Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My American Workpermit came in the Post - I am ready to launch

So as you can see I am at last fully international, legally permitted to work anywhere in Europe, England and America. Perfect. The Green Card interview is scheduled for the coming Monday and we are looking forward to it. After that it will be a little longer before I get the full Green Card, but in the meantime I have both a work permit and a travel permit, which apparently is very unusual.

Normally travel permits come as part of the Green Card and it is less common for people to be allowed to travel while the Green card application process is still pending.


The photograph is of my friend Noungh in Cambodia, standing on top of the small boat that we took to spend a day together around the Floating village and Flooded Forest. We caught snails that day and Noungh's contacts cooked them for everybody. I as a vegetarian had a hard time with that and didn't eat these, but there were plenty of other tasty snacks available for us. We had a feast of Cambodian delicacies.

I post this photograph of Noungh here because she appears so celebratory and victorious as she stands atop the roof of our boat, at sunset on lake Tonle Sap. And while only knowing her for a short intensive time I think her victories are fragile and for that reason ought to be celebrated all the more.

My mind wanders to the dreams yet unrealized by myself and those whom I have met around the world. These days everybody is a traveler, or it appears that way when I open up the internet and open any of many endless blogs. What I valued on my journeys were the extended periods of stay in places where most people fly in and out of with only a few days sandwiched between. So I think of those dreams, and also wonder about their shelf life.. I am nearing 40, I am! And need to explore what the real dreams are, it is so easy to get tangled in attempting to fit into the more 'normal' realm of social norms. And there is actually no guarantee that this would yield in any way greater success..

Bear with me as I try and figure it out, as I try and map my way around too many life options as opposed to maybe to few as it might have been the case (in some cases I know it was) for some of my friends, whom I found along the way in Cambodia, Thailand and India in particular.

*
For now I am getting ready to take some fresh photographs of Jason doing Yoga & Tai Chi for his portfolio and of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco at the end of the month. 

*
In fact let me be wild for a moment and share a possible plan with you: I found a 7 month long Massage Program in Hawaii / Kauai for approximately $7500; totaling 700 hours of training. I had never ever considered Kauai but now I think: why not? It sounds like the perfect healing and learning experience! The teacher and director of the program, Lee Joseph, has been teaching for 30 years and the way the courses are described they sounds positively grounding. The price is amazing, of course I don't know what being in Kauai would be like, at all... NO idea. 

Photographing and Massaging as a life practice.. Perhaps a reality?
Don't even ask how I think that I could fit Academic plans into this.. I just don't know.

Friday, June 13, 2014

We are house sitting in San Francisco

So it is official: since Tuesday we are house sitting and looking after one lovely dog and two super soft cats, right in San Francisco.

The animals need special attention and a certain amount of company which is why we have the opportunity to swap pet care (and basic home care) for a month of fe accommodation somewhere not far from Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and even a glorious beach. It is quite a commitment that we took on, acting for animals can be a bit like caring for children, in as far as you really can't casually neglect them because you would like to go and follow some impromptu plans instead.

So our lives for the next four weeks will be planned very much around the animal needs. It's good practice for thinking about having pets again ourselves in the future ( or even small humans). So far the dog is the impersonification of well behaved and the cats, well we have a hard time stopping cuddling them, they are easily the most relaxed and welcome cats we have ever met.

Friday, May 16, 2014

I re-emerge from the wormhole

What happened there! I made no posts for 6 months. Well..

I am working on getting a new batch of business cards printed ready in time for what I hope will be the arrival of my American Green Card sometime soon. It's tricky knowing when to begin advertising but if I don't do it about 4-8 weeks before my work permit comes then I will lose time when it finally gets here. (if it ever will)

I use Moo Cards because I like them. There should be a 10% discount link to the right in my wide selection of favoured links.. Check them out. They are a bit pricy but I have found the quality really good (they print a little darker than your screen might show you) and the service so far (6 years and counting) very responsive. By all means carry on photocopying your cards though, in the end we all know that nobody, except your mum, ever looks at your card to look up your number or email address anyway..

So here I am: in California, Jason pays for everything, I can't get my wordpress website to look even remotely professional, my photo portfolio site is a mess and I do need all that to start coming together a bit more if I want to ever start selling. You would think a woman approaching 40 would have it figured out by now.. No, not so..

I really wouldn't mind returning to depressing England and getting some work so I can stand on my own feet a bit more but at the same time I am hatching these crazy ideas about re-inventing the wheel and make a living photographing on the road, making friends and connections, sharing massage treatments and small yoga classes, writing for food journals and photographing anything from yogis to raw vegan cakes, social documentary to special events in the lives of well earning humans..

So here is the not so perfect photo portfolio website that I am working on:
http://over-seven-seas.smugmug.com/

I appreciate any feedback you are happy to share. But bear in mind that the website is somewhat out of my control, I just appear to not have any say in spacing between sections for example and lots of design issues have a mind of their own.

If you like anything: please buy it.
Seriously: it would be a big help.

Especially if you are not in America. It is better for me if my customers are from anywhere else until my Green Card arrives. But what the hell, I can't stop you, can I?




 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Ebay Sale CONTINUES until October 14th


Some of you already know that I will charter a plane to take me to my partner on San Francisco sometime in October. And because bribing pilots is sadly not an option I am grounded on English soil for just a little longer than I had hoped. 

But the great news is that my Sale will continue for longer! 

My current plan and schedule is that:
I will list the last items on October 8th - this will be a 5 day listing. The last auction should conclude on October 14th. If you could pay promptly on those last days then that would be great.

I will let you know if I think that I will be here even longer. As long as you could pay immediately in case you win on October 14th then I can post all Art Works on the following day. And if things go very, very well then I will leave for San Francisco on October 16th. 

WILL leave a colleague in charge of any latecomers to paying their won bids. My colleague will post any remaining packages (I will prepare everything). 

So just in case you are reading this on October 17th when you realize that you haven't paid: Do not worry, I have made provisions for this. Your lovely new Art will soon arrive. Naturally everything will happen with a couple of days delay but your drawings shall be posted within the shortest amount of time possible. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

Over 7 seas goes to market this Sunday !

NEWS: I will be at the Lark Lane Fleamarket this Sunday between 11:00 and 15:00. Hopefully selling a suitcase full of handmade scarves. Craft and handmade prices, but priced in poor wool lover's & surviving artist's categories... I won't be here in November so this is a great chance to stash a few presents for friends and family and yourself!
preview items here: www.etsy.com/shop/over7seas

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Archive of Drawings

Drawings that have previously been listed on Ebay are archived here: http://drawingssale.blogspot.co.uk/

Not all have sold. #37 for example is still here in my storage box...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stockpiling my own Art work while my bank account is so empty that it is forming a vacuum ..

Sometimes I wonder if I should call myself an Artist or rather an Art Hoarder... I have just spent another 2 hours looking through my architect's plan chests of draws  and am a little surprised by just how much Art work I have stashed away. Did I think that it would breed and turn into money by itself? I am really surprised. Why didn't I sell all this work before?

And I don't quite understand what I was thinking all this time. I have worked so hard on big Art projects and have spent endless hours drawing huge numbers of drawings. A lot of this is process work, which means drawings that were made and lead to a project and where the drawing wasn't originally intended to be the project. However there are a lot of drawings that WERE intended to be the project and while I love some of them so much that I just can't imagine selling them there are also many very, very good drawings that are worth a lot and that shouldn't still be in my chests, stored for the days that will never come.

So Tomorrow morning I will begin photographing them and listing them. I have already made stacks of drawings to sell, to finish and to keep (very few for sentimental reasons)
I estimate that most of them are worth a minimum of £25 to £75 each.

I already started photographing drawings of flowers that are more beautiful and less kitsch than you might think hearing the words "flower drawings".. I have previously sold a set of 20 of these for £50 each! Yes indeed.. So I am now in a dilemma of 'should I lower the price or try my luck at this price'.. ? Ultimately I just wish to clear my Art Studio and make space. I will mix my favorite drawings into the batches that I will list on Ebay and Etsy in the coming 10 days.

My target is to list a minimum of 20-25 per day. And then call some press to ask them to cover this Studio Clearance Sale. .. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Keeping up to date isn't easy...


It is not so easy to live life, make art, photograph art, post artworks on ebay and etsy, package sold art and make it to the postoffice in time, use my brain to think, host house guests, maintain a kind of social life, find the time and money to pay the bills and schedule time to take real time off!

I can't believe that it has already been a whole week since I posted my last batch of work on ebay. That is pretty shocking. But there has been so much going on in the house! I have a box of drawings here that are ready for scanning and I am cutting lino for lino prints to make an early batch of Christmas and Winter-Birthday's greetings cards. 

But my lino cutter broke, the blade was cheap and bent and is pretty much useless. SOmewhere is a good blade. Can I find it? No. I have turned the house over and around for the past 3 hours and am still without a replacement blade. Well, I did find all kinds of other things that were lost and forgotten. So I suppose this counts as some sort of progress. Just it's not progress I can cash in on... 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Guided Meditation: Finding Equillibrium



I have found this quite useful and effective while feeling like life is a small boat sailing without compass or map to the stars on a rather wild and angry, stormy ocean..

It is a bit of a struggle keeping the momentum to produce enough and good enough drawings for my Ebay action and not feeling too disappointed when only the drawings I worked on for over an hour sell - often for just £1 or £2, for an hour's work or more. And it is hard to stay positive when things are trying.

I feel really stripped back by life's circumstances at the moment and am not carrying myself through this experience with the grace that I would like to. Slumping in a ball of tears is not my idea of grace.

But what about the positives?
Well I am pretty healthy for starters. I am being loved, too. Now these two are rather amazing in themselves. Also I have a feeling that this intensely unsatisfying and trying time in my life, which is stripping me back to bare bones might turn out to be somewhat akin to a forest fire. After which everything will grow with fresh exuberance. Maybe it needs a forest fire to begin a new life.

For now I am holding on to the old life despite it shedding around me like the skin of a ghecko in skin-changing season..

It is all so familiar.. Not the right fit anymore but do I dare let go? Kicking and screaming life changes me. I think just maybe for the better. Who will I become when the new skin grows? I don't know, I can't even imagine. I hope something very good.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thank You

I just wanted to shout out a big "Thank You" to the audience and buyers of the first 58 drawings sold and for your bids that your are still making on the remaining batch of drawings on  Ebay right now. 

I am very grateful for your positive feedback, it gives me so much encouragement. Thank you so, so much. Each purchase {even the ones that managed to snap an early drawing at 6 pence} is so very appreciated. Your compliments matter. Thank you.


(You can get to the auction - and snap up a drawing - by clicking on the '100 drawings' tab on the top of this page)



Friday, August 23, 2013

Preparing Drawings to Post

Last Import-6 by Birgit Deubner
Last Import-6, a photo by Birgit Deubner on Flickr.
This process always takes much, much longer than I make allowances for. Cutting the mount card, finding the right photo corners (a 3 hour mission of cycling around the city yesterday was needed before I got lucky), then the packaging: Why does it take 60-80 minutes to wrap 4 packages? I really need to find a better way because this is eating into my making drawings time and I can't imagine how I can keep on top of punctual postage if I was to offer all my drawings for sale at once.. It's like keeping a box of ants and fleas under control.

I have a new plan, which is to list half of my drawings from this still ongoing series on ebay and make the other half available on Etsy. It is a way of allowing people to buy 'now' instead of waiting for the ebay bids to conclude and at the same time will help me get feedback on Etsy, I hope.

I really love Ebay. It has been fantastic to get such a positive response from Ebay bidders and buyers.

If you are reading this and would like a drawing, too then just click on the tab on the top right {100 drawings sale} or follow one of my Etsy tabs and see what I have there. (You can reach my Etsy shops by clicking on the tabs on the top left).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quantities and Qualities

It's just the sheer quantities that get me all the time..
This is very simply and almost beautifully filmed. No lecturing, no gore, no sensationalism, just a document of chicken, beef, piggy to tummy...
Thought provoking I think.
I imagine that most of us have food spoils from time to time (or shockingly weekly). Just stopping our own waste of food, any food, including vegetables, that alone would make things so MUCh easier on our ecosystem (and wallets and bodies)

I know some of you waste food, I've seen it.
Couldn't we begin at that place to make a change?
I also know that you all speak or think about positive changes, too.

Let's do it them.
I'll race you to the finish line. xxx

ready, steady, go... !


La surconsommation from Lasurconsommation on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board


I am back from a few days of very reduced activity, while I was seeing of J (who returned to blowing glass in California).

I finally launched into productivity over the past 2 hours and listed a new drawing on Ebay for the Penny Drawings Sale where I try and list at least one drawing per day starting with #1 at 1 penny and increasing the price per listing by an additional penny. I am at last up to drawing #61 and just noticed how one of the items has attracted quite a few bids.

It is such a nice compliment when complete strangers bid on something that I have made. Of course I have sold photographs as well as drawings anywhere between £150 - £850 but those sales overall didn't match my production costs. So while it sounds glamorous it still left me with a loss. (That never fails to puzzle me... I also wonder how does one keep buyers coming? At that price range?)

Anyhow what I find very special about the Ebay buyers is that they could be absolutely anybody. Over the past days I had a little time to think about this and I realized that the Ebay buyers are actually the audience that I originally was most interested in when I decided to move into the arts. I had this idealistic optimism and wanted to make Art for People. I didn't want to 'dumb' anything down, nor did I want to pander to demand either (not along the line of the media ratings system anyway) but I did want to create situations. Art works, performances and drawings that had complexity, validity and value without alienating Jane Doe or Joe Blogs, whoever they may be...

But I had  to admit that the Ebay action is taking an extraordinary amount of my time and I can't tell if people appreciate it when they receive something that I may have spent 15 or 60 minutes making. (I am trying ahrd to avoid listing anything more precious than works that I made in or under around an hour.) So when somebody receives a drawing that I really did spend 60 minutes on then I hope they understand that the item is hand made , that imperfection is part of the very nature of Art, that what I send I sent the best I could and made the best I could within the limitations of time and investment.

For example: The sturdy card that I send with most drawings to protect the drawings would often cost me more than the money the ebay bidder spent on their drawing in the first place.. I happen to have a lot of card in stock.. Should I really spend it on this project that will make me an average of 50 pence per hour income...? Probably not..

But mad as I am I am persevering and hope that I will be able to keep on top of posting the drawings in a timely fashion over the coming days.. It would really upset me if I got a bad feedback for the efforts.. So I am continuously nervous, keeping an eye on the feedbacks...

I hope it all goes smoothly.

I would like to list my little men paintings on ebay, too and see if I can get £35 for them. I just really doubt it, but they have sold for £75 in the past and it would seem plain crazy to sell for less than half price now.. wouldn't it??? 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Get ready for when the sun goes on holiday!

Hi everybody, here a new video showing you some of my crochet neckwarmers and cowls. Yum. 
Get ready for when the sun goes on holiday!