this is the process.
If you have ordered a custom piece of art or just bought one from the shop, this is how it starts. An email comes in and I hear what beautiful things are on your heart. I answer you, grateful as can be and start the process of discussing the details...size, colors, canvas style etc...
I usually take advantage of the early morning hours to look over your messages. Usually this starts between 5-7 am before my kiddos wake up, so you have my full attention.
If I don't have your canvas size, or this is just an order for my own art, I order canvas. My supplier ships them to me like this and they arrive all on my porch and its like Christmas. There really is no better feeling right now in the world than getting an order of fresh, white canvas...ready to be painted on. With each order I see greater and greater potential!
Now for some custom paintings I don't carry your box in stock. I usually have 30 boxes of each size at every given moment but if I don't have yours, I call up my mini van driving mama friend Sam and we pack up the kids and drive to the city. We stop for hash browns for the kiddos, talk about Jesus, and almost always one of them has to go potty so she drops me off there while I place my order. Then we load it all in (because I drive a Honda and that's not gonna work in my car). ;)
Then I take her out to lunch and before you know it, its time to pick up our big kids from mothers day out.
Then I paint.
This usually takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days broken up.If this is a custom painting I try to finish it as soon as possible because I just know what its like to anxiously await something!! My kiddos spend time making their own art while I finish yours.
This is really what my kitchen looks like on any given day. We have learned to embrace it.
then we clean up.
There are brushes and paint and paper towels and bottles of water everywhere. Paint in my kids hair, paint all over me...
When I am finished with your painting, I stage the photo. This means that I throw the socks of my dresser with my paint filled hands and take three photos. One head on, one of the side and one up close so you can see the detail. This is one of my favorite parts because I love to see what its going to look like in a natural setting.
then, we email you the photos and....
Once you have answered me and say hey! I love it! We can move onto the next step. But if we need to make changes, I go back to the kitchen and work on it. If you love it...we varnish.
Once the varnish has dried to the touch which is usually about an hour, we put the finishing touches on such as a wire for hanging or a sawtooth hanger.
All large paintings or thick edge paintings get a wire and all wood and small paintings get a sawtooth hanger.
If this is a gift, we wrap it up all pretty. And if its just for you, I try to always include a hand written note inside to show you that I appreciate you and your admiration and I just wouldn't be doing this without you.
I really am grateful.
This is my very least favorite end of this. I don't like the packing and the shipping. If I could ever hire someone it would be for this. But I am so particular about how its done and such an A personality I don't know if I could handle not doing it myself.
If this is a big painting, or a order of several pieces...this process usually takes about an hour just for one package. Because its putting together the box, printing invoices, making a shipping label in UPS, boxing it up, weighing it and closing it up. Sometimes I do several orders at once and on those days I usually JUST box them all up and I have worked from 8 am to 1 pm on just that.
then we nap.
I get all the boxes ready and get the kids ready to go to UPS to drop them off. Usually I coordinate this trip with picking one up from school or going to the grocery store since its right next door.
but sometimes they don't fit in the car so I call a friend to watch them while I drop them off. Or I text my amazing UPS man and he comes over to pick them up for me!
At this point in the process, I need to record everything. I use outright for all my receipts and expenses and it also records all sales etc...I just love it. My desk usually looks like a big storm came through until it all gets filed. I record all my trips to hobby lobby and my UPS paid invoices and my orders to dick blick etc...every single thing gets recorded and filed away.
Then, I wait for you to get it...and tell me you love it. Once you do, I just praise the Lord. I just thank him for every single sale and blessing and word of encouragement. I just get overwhelmed really from start to finish that this is even my life. To show my gratitude, I love to sit and write and encourage other people to let go of fear and pursue the big things God has planned. I just love to write about how he has taught me everything about this, I knew not ONE SINGLE THING when I started. And now I have a full on business going over here...its too much some days. Too much for me to thank him for.
I give at least 10% off the top of your painting. Which means I don't subtract my cost. If I sell you a painting for $300, I tithe off that. Which means $30 bucks goes straight back to the Lord. I do it because I am grateful for my canvas. I am grateful for my boxes, and I am grateful for the fees I pay on etsy so that people can find me.
I am just so grateful.