Thoughts & Stories: To Retire Young

I watched a You Tube video clip from a show called "Portlandia" that will be airing later this year on IFC. Fred Armestan of SNL stars in this tongue and cheek look at Portland and it's more quirky traits. In the video I viewed, he calls Portland: "the place where young people go to retire".

I think that sounds like a mighty fine idea. And while I can't completely retire from everything, I am done with Jarfly for the time being. Perhaps "taking a hiatus" is a better term. I threw my hands up in the air about a year ago and quit, which was a very good thing. When I came back to it 4 months later I was refreshed with better ideas for my art...but more so with better product in regards to print, paper and packaging quality. 

Learning the blogging world was invaluable to me as well. In this day and age, it doesn't matter how good your art is...if you don't take advantage of the online community, social networking sites and Etsy.com you are going to have a hard time selling your work. I've yet to really make a great profit doing this (I never really expected to) but I surely do enjoy it, and the sales I have made were almost solely based on networking online.

I've also come to believe that crossing over to the dark side and going digital is not always necessary, but at least very important to understand. In this fast paced world, it's been extra important for me to be able to produce a product at a moment's notice....if you can't, people move on. So even if your speciality is drawing old school, unless you are one of the lucky few who get discovered, it's a good idea to at least get acquainted with quick ways of producing your product.

My art is quirky, fun...and driven more by the joke or meaning behind it than actual technical skill. I know far greater artists than myself. Heck, 9 out 10 people in the grocery line may be better doodlers than me. I think that's what really gets me excited though. It makes me want to be a better artist, yes. More though, it challenges me to pay attention to what is "in" and what is "out". What works and what doesn't. 

I've also come to realize I enjoy writing a whole lot more then I enjoy making greeting cards. While the cards are taking a vacation for awhile, the writing will continue on. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not...but either way I'm content.

In conclusion, I finish up with the most successful moment in this whole Jarfly endeavor. Mario's, and upscale suiting store in Portland and Seattle purchased a significant amount of my cards for use in their holiday window displays. Even after selling them, it seemed too good to be true and I didn't expect to see my drawing anywhere next to an Armani suit.

But wouldn't you know that as I walked down the street in downtown Portland right before Christmas...there my cards were, being modeled right next to Prada. Now THAT, was a fun thing to behold. I was like a kid running up and down the sidewalk with my fiance's cell phone snapping pictures!

So thanks to all my friends and family who have watched me flail around trying to be a self made card millionaire. I'm learning a lot about the journey being the important thing in life, rather than the outcome. Failed artist? Maybe. Happy artist? Definitely.

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