) day. Pleased to hear you've extensions too...a little more time to complete your wonderful illustrations, and congratulations on completing one of your projects...
Your Moo cards are pretty...I do love Moo too!
Good luck with all...

BumbleVee said...

Oh, boy..... how I would have loved to be one of the 250+ ...... sigh..... tips and tricks from an expert! that would be worth a pretty penny!~ I hope they all appreciated the day...

oooh,... bondage rope.... what fun you can have with it later.... hahhaha.... when you find some extra hours that is! A day can whiz past so quickly when you are trying to design, create, amend, and re-create....

Michelle Palmer said...

I believe you... it is difficult to convince folks that art is a full time job~ with a lot of overtime :)

I think the most daunting fact... deadlines, however small and simple take three times as long to complete than fun projects.

Wishing you the best~
Michelle

Jessie said...

Japanese bondage rope - LOL! Where did you get that, in a Japanese bondage rope shop?!
The Moo cards look gorgeous and I had no idea this was your first stall, fantastic!xx

Sarah Wimperis said...

Moo mini cards are fab and yours look great, illo work is a royal pain sometimes, a nescessary evil, I feel for you and totally understand, a big love hate thing. Your stall looks great, Keep going, havnt wandered through the middle of nowhere for ages, always a pleasure.

Rosie said...

Great blog...such a lot to look at. Like your style enormously.

Stephanie Roth Sisson said...

Gretel, I'm sitting over here looking at this post and the one above it- just beaming- wow wow wow! So wonderful and such hard work. Especially LOVE the cards with your just perfect creations- I think Jocko is smiling (he's right next to me).

xo