Taking Time Off

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I'll be taking a break from posting any new work until Monday. I'm having a mini-breakdown dealing with shipping prints and getting caught up on emails, problems, and paperwork. Lately, I have found myself moving further and further away from producing original work and more and more time packing up prints and dealing with the more business related side of what I do. I'm considering not offering prints anymore (or at least for a while) because of all the extra work involved, and I feel that I need to come up with a more efficient system getting them packed up and shipped out without cutting my day in half. I have so many amazing buyers and wonderful people that I have met through etsy and my blog, and I love what I do when I'm in my studio, but sometimes the other side of this business can be pretty disheartening. Ugh. I'm just feeling sorry for myself today.

24 Responses to “Taking Time Off”

  1. LindaSonia

    Maybe you could hire a helper?? If I lived near you, I'd apply. To be immersed in your artwork even if just packin' and shippin' would be great!

    Hang in there… LindaSonia

  2. Janet! You are giving me a heart attack! Don't stop the prints! I am hoping you are just having a bad day and Monday, things will seem much better! Have a great weekend. 🙂 kristin

  3. Belle (from Life of a...)

    Sounds like you might need an assistant to help with the business side so that you can concentrate on the creative side. My daughter is in love with your work…we're redecorating her room and she wants MORE.

  4. rebecca s.

    i would suggest posting an add on craigslist or some site like that for an intern or helper or very part time worker… maybe they can handle the packaging business end for you a few hours a week?

    or maybe you can just do shipping once a week, this way you only focus on all that boring stuff only one day and the rest of your week you can paint and handle whatever else needs handling ?

    i'm sure your customers would understand and be patient… 🙂

    enjoy your weekend!

  5. sounds like you need an assistant! I love your work. All the best.

  6. Anonymous

    I know it is hard to give up control sometimes but you might want to hire a responsible young person to take all that stuff over. It will be worth what you pay them & you will have the time to do what you love, paint. You are allowed to feel sorry for yourself occasionally but smile you are fortunate to be very talented!!!

  7. luckygirlgifts

    That's O.K., everyone deserves to have one day of self pity.
    Maybe you could do all of your packing and shipping one day a week. I've seen some etsy sellers that state "I ship on Fridays". Then you can just skip the painting on that day. Just a suggestion. Whatever makes you feel good is what you should do. Art shouldn't give you a breakdown.
    Feel better,
    Cari b.

  8. Janet Hill

    Unfortunately, I really don't make enough money off the prints to hire and train an assistant. I've removed them from my etsy shop, with exception some prints that buyers had already reserved. When I do offer prints again, I'll likely work out a day a week when I can just pack them up and ship them out.

  9. Anonymous

    I would raise the price of your prints to double what you are currently charging, that way you are making more off each print and allowing some who cannot afford an original to still be able to buy your work.

  10. quitethecrow

    Janet, I love your beautiful paintings. You are incredibly talented and I so look forward to coming to your blog and seeing your latest work. I've lurked up until now since I can't afford to purchase anything at the moment since my husband was laid off last September. However, when I read this post I felt compelled to write. Creativity is such a delicate state and I certainly can understand how bogged down you feel with all the ho-humness of getting things out to people. I know though that your beautiful prints and originals touch all who are fortunate enough to have them in their homes or work places. I hope you'll reconsider selling your prints because as soon as I'm able I'd like to purchase one to brighten my gray cube at work. If you need a little break where you can just stay inspired to paint and create, then do it for yourself, but please post your beauties for us to drool over and be inspired by! I try to view your blog each day and soak in the talent and wonder I find there…Elizabeth

  11. Corinne Gomez

    You are smart to take a break and think things "through"… From your other commentators, taking one whole day a week for only shipping and handling, sounds like a great idea!
    Or even two days! This way, "it" doesn't all pile up on you and make you crazy… Be good to yourself and enjoy the weekend with your hubby and Princie Boy… Do you still have your kitty?
    If you hire anyone for anything, let it be to drop grapes in your mouth, while they fan you with a giant feather fan!

  12. Victoria

    If I lived nearby I would totally help you out!! Hope you take this next week off to relax and enjoy the summer!! Everyone needs a break – and you most certainly deserve one. Hope you have a great weekend – sleep in!!
    Enjoy the time off – hope to see you soon!!

  13. Dolores

    Now I am really glad I purchased at least one of your prints. I do hope you won't stop. They are beautiful.

    I was also going to suggest you do your sending out of prints just one day of the week. You've already though of it.

  14. Anonymous

    Janet, I love your work! Once the school year starts, consider asking a local high school if they can hook you up with an intern. You won't have to pay them (except maybe treating them to lunch as a treat every so often) and they will be earning course credit.

    This would be a great opportunity for you to mentor a young person (not by spending many hours training them in art, mind you –I've managed interns in past jobs and know that for a busy person the fear of having to babysit a teen, even a smart one, can be daunting), but simply by letting them pick up info through osmosis.A go-getter of a student will flourish just by helping you and watching you in action.

    A young student with an interest in art will benefit from seeing the business side of the craft: growing a business, selling, marketing and the nuts and bolts of running a home-based art business.

    I think it's a perfect win-win! And you'll probably set the hours together so you can arrange to either have them half a day a couple days a week or more or less depending on your needs. Heck, if you don't want them underfoot that often b/c you need your Alone Time in studio, just send him or her off to "research" some esoteric subject at the public library whenever you don't have any work for them, or just come outright and phone them the night before and tell them they should just spend the next "shift" at the library doing their own homework or whatever, and you'll "sign off" on their time for them anyway. Who wouldn't love that?

    I've worked with a lot of interns over the past 10 years, and frankly, even the least motivated are better than nothing. And the best: well, they're a joy to be around and inspire even the most jaded multi-tasker with their youthful interests and attitude!

    I've also been an intern, and think it's a great opportunity to build ones' skill set and get advice from someone you admire.

    Truly win-win!

  15. Janet – As a person who can only afford your prints, I beg you NO!!!!!

    That being said, I am in the process of launching my own Vintage store on Etsy. Too keep it managable I will only ship on MOndays and Thursdays.

  16. thedailydelights

    Lovely Janet,

    We love you and you need to know that. You have a great fan/support base. Though there are fabulous comments full of advice here, we will support what is best for you.

    Packaging does take so much time. I never make any money off of my prints. Until you find that perfect system, just take care of YOU. 🙂

    Your art has brought so much comfort, beauty, and confidence to this lil' artist, as I'm sure so many others. I admire how much you love what you do. You'll find your groove…:) Much luv, trina

  17. A Gift Wrapped Life

    Hi Janet,
    I too am often faced wth an overwhelming amount of tasks that I handle myself. This can mean one of two things, we aren't charging enough to hire someone to help even one day a week and then that means we are not approaching it like a proper business. it could also mean we don't want to make it too much of a business where we have staff and staff concerns. Many an artist prefers to work alone so the hardest part is delegating and involving other staff who may disrupt our lovely
    creative rythym of doing what we feel like as the day progresss. I owned a design studio where I had 7staff and 10 trades and I am doing everything possible not to be there again, but without delegating a business can't grow, I am faced with all these same things (if I am reading this right)
    so I would suggest making a list of the true goal of your business so you can see where to head. Let me know if I can help in any way.
    You don't have to post this comment, probably better if you don't. Those type of tasks can wear creative people down so it is best to think it through and you do need to get your artwork out there to your adoring fans. Though I bet there is a really keen student who would love to help for the experience of watching and learning from you. And it is a wonderful thing to do for the younger generation as a woman role model. I'm glad you wrote this post and you are not alone on having overwhelmed days, though it is lovely when your husband brings you flowers. My computer just got fixed (again!) so I am late to the comment. Hope you have a better week and that your plan of action becomes clearer to you this week.

  18. Avian | nestparty.com

    Oh sweetie… my heart goes out to you! I think a day a week should be set aside for shipping and packaging – as long as clients are aware of this there shouldn't be a problem.

    In the end, it has to be what is best for you and your family. I adore your art and look forward to more of it in the future… and I promise to NEVER complain!! 😉

  19. Carrie

    I would also suggest increasing the cost of your prints. You do need to make money on them and people who love your art would be willing to pay up I'm sure. Just my suggestion. Your art is beautiful and I'm so lucky to have snatched up four of the originals! I get compliments all the time on them.

  20. Natalie Jost | Olive Manna

    As I am awaiting three prints (I must have gotten in just before this post!), I'm very sad to see the prints go, but so happy to see a woman taking care of herself too. Thank you for offering prints in the first place, and if you decide to bring them back, go ahead and raise the price! It sounds like people are still interested enough and if not, then you don't spend as much time packing and shipping, so it's a win-win!

    Of course, if I can't buy prints I'm more inclined to save up for an original. 😉

  21. Janet Hill

    Hi Natalie,

    No worries- I'm back doing prints. I've just worked out a shipping schedule and more efficient shipping supplies.

  22. futurowoman

    I'm just leaving a note to say that I really appreciate your talent! <3


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