Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday 

I use the Shine app because who doesn’t like daily encouragement? 
Today’s read:
We often think taking a break = slacking. But *intentional* lulls only amp up productivity. Today, take a recess to power up. 

It hits close to home. At work, on my lunch break, if I sit at my desk, I feel extremely guilty if I watch videos (well, if other people see). I feel like that’s kind of messed up. 
So today I’m going to work on relaxing, you know, aaaafter my jog. 
-Smudged 

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday | Peripheral Research

 Things I would like in order to really sell my art: printer (for fancy prints), printer (for invoices), scanner, art computer.
Fancy Color Printer: I want the colors to print how they look on the screen. No streaks, no stripes, no weird alterations. I understand that really good printers get very expensive (especially the ink/toner). I also understand that this could possibly be the last thing I purchase, and only purchase after I’ve been working for a while. Honestly, a good Fed Ex printing office can handle this fairly cheaply, it just takes effort to get there.
Mediocre Invoice Printer: I need a printer that I can access quickly so I can print off invoices or receipts. I’d like to be able to do this sooner rather than later because even though I’m not making a lot, I’d like to make my life easier now. Plus, it’s just nice to have a printer around. Alternative, I could go to the library and spend ten cents on every page I print. Or I could spend money and set up one of those cool phone swipey things, but I’m just not in deep enough for that.
Scanner: oh my gosh, this is important. Look, I prefer traditional mediums. Like, a lot. But that’s in part because it’s hard to draw on a screen. If I can get the sketch done on paper first, I’d be more comfortable. Also, I’d really like to digitize my records, for easier tax accounting purposes.
Computer: ok, so I clearly have a computer. But, I share it with my husband, which means it’s impossible to use when he’s home. My college laptop is very broken. Also, his music files and programs take up a lot of that computer. Honestly, I would like a laptop, even better if I can use a pressure sensitive stylus on the screen. I’m sure that drawing with a mouse builds character, but I’m too old for that nonsense. My time on this earth is ticking away and I’m not wasting it redrawing my shaky mouse drawings.
I’ll have to start digging in to this research.
-Smudged
Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday | Late Again

Can it count that I was kind of working on Wednesday?  Also that my computer was unavailable to me?  Heck yes!

 

An awesome friend of mine has a career in the medical world.  She wants to raise money by throwing a fundraiser for her office.  She wants to have one of those paint and sip parties.  She asked me to teach.

 

!!!!!

 

Networking sounded so stupid to me in college?  Like why would I pretend to enjoy small talk with a stranger so I can give them my business card?  But this is technically networking?  Also, I love my friends.  And that they’re thinking of me.

 

I don’t know if her idea will get approved, but I can’t not think about something once it’s in my head.

 

I want to teach something easy, but REALLY impressive looking.  Something with mass appeal.  All my brain keeps coming up with is sunsets.  Or paintings where you peel the tape off later and come up with something cool.  Or a galaxy?  A galaxy could be fun.

 

This totally counts.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday | Taxes Part 2

So as I recall, I ended last week not knowing whether or not I had to pay taxes on a quarterly (or even monthly!) basis on my art generated income.

 

So I found this which both made me happy and sad at the same time.

 

Basically, as I am an individual (and not a corporation), unless I expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes, I have to pay yearly.  More than that, it’s quarterly.

 

Also, unrelated, how am I supposed to know how much I expect to owe in taxes?  Since this income is extra, I’d say save half of whatever I make and take a guess.  I suppose I could fill out the forms I mentioned last week, which I’m totally not going to do because I’ve made less than $300 on my art this year…so there’s no way I owe more than $1,000 in taxes.

 

I will keep all of this in mind when I really get serious about selling stuff.  But for now, I just plan on learning as much as possible.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday | Taxes

Curiosity killed the cat, but the satisfaction of its discovery brought it back.

 

I went to school for accounting; I took tax classes.  I hated it.  Our professor told us the one thing he hoped we would get out of the class was:  “hire a tax accountant to do your taxes.”  For real.  So my grasp on taxes is shaky.  I know enough to terrify myself.  I know enough to know that I’m doing something wrong, but not enough to know how to do it right.

 

It’s paralyzing.

 

But it’s working Wednesday and I needed something to do.  So I’m researching taxes.

 

I started at IRS.gov.  I feel like they’re trying to be helpful, but it still makes my head hurt.  I found this link on figuring out if you’re subject to self employment income.  I tried to take it on my phone.  Then I lost data and had to take it later.  I have MANY questions.  I mean…I go to church, does that mean I’m a member of a religious order?  Am I a sole proprietor?  Who uses the word proprietor in real life?

 

Ultimately, it told me that I don’t owe self-employment tax because I chose hobby, but I also chose Other because there are things I do that I don’t consider a hobby.  Like odd jobs.  House sitting, cleaning, stuff like that.

 

So I went on to Publication 334 (which is just such a bureaucratic name) and basically, if I make over $400, I have to pay self-employment taxes.

 

But…then how?  I mean, I am so used to the go to an accountant (I took my professor’s advice) in February or March and give them my W2 and whatever really basic forms are needed and be done with it thing.  If someone’s not making my form for me (like my employer) where do I even start?  I REALLY want to do things the right way.

 

So I Googled.  I really wanted to do everything through IRS.gov…but I just couldn’t.  I found THIS SITE which made me feel a little better.  It listed out how to account for odd jobs.  There’s the Schedule C and and EZ.  You fill out the simpler one (EZ, obviously) if you made under $5,000.  Anything above, and you’re onto the more complex one.  Oh, also, if you do handyman work one day and babysitting another, you have to fill out a new form FOR EACH TYPE OF JOB YOU DO.  My future accountant is going to LOVE me.

 

But that’s only the beginning of the forms.  Because that’s just for figuring out your profits (I think?).  THEN THERE’s THE Schedule SE (1040) that you fill out to put on your normal 1040.  I read the instructions which didn’t tell me when I need to file or how often.  From some prior experience, I know that a lot of people file quarterly or monthly.  But I don’t know why.

 

I will continue untangling this web, hopefully next week.  I feel (a little) better having done some research.  It’s not Mount Everest, but it’s still a pretty steep hill.

 

Also, now I know I need a printer.  Or a scanner.  Or to start handwriting invoices.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday

I have to admit that I’m a little underplanned today.

 

Working isn’t just me doing art, there’s a different side to it.  A side that terrifies me.  A side that I should be WAY more comfortable with considering my background.  I’m an accounting major.  Do you know what scares me?

 

Taxes.

 

Specifically selling my art taxes.  Like, I know when you’re self-employed you pay the full amount for social security and whatever.  Got that.  But what about sales tax?  Also, do I need to be making invoices?  What about contracts?  Oh my gosh, I’m giving myself a panic attack.

 

It seems like way too much to handle.

 

But lots of people do it.  Which means I can figure it out.

 

So now my plan is to slowly study taxes (I mean, come on, I went to school for stuff like this) and to do that thing where by teaching others, you become an expert in something.

 

What I would love to do if I wasn’t so terrified of talking to people, would be to interview artists who make money from their art and small business owners and just figure out how the heck they do what they do.

 

But until then, I’ll be studying taxes on the internet.

 

Also, I happily take advice.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday

My major project right now (because I’m not really out there hustling for art projects like I should be) is an album cover for my husband’s band.  I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, and I’ve had multiple ideas, but I’m starting to solidify them.  Which is good because he’s almost done mixing.  He’s a perfectionist, I totally have lots of time.

 

Here’s where I started with the idea that I really, really like more than any of the other ideas:

 

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You can see some prototype ideas that I was working through.  I’m still torn on a few of them because I’m not sure what I want my ultimate medium to be.  Maybe paint, maybe charcoal, maybe photograph.

 

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So I made a new sketch using Google search results for “skinny male guy” which is not even the weirdest thing I’ve Googled today.  Also, the one I used most was calling skinny male models ugly?  Rude.

 

My sketch was fine, but clearly that’s not the size and shape of traditional album art.

 

 

So obviously I drew lines and then attempted to erase them.  This is only a sample, so any professionalism I have is out the window.  Also.  I have no professionalism.

 

So I laid in some details and some colors:

 

 

Added in the album name and realized I should have done it in pencil first AND I totally shouldn’t have used the awful pastel crayon things from the generic “art box” someone thoughtfully gifted me even though they don’t know anything about art and I feel so bad for disparaging their gift and just typing it is making me feel so guilty.

 

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I then showed my husband.  But…he had an idea.  Which resulted in my attempting to punch a piece of paper unsuccessfully.

 

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I was just trying to make a reference.  He wanted skinny model to be holding a piece of paper with a hole shot through it.

 

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So I laid down a new sketch.  With less enthusiasm.  It was getting awfully close to my bedtime.

 

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He likes it better.  Even down to the style (????).  His band.  His rules.

 

In any case, I’m so going to make it giant.  And I’m so excited I might take a day off of work to do that.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday

I have a cool special thing that I do at my church.  I get to pray for youth leaders and their youth.  Someone told me I should draw for them when I pray.  So I do.  For now, I just draw their name.  The mighty creative juices at work, haha.

 

Does it count as work if you’re not getting paid?  Totally.  So it qualifies.

 

I start by looking up the meaning of their name.  I think names meaning something is so cool.  For example, the name Elainey is a form of Helen which means light.  I always really hope that something didn’t get typoed on its way to me.  Fingers crossed!  Then I draw a few thumbnails to get me thinking.  Note the vague sketches and dog hair stuck to the notepad.

 

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The last sketch I drew I liked best (why keep going when you know what you want?).  And that’s the one in the top left corner.

 

So I laid down the lines:

 

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And then I do a rough sketch of the name, erasing and changing as I go:

 

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What a nice blurry picture that I cannot go back in time to fix.  Yay for smart phones.  I’m not going to ever tell you I’m a perfectionist.

 

At this point I start inking the name after making some changes:

 

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It’s all right.  I don’t like the balance.  There’s too much white before the E, but I didn’t want to go too far to the left and make it too small.  I wanted the word go up because that seems happy.  For the E to be big, it would have to slope down.

 

Final product:

 

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And I’m done.

 

-Smudged

Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday

I did a project a while back (January and February) with the intents of starting a blog and posting my progress.  I’m a bit late on starting the blog, but here’s the whole project:

My husband’s friend wanted a painting for his Dungeons and Dragons groups.  Apparently that’s a thing (and kind of a really cool thing, I can’t think of being part of a group that loved what they did so much they got paintings done).  So he gave me a list of the 7 people (outside of himself, but he’s the guy that reads and doesn’t have a character).  I did some preliminary sketches of the characters (and somehow totally forgot to design one until the painting).  These are those sketches:

Then I did some very basic background sketches just so I could see what kind of thing he was going for:

There are more, but those are the ones I could find.  He liked the one with eyes overlooking everyone (him) and the castle.  So that’s what I went with and planned.  Somehow I always end up doing math when I do art.  Always.

12 Maths

I’m still working on learning composition.  Honestly, I get it a little bit, but I have a long way to go.  So, like any sane person housesitting/dogsitting for their sister-in-law, I gathered my niece’s toys and staged my painting.  I showed this to the person who wanted the painting and they were definitely amused:

11 Reference

And that’s when I started to paint:

And eventually I finished.  Let me tell you, it’s hard to take pictures of paintings.  You need really amazing lighting and probably no flash.  I’m not good at it.  But I tried.

18 Poorly lit finished project

My supplies weren’t great (my better paints are in storage, I’ll be able to get to them in a few months).  I took forever.  The better I get, the faster I’ll be.  In the mean time, it’s the nice start to a side hustle.

-Smudged

Working Wednesday

Farting Around

Is an “About Me” lame?

Whatever.  I don’t care.  I mean, who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?

So, how about I call myself “Smudged” and not my real name because I love anonymity (and also have no idea what I’m doing, so for all my know all of my contact information is easily obtainable…it took me 10 minutes yesterday to figure out what button to press to put a post out into the world).

So here are details of my life that may or may not be obscure enough to figure out who I am.

  1. I have a bachelor’s in accounting and an art minor.
  2. When I was 9 I wrote and illustrated a ridiculous (and realistically terrible) mystery book in which the heroine got caught in a trap that caused her to hang upside down by her toes.
  3. I must have some danged soft skin because I keep getting splinters from my dog’s hair.
  4. I keep an old-fashioned checkbook and enjoy payday (and paying bills) because it gets me one day closer to kicking my stupid student loans to the curb.
  5. I desperately want to learn more about art and get better at it, but I’m also too cheap to pay for lots of classes…so here I am starting a blog in order to keep myself accountable to my art and my finances.
  6. Dangit, I just want to learn how to paint some clouds.
  7. I’ve never broken a bone in my body and have only had one cavity.
  8. I’ve forced myself to like tea without sugar because who needs all that added sugar?
  9. Every time I go for a jog, I think I’m going to get murdered.  The poor ice cream man is totally a suspect.
  10. I have one tattoo.  And if I ever get a following, maybe I’d post a picture and have everyone try to figure it out.  But with reverse image searches on Google…it’s probably too easy.
  11. Eleven is my favorite number ever since I won a bunch of spelling bees in 6th grade.  It’s a long boring story.   That strangely leads to me wearing only the color blue for my entire 8th grade year.

Here are my plans.  I’m laying them out for me because again, I have limited confidence in my ability to communicate with people on the internet outside of my sister and my best friend (who I met in 3rd grade and only had class with for three years).

  1. Blog 5 days a week (is that too much?  Oh gosh, it’s probably too much).
  2. One blog a week about an art project I’m working on (which will keep me accountable to my art…hopefully).
  3. One blog a week about an art thing I’m attempting to learn (attempting being a BIG part of that, sorry for the fails in advance).
  4. One blog a week about financial stuff (which is so interesting to me, plus, you know, might sell my art someday which will take a ton of financial acumen and I’d love to help other people learn from my failure).
  5. One post a week in a series entitles Famous Artist Fridays (thanks to my dear sister for thinking that one up).  I was also thinking I could switch it up to be FANTASTIC or FAVORITE because sometimes I like people who aren’t famous.  Or are, and I just don’t know they are…etc.  Can I just say that I don’t know a lot?  I mean, duh.

I’m going to go now and pat myself on the back for completing DAY 2.  Even though I haven’t done any of the above things?  Maybe I can have a general farting around day.

 

PS:  Notes on the picture.  That is not my typical style.  I have no idea why my body is shaped like a bean (except…well if you’re propelled by farts, being a bean makes sense).  You can still see my half-erased pencil lines.  I drew this in 5 seconds.  I acknowledge it’s awfulness but still think it’s fun.