by, A.Stockler

For the last 3 months I have been very busy working on a personal project, in which I could experience almost a piece of everything I had have written in my past articles/posts.

I opened my art studio; and I did not find any God Fairy Mother in the process.
Sometimes I think to myself: "What have I done?"

Anyways, it is already done, now it is a matter of surviving, and going ahead.

What I am writing today in this post, I would like to say that it is more…. sharing some thoughts, but I think it will be good to "hear" some friends comments.

( We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries... )

In the process of opening the art studio, spending a lot of money buying renovation materials, furniture, and so on, we need to deal with advertising the studio and the services.

It is very important to advertise, but also very expensive. We have people selling advertise on newspaper, websites, radio, "Internet" campaigns, t-shirts, everywhere you can be "posted" or exposure.

I do believe all and every advertising is important and valuable, but the point is I do not have all that money, and to be honest I do not know if I will have the proper return from all of them. On the other hand, if you do not advertise you don't reach that many people as if you do advertise.

The question is how to ind the break-even point, because you can have you business Facebook page with zillions of likes, or your website with trillions of page views, but in the real life if you do not sell any of your art or did not work in any project, you will not have "real" money to pay the bills.

You can not pay your gas, telephone, credit card, electric bill, whatever with likes or page views.

Another thing that you will face is that it is as much difficult dealing with customers in live as online.

We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's)

I will give you an example: a customer came to the art studio asking me for a job; nothing that much technical; I need to work on a image form a magazine and make it bigger for a poster.
The whole job, in summary, was to scan the image, make it bigger by retouching it digitally and, to guarantee an output such as 4 times the original image probably I would spend around 10 up to 15 hours on it, which with my current schedule I would need 4 days at least.

I made some calculations and I charged $150.00 which could be paid in 2 instalments. Even though, my customer thought it was expensive for his budget.

Ok, I understand that $150.00 for a person, to get an image, poster size, is expensive (comparing to posters you can buy at Walmart for $8.00; but that is another situation which a customer won't understand even if I prove that my job is worthy of it).

How can spend 15 hours on a job, in which I am charging $150.00; $10.00/hour (which is less than the minimum wage) and even get enough to pay the taxes, my rent, my other costs, once I have now my "office" ?

Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it

You play the guitar on the MTV

I also produced some pieces of art to be on an local art exhibition.

Each piece took me around 20 hours of work, plus the material, plus the frame, plus the subscriptions fee and other things.

Let's make some calculation; if you charge $20.00/hour, you have $400.00 only on working hours.
I pay around $80.00 for 1 hour at the optician which, actually, it is around 40/45 min.

One 14"X 18" cheap frame is around $30.00. Material to produce 14"X18" piece of art, in this case charcoal, lending stomps, gum eraser, etc, is around $18.00; paper is around $3.50

So, if I produce a 14"X18" art piece, that will cost me around $450.00.

Considering that I have costs with rent and other utilities and materials for my studio, let's make a number of 15% as some extras to cover the costs. That goes to $518.00 (15% on $450.00)

When It is sold, I have to pay 13% on taxes; that goes to $586.00. If I want to have some profit I should sell my piece of art for at least $700.00 (considering that I am not going to sell it immediately after producing it).

That ain't workin' that's the way you do it

Money for nothin' and your chicks for free

Art is completely different than food, or clothes or any other product which we can not live without it. Art does not sell as much as I would like.

What people do not realize is that when we are doing an original piece of art, a mistake can cost the entire piece.

For the local art exhibition, I had the chance of registering another piece of art, I had 4 days to produce something, so I thought about a coloured piece, using soft pastel.

To make it faster, I decided to change my painting technique on that media. And I was not happy with the result; I decided not to finish it for the "competition".

I lost 1 working day (around 12 hours) + material and I got a lot of frustration. At the end I decide to produce a Black and White piece on charcoal.

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera

How much cost to produce art?
That question is really tricky. I should say that, basically, you calculate the value on how many hours you work, the material used, and the taxes you have to pay when you sell.

Some other points to consider are: how much is your working hour? what if you do not get the result you expect? how do you deal with your waste? How long it takes to feel the piece you produced? is there any other costs involved, such as renting, etc?

It is very different whether you are working at home or at a studio; the costs are much higher, especially because you have to advertise your services and products.

Again, how much cost to produce your art?

I hope, now you have a better idea for the next time someone asks that for you.

Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free

Dire Straits - Money for Nothing

by AStockler

There is always a time when you look at the mirror and you face yourself.... mixed feelings of uncertainty and fear, heart beating in a very tight chest, like you can not breath properly… there is not enough air… and finally you ask yourself : 
Where do I go? What do I do? How do I do? Am I good enough? Can I do it? What if I fail?

Trying not to paraphrase Morpheus (Matrix):
"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"

The problem is that many times we do not have anyone, nor a tutor neither a master to hep us out, to point us out the path or "show us the door which we must walk in".
We need to do it by ourselves, we need to try by ourselves because..... we "need to break something to know how to fix it" right?
Yes and no.

Geez, that is confusing, it really is; and it does not help very much.  You need to decide if you take the blue pill or the red pill. 
On the other hand, you have so many things to lose (or to gain) if you fail…

So, again… do you need to break something to know how to fix it?
So, again… the answer is yes and no. And here lays the analogy where you need to "find Nemo".

If you do not plan head what to do, you probably need to break something to know how to fix it; or you can follow the popular saying: we learn with our mistakes.

In a certain point of view, that is a waste of time and resource and money.... and whatever is related to that.

If you plan ahead, you can start by creating procedures, making an "action plan", a timeline, a SWOT - Strength/Weakness/Opportunities/Threats analysis, so you can avoid wasting your time and resources and money, etc.

"Life is a mystery
Everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
and it feels like home"

Of course, we can not predict 100% the future; nobody can. But we can prepare ourselves to get the best result of our plans, no matter what our goals are.
Let's start talking about finding our path, "finding Nemo".

I hope I can show you the way and you get the connection.

Long time ago when I decided to invest "myself" to be an illustrator/pinup artist (and all my efforts) in a career which I did not know if there would be a future; where I could make a living; I knew that I had some talent, I had the feeling, I had the passion and I had the guts.... so, I should do it.

I had no money, no support (only few persons in my family would understood my decision), I knew there were many other good artists already established in the market, I knew there would be lots of difficulties and I would receive much more "No" than Yes, but I had to try.... I used to close my eyes and pray, "Heaven help me".

One of the first things I faced, and that really scared me, was looking at the mirror and saying to myself: What now?

To be a different artist, to be myself, to find my style in a way to be competitive and to stand out of the crowd I had to "know the path and walk the path".

"I hear your voice
It's like an angel sighing 
I have no choice
I hear your voice
Feels like flying"

Yes, I decided to follow some artists as references, to study the way they succeeded, their techniques and so on; after all, if we need references we should take references from the good examples and good artists.

I have my idols and my references.
It is no secret; I studied and followed them.
I followed, in terms of Traditional Painting Techniques, the great american illustrators/painters: J. C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell
In terms of Painting/Anatomy/Pinups, I followed: Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas
In terms of Comics/Cartoon, I followed: Dave Stevens, Adam Hughes, James Gurney, Frank Cho, LoopyDave.
In terms of Fantasy (Contemporary), I followed: Alan Lee, John Howe.

As much as I studied and reproduced their techniques and their art style at the beginning, it really helped to build my own style.
I did not want to copy them, because I have my own style of drawing and painting, but I needed some directions.
I did not have a teacher nor a tutor, I learned everything by myself and inside of me I had that voice telling me to persist, to continue looking for my own style, to believe in my faith and not to give up.

I always thought that one day, people would say something like: 
"Cris Delara has a very interesting style of drawing and painting, an unique style which I like, and I want to buy that piece of art because she did it".
I did not want to hear that Cris Delara copies Elvgren's style, or Loopydave's style, or James Gurney's painting style;
I would be OK hearing, maybe that, my style somehow reminds one of those artists I mentioned above; and that would be a great compliment, after all, they are my references.

It took me years of studying them. I bought many books about them, not only about their art but also about their lives. The ones still alive, I follow them on the social media, for sure. I am a fan and I am not ashamed of saying that.

"Just like a muse to me
You are a mystery
Just like a dream
you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer
no choice your voice 
can take me there"

It took many years "finding Nemo" to get the basics for my own style.
I am sure, when someone sees one of my pinup images s/he will recognize if that image was really done by Cris Delara or someone else.
Not only because of my drawing and paining technique, but also because of my style and my "art language" applied on that image.

I have a name, an style and a reputation and I planned to achieve that many years ago.
I studied, I practiced, I made some mistakes, of course... I made lots of them…. and it would be worse if I had not planned my actions.

Do you know what I did to remember me, my art style? in front of me, I hanged at the wall 6 pieces of my best jobs; some of them prints, some of them original sketches.
They remind me who I am, my style and, when I am in doubt or when I am felling insecure, I look at them and I say: 
- That is me! that is the style I pursued for many years and that is my path.

By the time I change the pieces of course, after all, the new jobs are better than the old ones, but they are always there to show me how to walk the path.
I still use my idol's references sometimes, but now I can include my own references to guide me.

"In the midnight hour
I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know
I'll take you there"

If you are still confused about yourself, if you are scared about if you have the talent, if you can do it… if you are still scared of looking at the mirror and being honest with yourself... it does not matter what are your goals; do not be hard on you.

I understand what is happening, believe me I do really understand.
I still have the same problems, even after years of experience, because every day is a new different day; and every personal/professional goal is challenging.

Just…. do not be hard on yourself. Plan ahead and do not give up, it does not matter how long it can take. If you feel inside of you that you can do; believe in your guts and go ahead "finding Nemo" and at the end you will say, when you start discovering your style, and start walking the path you will say: " - it looks like much more.... me!"

"....It's Like a dream

No end and no beginning
You're here with me
It's like dream
Let  the choir sing..."

Madonna - Like a Prayer (official movie clip)

The Good Apple, the Bad Orange and the Rotten Banana
by AStockler

There are jobs and…. there are jobs.
I was thinking about the last couple of years in which I have worked in some unusual projects and I realized (bottom line) that all of them contributed somehow to my professional (and personal) improvement.

Every job brings us something useful, even the bad ones.  For instance, we can learn with the mistakes we did, how not allow that to happen again.
Or if the job seemed to be a good one, and you as artist, while working, did not make any mistake, but it ended up turning to a "sour food", next time you are requested to be in a similar project (you had the bad previous the experience), you can decline the invitation to be part of the team.

The point is, you have no idea how things will end up, I mean, you can not predict the future of a project you are working on, but due some past experience you have, you can figure out if that job will become a "bad trip".

Let's say, your customer does not update you despite your frequent emails and the deadline is approaching and the commissioned traditional color art is still on the pencil , or if every single tweak, even after the art has been already approved, becomes a nightmare of updates and the customer does not "understand" that all extra work must be paid.

Well, I decided, just for fun to share these thoughts with all of you, naming those kind of jobs as the good apple, the bad orange and the rotten banana.

The good apple is that kind of job which surprisingly becomes….. a sweet and easy job.
Like "the" apple among all other ones in the bag, until the first byte when you realized how feet and good it is and you eat it all with pleasure from the beginning to the end.

You know that job seems to be a nice one, like the similar jobs you already worked on so many times before, but it goes so seamless, that when you realize it is finished and the best of all, the money is paid quickly.

"...But I keep cruising
Can't stop, Won't stop moving
it's like I got this music in my mind
Saying it's gonna be alright....
Can't stop, won't stop grooving
And that's what they don't see..."

The bad orange (and I have nothing against oranges, in fact, I like oranges) in this comparison is when you have to work on a project which you know there will be no much "sweet" in it, in fact, you do it only for the money or because that customer is a regular customer who brings you some good jobs (some good apples) but this time he has a job you can not decline, I mean, it would not be a good decision declining it and you have to work for the money.

You have to "swallow" that orange juice of job because you need it.  And as for the "Murphy's Law" some steps on the production which would be "easy" become a problem.
The deadline is over and worst of all the money is always late (not your bills).

You look for some compensation or reason why you have accepted that kind of job and….. with a little positive looking and thinking maybe you start realizing that job can bring you some good exposure; you are working, you have a job (can you imagine in this crazy economical world we live, how many other artists are struggling with difficulties to make money?), and the money will arrive.

You can live with that…. oh, yes… that orange juice….., some bad orange make it not so good, but you can drink it.

The rotten banana (and again, I have nothing against banana) in this comparison is when everything goes bad since the beginning; there is no way to fix it because it is beyond your control.
Banana is the kind of fruit which even when the skin is "black" and it is softer than normal, it is still sweet and you can do something nice with it; maybe a smoothy or stuffing for an omelette or…. you can smash it on your oat meal; but when the banana is really rotten there is no way to use it.

So, why will you work in a project like a rotten banana?
Because, sometimes you have no much choices and you need to make money.

"....I never miss a beat
I'm lighting up my feet
I'm dancing on my own...
....Can't stop, won't stop grooving
And that's what they don't see..."

Hey, life is not perfect…. you know there will be lots of updates to be done (and you won't be paid any extra for that); there will be delays on the production from other sectors which will impact on your part.
Worst of all is Murphy's law; and suddenly your computer or the software you most use starts with problems and from the sudden hours of work which you thought were saved are lost when the software closes.

What the hell?  When you think that things could not be worse, they are.  I do not need to say here a list of unexpected bad events that happen to us poor artists, but I do imagine each os us knows or already experienced a lot of them.

Everything will pass; and so, that rotten project…. and the least but not last, after some weeks you sent the invoice to the customer, you need to send emails asking, politely and professionally, when the payment will be deposit.
When you receive a reply, you get the explanation that the person who deal with payment is not on the office and will return only next Thursday, which means until you reach s/he to get some information about the payment will be one more week, at least.

But again, look (hard) for some positive way in all that and maybe you realize that you will get some exposure in a market which you never worked before; that may open some new doors for you.

The main point in all that is that you have to be professional, that  is the key.

It does not matter if it is a good apple, a bad orange or a rotten banana…. your reputation, as professional and as artist is always at stake.

Remember, there are professionals and there are….. professionals; and in the industry talent is very important, yes, maybe one of the most important requirements but it is not everything.
You must be reliable, dependable, consistent, polite and especially capable of handling unexpected situations and working under pressure as well as in a team.
That is what makes you a professional to the companies, builds and enhances your good reputation to the industry.

".....Cause the players gonna play
And the haters gonna hate
Heartbreakers gonna break
And the fakers gonna fake...
....I'll make the moves up as I go
And that's what they don't see...."

When you work in a "rotten" project, handling everything in a professional way, you will be "recognized" somehow.  Believe me, it will happen.
Someone will endorse you as a good professional, someone will recommend you, someone will be your reference and that network is essential for making business.

In this "salad of fruits" which, sometimes defines an independent artist's business, talent is important, but, being professional is more important.

After all, life is not perfect, we are not perfect….. but, hey…. smile, we are artists and we do it different (do you believe that I use my own pictures and myself as reference for all those images?).

Shake it off and from now on, let's do it professionally, and this is not an "April Fool's Day post"  :-)

"....I am just gonna shake, Shake it off..."

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

by AStockler

Everybody always had (or still has) a sweet dream about becoming a professional, or making something special in life, traveling and visiting some place…. some dreams which were lost in some point of life where we were pretty overwhelmed in tasks, duties, work or unexpected events, etc.

Believe me, those dreams are still important in our lives.  Maybe they are like a release valve through which some of our pressure escapes, maybe they will fulfill that remaining emptiness in our heart; but most important of all, never give up on them.

I will tell you this; when I was very  young, my dream was to become an artist.  My favourite classes were art classes, when I could use the painting material: inks, pastel, charcoal and so on….. and my hands were dirty and colourful, my apron always with another coloured stain and….. I was happy.

As the time went by, I grew up and for some reason or influence, I did not follow my dream to become an artist.  I followed another direction.

I almost, completely, stopped drawing and painting; I graduated in Business at university, but I always knew, deep in my heart, that would not make me happy.

".... because you need to be happy,
If you know what happiness is to you..."

Long story short, I gave up working in business, I spent about 8 years of my life which I could have studied art at the college or at the university, but anyways I was, at least, able to come back to my dream.

It was like "….I traveled the world and the seven seas, looking for something….", looking for something that was inside me all the time.  Looking for some of my lost dreams.

Due my past experience and mistakes I think that everybody should keep a dream or a (good) habit as a form of entertainment and pleasure in life.
For instance, by the time I started working as a professional artist I also started to create my own collection of art pieces.

My personal projects, my artistic experiments by "mixing techniques" as a guide to discover my unique style….

".....when you are really happy
none can bring you down......"

Before I had my first computer, everything I did was "traditional"; yes…. very traditional indeed.
Paper, ink, pencil, brushes, eraser, rules, canvas, glue, charcoal, pastel, acrylic, oil, etc.
almost every material could be used as a way of artistic expression, but then I had a computer and everything changed again.

I was just "hypnotized" by that new world of unlimited artistic possibilities, and not only for the computer itself, but also for everything "attached" such as the softwares, peripherals, and devices.

Softwares such as Painter, Corel Draw, Photoshop, Page Maker, etc, changed the graphic design.
I was a slave of Corel Draw and Painter; I used that two softwares for everything; there was Photoshop too; and I was immersed in the new digital artistic "pipeline" since creating a logo up to retouching old pictures.

I remember when I got my first Wacom Tablet; it was huge…. really, I do not remember exactly, but it was like 12" X 14".
I also bought printers; the inkjet ones:  HP, Epson and Canon, those were the best brands…. Lots of 1.44MB Floppy Disks; and after that the 100MB Zip Drives; and step by step everything started becoming digital at my studio.

Computers, softwares, scanners, printers, zip drivers, tablets….. and I used to think that the price of a good sketch pad, brushes and inks was expensive.

"..... because you are happy
if you feel like that is
what you wanna do....."

Suddenly, in this digital revolution, everybody became an artist.  Everybody knew graphic design, everybody (customers) knew someone, a cousin, a friend who could the same job that I used to do, for half of the price or almost for free.  I believe that many artists and professionals that are reading this post now faced the same situation (even in a different level).

On the other hand, the artistic digital revolution was wonderful and opened the doors for a new generation of young talented artists which with the expansion of Internet were capable of sowing a high level of skills.

Due the quality of the digital generation of artists, all artists were pushed to "reinvent" themselves and present a higher level of art.
Those teenagers geeks and nerds (in a positive way of speaking) who spent (and still spend) hours in front of the computer creating 3D images or awesome paintings raised the bar.

The digital environment also "raised the bar" in the artistic productivity.  

"..... If you feel like
happiness is the truth..."

Imagine, for instance, one artist, like me, who used to paint pinups in traditional way.  In one year of good and fast jobs, maybe I could produce, maybe 35 pinups.
Consider that one year has 52 weeks and I could produce a good paint in 1.5 week.

Consider, also that I could sell all my jobs, to make enough money to pay for every bill and still make a living (simply impossible).

But in a digital environment, with the correct set of digital skills that same artist could produce more than 150 fine illustrations, which could be "sold" in different niches of market.

I was still missing my traditional paintings and drawings; you know….., my brushes, my inks, my sketch pads, my charcoals, my pencils,

Some years ago, I felt an emptiness, I needed to work in the traditional way again….. and I decided to come back to my easel, my canvas and I started my private collection again.

"...... Because when you're happy
you feel like a room without roof...."

I started to produce my own pinups, my own fantasy piece of arts, my portraits and etc…

I realized that that makes me happy, like a collector who needs to touch the items of his/her collection.
LIke a comic book collector who needs to see and touch and grab each issue form the shelves, or a book collector who needs to have the books on the shelves, or a action figure collector, or a stamp or coin collector or a music CD/Vinyl collector …. 

It does not matter if you need more room at your house or on your shelves or on your "cabinet", comparing to the small space any other digital storage media can provide, you want to "touch" your items.

That is what the art collectors (or any other collector) like, to have their collectible items at the reach of their hands.

Come on, tell me, honestly, if you are, let's suppose, an art collector, a comic book collector who buys and collects comics and original arts from the pencillers, painters, cover artists and so on, do you want to keep your collection on a shelf or in boxes where you can reach at any time, show it to your friend or do you want to have economics in your mp3 player or have your art in the "cloud" where you can see on your 50" flat screen?

"...... I am a hot air ballon
that could go to the space
with the air....."

I agree, digital is awesome, wonderful… extremely mind blowing with all those 3D sharing cloud features…

But not even the most accurate, 5K zillion pixels monitor; it will never give you the same pleasure and satisfaction than grabbing that unique, original piece of art painted on a 11"X14" 100 lb acid free Bristol Vellum Surface Sheet of paper.

That is my point here….. we can not give up on our sweet (lost) dreams, we need to make them true because they are important in our lives.

It does not matter if it is a dream about learning how to play acoustic guitar, or how to draw/paint, or learn how to use a "skate longboard", or simply start jogging/running, or that ball room dancing classes, or that collection of coins…..

Whatever those dreams are, believe me, they are an important "link" to yourself, because when you are "living" that moment, that dream your are giving yourself a present you really deserve and you are improving your quality of life.

Never be ashamed of your dream, never be shy, never let any "critics" put you down because everybody has a dream (maybe even a little more weird than yours) and nobody is capable of judging other's dreams….

"...... Bad news can come here
talking this and that
but sometime she is here,
you need to take a break...."

When you realize that only you can give yourself the satisfaction of living that moment, you will understand how precious and priceless it is.  And you will be proud of what you realized.

Do not be competitive…. that is not a competition; do not measure your dream by any performance indicator because there is no sense at all by doing that.

That moment is your moment of pleasure, feel it, enjoy it, because you deserved it; so use it to make yourself a better person and pass the feeling along.

After all, we need to be happy, even for a short period of time to "recharge our batteries", and sometimes no one will give us that moment but ourselves.

"...... Give me all you got, don't hold back
Well, I should probably warn you, I'll be just fine,
No offense to you, don't waste your time...."

Happy - Pharrell Williams

THE FAIRY GODMOTHER - Steve Jobs raised the bar
by AStockler

I was just thinking how, sometimes, luck is very important in our lives.
You know..., when that opportunity appear, when that moment comes to you and things start happening in the right direction.

We should never expect that moment as an excuse to start working or doing something big.
We should work every day with the same passion or keeping the same positive thinking, the same faith that once we do everything right, without being mean or hurting anyone's else we will gather something good at the end.

But how to keep that mood, if sometimes our job sucks, or the wage is low or if you don't go along with your boss or co-workers?
Yes, it is really difficult to keep up that positive thinking all time; believe me I understand.

On the other hand, how much it worths to complain? Are we really change something to the better if we complain, or even worse if we do not work as professional?

Well, let me put in this way; if you are a freelancer/independent artist the best chances you have to get better contracts or jobs are proportional to your best quality of work.

".....Hoping you take that the jump
But don't fear the fall...."

There is no other way to spot yourself than doing your job better and better every single time….
I mean, we have to raise the bar and keep it.  Do not wait for the Fairy Godmother, because (they do not exist) we have to make our work happen.

That line of thought remands me of Steve Jobs' line of action.
Yes, I am a fan of Steve Jobs, I confess that.  That guy, even against all odds, he made something incredible and big in the world.
He was always intense and passionate about his work, he started his "company" in his garage.

He always had potential, he always had vision, he was always an entrepreneur, he always had passion and….. his moment came.
An investor (a fairy godmother) appeared and things went in the right direction.  It was not that easy, not really, but he always made something bigger and better, even if some of his products, Apple products, were not that much best seller.

"......Hoping the crowd screams out
screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay....."

The difference was that Steve/Apple raised the bar and all their competitors needed to follow that standard, they were the reference in the technology area.

What are the similarities between "Apple" and an independent artist?  For the starts; we need to follow good examples.
We need to sacrifice something to practice more and more our art, our drawing, our painting, or to practice that software (2D or 3D) which will empower our technique, makes us unique in our style.

We can not wait for the Fairy Godmother to appear, so that is when we will start our best…. NO, that is the wrong way of thinking.  We need to do, always, our best to "attract" the Fairy Godmother.

That is the professional way of working; and I mean, at the end of the day everybody is professional.  After all, we did our job to make money, as a profession.
But again, there are professionals and… there are professionals.  The difference is on the quality of job of each of those professionals.

".....Hope you can fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
You give it all you have....."

Our product must be different different, our style must be unique (there is no reward without sacrifice)and every good detail counts in our favour.
I do believe, for instance, when a customer buys an original art from my Studio s/he will receive something unique, something that no other artist will offer.

My product is unique.  When my customer buys something from me, I take care personally on every step on that piece that I created for my client.  It is more than money…. it is the passion I put on that piece, the time I dedicate on producing that commission or painting.  
That is valuable for me and if I were my customer I would like to receive something special form the artist I commissioned to do my art; like when you buy an Apple product; have you notice how the package is made?

It is exhausting, many times I just look ahead and I really would like if there would be a Fairy Godmother to invest a little of money in some of my projects… and it seems that is just another Fairy Tale.

"....I wish that I could witness
All we joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes
I'll say, I, I did it all..."

However, when I finish my job, my pinups, my commissions, my personal projects, etc.,  I look at what I did and I am proud of the result (even if I did not like very much when the client changes almost everything what I have done originally).

Yes, it is exhausting, it is heavy, sometimes seems unfair when you try and try and do so many good things and it seems the Fairy Godmother does not come, but that is the way you should persist.

The competition is tough…. and you need to raise the bar on your field, you need somehow to be the reference and without sacrifice there is no reward, even if the only reward is the pride you fell for knowing that your job is really good.

"….Hope the you spend your days, but they all add up
And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup

 I did it all
I owned every second, that this world could give
Of every broken bone I swear I lived…."

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