The “Guilt” of Thinking

The opening date for my solo show at the Dare County Arts Council is quickly approaching, I need, I MUST be painting non stop to finish the paintings that I will be hanging soon.  Today I was expecting to be painting first thing in the morning and yet, it has not happened yet. I’m just about to start, right after I finish this post. I happen to have spent all my morning “thinking, researching, planning”.

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a little bit of accounting just to realize that, at this point of the year, almost 100% that I have earned in my art business, I have re-invested, leaving me with about $500 profit…yikes. I wanted to cry when I saw those numbers.  My husband reassured me: “how much would be the profit for all the inventory you have and have not sold yet?”….ok, the numbers started looking much better. My business is completely new. I would say I did not start seeing myself as an actual “business” until this year; and then, something as obvious as an the initial investment to create the necessary inventory for the year, took me by surprise. Even though I know I now have quite a bit of inventory that will generate profit, I’m still “thinking, researching, planning” constantly (what new materials can I use? what other framing options do I have, what new product could be a “hit”), to try to make that ongoing investment as smart as possible.

Even though I believe that all that “thinking” is necessary, I can’t help but feeling guilty that I didn’t spend my morning painting. I know I could have left all of “that” for another morning after my show opening, but I guess I couldn’t help myself, after all, all of “that” is very important as well, if I intend to make a living as an artist.

But so is creating more artwork, so… I better get to painting now!

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2 thoughts on “The “Guilt” of Thinking

  1. Erin Rasmussen says:

    Carolina! I find you SO inspiring, and the honest perspective of living as an artist SO encouraging! I am thankful to have met you in Manteo, and to have gotten to chat, and to have used your phone to get my bike unlocked. I find in the creative process, that if something is hanging over my head, I cannot feel the creative spirit to create, until I’ve spent time working out that something, in order to make room in my head, heart, and spirit, for the work to come out. This is something non-artists don’t think about when they tell us to paint :) Thank you for your words. I hope to own a Coto original one day! Erin (Rasmussen)

    • Carolina Coto says:

      Erin, thank you for your comment! I’m so glad that you found some encouragement on this post. It was great talking to you that day in Manteo. Good luck with creating and teaching and hopefully we can have a chat again another time!

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