Hi, everyone! I recently announced via twitter that I would start posting personal updates on this portion of the site as an attempt to reach a larger group at one time to keep everyone in the loop more efficiently. That being said, I have a lot going on in my personal life right now that is effecting my productivity, so I figured it would be a great time to start this.
I guess it’s best to start off with what exactly it is that’s going on.
As some of you know, or as a lot of you know, my partner and I own a turn-key dog grooming business and have been running it for the past year. I work at it full time as the sole employee, since my partner has another job she’s been holding down in case anything should happen. Recently, I started to really think over my life and my goals and my aspirations, as well as how owning a business like this is effecting my life. In short, my partner and I decided the best thing to do would be to let go of the business. While I’m sad about this, it really effected my life in a lot of ways that I couldn’t really predict, and truly, was not ready for. Though I’m sad to be letting it go, it’ll be a better choice for us to make long term.
Since I know this is our next step, I’ve started to prepare my life for the transition. I’m searching for a job to transition to so I can get the ground back under my feet and then pursue schooling in a completely different field. Being a dog groomer was something I was intensely passionate about for a period of time, but as it’s gone on, it’s become really hard on my body. Because I’m also an artist, the strain of using my hands all day at work and then going home to continue working with my hands has lead to a lot of chronic pain in my arms and hands. I’ve been dealing with that for almost two years now, just trying to do my best to keep on pushing through it, but the reality is that I need to start taking care of my body a lot better than I have been or I may not be able to create art for much longer, and art is truly what I’m passionate about in my life.
Because of all of this, our con schedule this year is incredibly up in the air. The only one we are for sure able to commit to currently is FWA. This is a huge catch 22. While staying home and not spending the money to travel will be beneficial to me right now, cons were a VERY LARGE portion of my overall income and exposure last year, and I worry that I could be stunted this year by the true inability we have to make it to some of these events. I can only keep moving forward and try to take advantage of any of the opportunities I can that are presented to me and hope for a better coming year.
My intuition is that landing a job with a much more steady and consistent income will reduce the amount I’m taking commissions and free up more of my time, allowing me to provide better customer service and art business service as well. Not being obligated to the grooming business — as far as obligated hours of being there, busy or slow, and the inability to take time off at all without sacrificing income for the shop — will absolutely do wonders for my entire life in ways I can’t even begin to describe. Though this was an incredible life experience and I’m grateful for it, I really struggled this past year with providing good customer service to my art clients. It was incredibly embarrassing for me to handle everything so poorly, but my life outside of this made it incredibly difficult to do seemingly simple tasks like commit to a working schedule, make trips to the post office, get things printed off, etc. While not taking on more commission work seemed like such an obvious answer, it really was not a possibility for me. I relied so much on my art income this past year to keep my head above water while the business sorted itself out. And while we are definitely MUCH busier this year at the grooming shop, I feel like I’m being completely pulled away from where I want to be and am losing what makes me genuine to myself.
I deeply apologize to anyone who was effected by this over the past year, and moving forward, I am taking steps to bettering the way things are handled. I can’t make a 180 change overnight, but I will continue to make progress into conducting myself and my business better as soon as this huge life change is over. And sincerely, thank you for working with me. Though I’ve never taken money and refused to do the art or refused refunds, and never just ghosted anyone, I know that at times, working with me has not been the ideal experience. I hope that the way I handle my art business in the future could allow me a second chance to show that I’m doing better. Until then, thank you for all the understanding and support you’ve shown to me through what has been, without a doubt, one of the most challenging years of my life.