So it's been almost a year since I've blogged.  It's not that I stopped caring about being an artist or any such thing: I became pregnant.  I found pregnancy to be really challenging and I lost a lot of focus.  Then I had to move back up to Canada because I couldn't afford insurance in the States.  So I stayed in Vancouver with my parents while my husband (and studio) were in Portland.  Then the baby arrived almost 2 months early (hello there!) and I've been focused on that.

I absolutely love being a mama.  My baby is amazing and I have so much fun with him.  It's just incredible to watch him develop.  And to be honest, I've wanted a baby for a long time and it's better than I expected.  So I am very, very lucky.

I am, however, not finding myself to be cut out for long term stay-at-home momness.  My entire existence just can't revolve around my son.  So I find myself returning to art.  This is more difficult than I expected, as my schedule is subject to the whims of a five-month-old.  It's also a bit my fault, because I refuse to supplement  with formula yet haven't  been pumping, can't focus with my little guy around, and freak if another caretaker (including his father) takes him out of my sight for more than an hour.

Perfect opportunity to work on the business side of things a bit more.  I can type or read with one hand while I have boy on the boob.  My in-laws gave me a great book called Art Business Strategies.  It's put out by my beloved Interweave Press and is aimed at art quilters.  I don't quilt but I haven't come across anything that's not applicable to surface designers.  It also seems to be the best book on the subject that I have found yet.  I'm beyond pleased.

The chapter I am looking at now is about setting goals. It's important to choose goals that you have control over. "I'm going to get into that juried art show" is not an appropriate goal because you don't have control over how the jury picks submissions.  "I'm going to submit an excellent quality submission to a juried art show" is more reasonable because you are totally in control and can focus on the quality of your work, good photography, making the submission deadline, compatibility between the show and your work, etc.

So my goals this year are:

1. Get an Etsy shop up, running, and maintained.  I will be closing my iCraft shop because I haven't made a single sale, even when I did all the extra work that they say you should.  It just doesn't get enough attention for a beginner seller.

2.  Enter into galleries/shows.  Maybe I can aim for one submission a month at this point.  Be really anal about it.

3. Develop a professional website.  This one is great for documenting my educational journey, but it's not professional.

I think these are good goals for now.  I'd rather keep my goals modest at this point and adjust them when I need more of a challenge.  The wee one keeps me pretty busy and insisting that I do this full time immediately won't work!

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