When you work for an idiot

excited dog in entry room

“home from errands” is 11×14, painted with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors on paper. A holiday card version reads “tidings of comfort and joy.” © 2014 Annette Makino

It’s been said that one of the downsides of being self-employed is that you may find yourself working for an idiot. As the founder, CEO and sole staffer of Makino Studios, I get to consider this on a regular basis.

This is most apparent when I am trying to unravel some tangle in my business bookkeeping. Last week I actually found myself scrubbing the toilet to avoid tackling what many would call a simple accounting problem.

But financial hairballs aside, I love being my own boss and working from home, with only my dog for a co-worker (though he mostly sleeps on the job). While running a small business by myself is a lot of work, I get to decide how I will spend each day, from walking on the beach for inspiration to designing a new card catalog to contacting stores and filling orders.

Still, sometimes working alone can be isolating. So I’m happy when I can find opportunities to collaborate with people I like and respect. Through November, it was really fun to have a show of haiku-inspired art with my friend Amy Uyeki. This coming weekend, I am delighted to be joining Joyce Jonté and Patricia Sennott for a Holiday Open Studios event as a guest artist at their studios in Arcata. (See this news story, A window into creativity, for details and directions.)

Community events like these also give me the chance to connect directly with the public and hear firsthand how my pieces resonate with people. Even my slavedriver boss understands that this contact is as important as crunching the numbers!


Poetry & Honey calendar

I’ve recently shipped this 2015 wall calendar to Japan, Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. It’s currently available in 20 stores and in my Etsy shop.

Holiday Open Studios: Visit artists Joyce Jonté, Patricia Sennott and me 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7 at StewArt Studios in Arcata, CA. This event is free and kids are welcome. (Please note, this year I will not be at the Humboldt Artisans Fair at Redwood Acres, which takes place the same weekend.)

Newest Cards and 2015 Calendar: Today I posted two new card designs in my Etsy shop, where you can also find my wall calendar for 2015 featuring art and haiku.

Made in Humboldt: My cards, prints and calendars are on offer at this holiday fair at the Garden Shop of Pierson Building Center in Eureka, CA  through Dec. 24.

Holiday Craft Market: I will have original paintings, prints, cards and calendars for sale at this fair in the Arcata Community Center in Arcata on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13 and 14.

Holiday at Mateel Gallery: A few of my paintings, plus cards and calendars, are available at this gallery in Garberville, CA through Dec. 27.

Living Room Retrospective: I am one of nine artists featured in this exhibit at MikkiMoves in Eureka. The show opens Dec. 6 and runs through January.

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  1. Posted November 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Yes, for any artists or writers, the business side of things is not our favorite thing, but it needs to be done.

    • Posted November 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Alas! It’s hard to wear all the hats at once without some of them tumbling off…

  2. Posted October 23, 2015 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    This post totally drew me in – had to read it. So been there, so many times! Love building my business on my own terms, but also would love someone who is invested as I am in it to bounce ideas off of, and of course to agree with most of my brilliant ideas at the same time! Thanks for sharing your world.

    • Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks Catherine! I find it helps to connect with other artist friends who are also trying to build an art biz. Mutual support, ideas, leads, lessons learned. But of course I can’t ask them to figure out my accounting hairballs for me!

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