Friday, December 10, 2010

Managing Expectations

Monkey + Seal hold ourselves up to high expectations. While this is usually a good thing to strive and work and bust your behind to make it to the top, it's always a good thing to make a clear distinction in what expectations you hold to yourself. That distinction is doing your absolute best, and doing your best given the circumstances.

The difference is that your absolute best is probably a near-impossible level of work to keep up with any sort of consistency. If you were doing your best 100% of the time, you wouldn't have time to eat, sleep, or do anything that is remotely relaxing. Your stress levels would be so high you wouldn't be digesting your food (assuming you ate anything). It's an unrealistic expectation.

This is not to say that you shouldn't try, or that you shouldn't push yourself. Especially with working with clients and deadlines, sometimes you do have to push past what you think you can do and do that 30-hour day, or finish those five paintings in twelve hours. However, when you work yourself that hard, you're going to burn out. The crash isn't fun, and the whole experience generally isn't that fun either.

What you should aim for is that you do your very best given the circumstances. If you forgot the box of your highest selling comic and only brought the old stuff that no one buys, you can't expect to do the sales that you would have. But, you can do your very best given the circumstances and figure out how to sell what you do have. Or you can lose an hour of sales to leave and go get the comics. Or you could buy some paper and a pen and start selling one-of-a-kind comics that you draw there and then.

Basically, while we strongly promote setting lofty goals and expectations, make sure you realize that sometimes life doesn't always work out the way you want it to, but you shouldn't let those bumps derail you. Do not let missing a mark end your career. Use the missed goal as a learning experience, and as long as you did the best you could given the circumstances, you can walk away knowing that you did all that you could.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Help Us Help You

Hi everyone! Monkey here. I just wanted to remind you all tomorrow night is Big Umbrella Studio's grand re-opening! I'll have 9 new paintings up, and we'll be on hand selling our ties and prints and shirts. We'll also be live printing the t-shirt version of Panda Rage (see above), as well as a new single color shirt design of a cat-fish, illustrated by Ms. Eve Skylar herself. There will also be treats from Sweet As Pie Bakery (an up-n-coming local bakery), live painting, and some great art on the walls. It's tomorrow night (Thursday) from 5-10pm at 906 1/2 Divisadero St x McAllister!

Anyhoo, so I just wanted to take the time today to instead of blab about a bunch of stuff, to instead ask you, our readers, about what YOU want from us. I'm itching to put out another guide, but I'd like to know what kind of guide is going to help you out the most.

Specifically, I'd like to know if you had your way (regarding art and creating art and being an artist), what type of free e-guide would you like us to make for YOU. What do you want to see?

Do you want more info on marketing? How to approach craft fairs? Pricing? Interviews with other successful artists? Whatever you'd like, we want to know what it is. Along with that, what are your greatest fears/concerns/issues that you're facing regarding art? We'd like to be able to help out with that, so we need to know the problem so we can address it. That said, what is your ideal outcome (ie. what would you like our next guide to help you achieve?)

Are you having trouble making time to create and would like the outcome to be more consistent creating? Maybe you're scared of making an online shop and want to end up with your own Whatever it is, let us know!

So please let us know a)what guide you'd like us to custom create for YOU, b)the issues that you're frustrated with or are most scared of, and c)what your ideal outcome would be after getting our guide.

We'd really love you to put your answers in the comments below, as I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to be concerned about the same thing, but if it's a bit scary, we'd love to hear back from you via email, or you could even facebook message us! Thanks!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big Umbrella Studios! Bazaar Bizarre!

Yay! Lots of Monkey + Seal action coming up this week! We're going to be vending at two different shows this week (!) and we'd love to see you there! Both are free to attend, so we'd love you to stop by and say hi!

The first is going to be at Big Umbrella Studios at 906 1/2 Divisadero St (x McAllister) this Thursday (the 9th!). Not only will we unveil our new workshop program for 2010, but there will be some live painting, and Monkey + Seal will not only have set up shop, but there should be some other great stuff for sale by the other artists!

Additionally, we'll be doing live screen printing for a new shirt design! Fancy! Hint: If you want to bring your own shirt (as opposed to buying one from us), we'll knock $8 off the regular shirt price! We would probably recommend a red shirt. Especially if you like angry pandas...

The Big Umbrella Show goes from 5-10 and we'd love to see you there!

And for everyone who wants to shop handmade + local this holiday season, we'll be vending at Bazaar Bizarre this weekend! It'll be at Fort Mason in the Herbst Pavillion on Saturday the 11th from 12-5, and Sunday the 12th from 12-6. The show is free and there will be over 150 vendors to choose from - holy moly! We, of course, would love to see you at the Monkey + Seal booth, but you should definitely check out some of the other awesome vendors.

There is also a pretty awesome Cocktails and Crafts party Saturday from 7-10pm at the same location where there will be hands-on workshops, and tons of sweeeeet goodies! Tickets for this special event are $10 and you can buy them here.

Just to avoid confusion: During the day, it's free, during the night, you gotta sign-up and pay. Yay! Oh, that rhymes...

Anyway, we'd love to see you at the show so please drop by and say hi!