Alison Spokes

Faerie Tales from an Artist & Tarot Reader

January 13, 2017
by Ali
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Why I’ve Fallen Behind on My Artwork & Why Tarot is Taking a Forefront

 

You may or may not have noticed, especially if you follow me on social media or subscribe to my e-newsletter, that my artwork has taken a bit of a back seat lately in favour of the Tarot portion of my business. I wanted to take a moment and explain why and what’s happening.

It’s always been my dream to own and operate my own retail business. I had visions in high-school of running my own metaphysics shop, but as I approached graduation I wasn’t getting a lot of support from my friends and family. They were all worried I would fail, as 80% of businesses do, and convinced me I’d be better off going to university, so I enrolled in Business and Religious Studies thinking it would be the perfect combo to jump-start my entrepreneurial aspirations.  …5 years later, I graduated with a degree in Psychology and Anthropology. Go figure.

I gained valuable life experience during those 5 years that I am very grateful for. I don’t regret my education or my decision to switch majors despite having never applied it to a career in any way whatsoever, not to mention spending 9 more years paying for it.

It was after completing my Bachelor’s degree I started painting fairies and selling them at markets and fairs. It was a small step toward living the dream and being my own boss. I LOVED it! I still love it, but alas, it has never been enough to pay the bills, which is why I’m still working the same day job I’ve had since I was 17 years old.

16 months ago, I answered an ad offering retail space for a price I could afford. RETAIL SPACE! One step closer to the career I always wanted! Now the challenge was to do something with that space at a pace I could afford. That’s when I decided to come out of the Tarot card closet. My academic life pressured me to keep that side of myself a secret, but NO MORE! I’m out and I’m proud!! …although no one yet has ever told me I have any reason not to be. I was expecting more backlash …more questions, at least! Nothing. *shrugs*

Even though I have added more products to my little shop, it’s the Tarot readings that draw people in and allow me to pay the retail rent. By adding Tarot to my business, I was able to quadruple my revenue last year. The DREAM… I can almost touch it!!

…but here’s what I learned about operating a one-woman retail establishment last year: I love it, but its not conducive to letting me work on artwork while I’m there. I had hoped that I could create and paint between customers, but I found this system way too hard. Every time I was really focused and enjoying my artwork, I would get interrupted by paying customers who wanted readings or had questions about products. I wanted to say, bugger off! Can’t you SEE I’m in the creative zone right now?!, but turning away clients and money is bad for business. I stuck it out for a while, the inconvenience of Murphy’s law: being inspired only when there’s no time to do anything about it; but this system was burning my brain out. It was becoming increasingly unfair to me to have to switch mindsets from one thing to another at a moment’s notice, and unfair to my customers when my mind is still thinking about painting tutti-frutti hats or whether her wings should be red or blue when my attention should be on them and their Tarot reading. Appointments!! That’s why they are preferred. Just saying.

If I want to continue creating new artwork, I need a solution. I cannot give up the Tarot, because right now that is my bread and butter. I cannot make appointments mandatory, because drop-ins make up 90% of my sales. I’d lose business. All of my digital art equipment is at the store and connected to equipment I need for other business activities. None of it is portable. I could work overtime every night at the store after closing, but that is not ideal either. What I need is portable equipment that can come home with me so I can draw in the evenings like I used to do before I moved my business out of my home.

For the last month, I have been aggressively hunting for a used Cintiq Companion 2. It’s the ideal machine to take with me on the road, when I’m staying with friends or in hotels. I can also work at home in my spare time.  I’ve been checking eBay and Amazon about 10 times a day each ready to pounce on a good deal as soon as one comes on the market. I’ve had about 4 of these machines slip through my fingers for various reasons since I started this quest: scammers, product needs repairs, logistics, poor timing, etc. WHY Universe!? Why do you tease me so?!

Long story short, I have no intentions on giving up or abandoning my art. It’s just on a temporary hiatus (for the sake of my sanity) until I acquire the equipment I need to establish a system that works for me.

January 5, 2017
by Ali
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January 2017 Predictions

So, we’re 5 days deep into January 2017. Perhaps you’ve already been feeling the energy from these three cards. If you happen to be looking for some helpful hints and advice to get your through the month, here are my predictions for January:

Judgement Reversed

The New Year is always a time when we reflect on what was, where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished and where we want to go next. This requires us to face some accountability for our decisions. Were our past decisions met with positive outcomes or were we underwhelmed with how things turned out? What needs to change? What needs to continue? The Judgment card asks us to reflect, accept any rewards/consequences from our past, and identify any necessary corrective action so we can move forward with a clean slate, forgiving ourselves of our past “sins.” As we roll into 2017 and the beginning of a new numerological 9-year cycle, we begin to feel reborn, cleansed of past bad habits or self-limiting beliefs. We can offer ourselves an opportunity for a fresh start.

King of Wands

With all the newfound enthusiasm to do things differently, the King of Wands warns us that January is going to be a very busy month. We have jobs to do, duties, responsibilities, social obligations, and creative ideas we’re ready to put into action. Managing it all might become overwhelming or exhausting. By the end of the month, we may feel like we’ve stretched ourselves too thin raising concern that we’re not really accomplishing anything!

The Star Reversed

That’s where the Star comes in. She’s here to remind us that it is great to have goals, but there is no need to rush to the finish line. Think of a traveler trying to reach his destination; he could walk all day and all night without stopping, but when he gets there his health will be too poor to enjoy it. He must eat and sleep along the way if he wants his journey to have purpose. Remember, your goal is not to be stressed out and exhausted. To truly enjoy your achievements, you must employ balance and maintenance along the way even if that causes delay. Maintain your relationships and friendships. Balance work and play. Do the things that have to get done, but if a few tasks have to be postponed, so be it. Give yourself permission to be flexible without losing sight of what you’re trying to achieve. If you start to feel like you have too much on your plate, move some of it to someone else’s plate or put it in the fridge for tomorrow’s leftovers. Remind yourself that there are some things that can wait until tomorrow for the sake of your health and happiness.

January Tarot Special – Book Now

With this Tarot package, you’ll get a comprehensive look at what’s coming your way in 2017 in the realms of love, career, finance and more…

You’ll learn what areas you need to focus on most and what lessons you need to learn in order to make 2017 your best year ever! Available in-person or online via email.

January 2, 2017
by Ali
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New Store Hours

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On January 8, Ethereal Earth Art Studio & Gift Gallery will be changing our store hours.

The new hours will be:
Thurs:  11-5pm
Fri:       11-5pm
Sat:       11-5pm

Why the change?

Because I have a second job at the public library, I have to try to balance my hours between both workplaces. Previously, I was only available to the studio for half a day on Wednesday and every other Saturday. Due to a re-scheduling opportunity at my other job, I can now work more consistent hours so no one needs wonder where I will be on any given Saturday any longer, including me! Alternating 3.5/2.5 days per job every week was becoming cumbersome. Now it’s an easy to track and explain 3 days a week at each workplace. YAY!! I’m looking forward to this new schedule.

Visit me at my store:
204 – 2405 Beacon Avenue
Sidney, BC

Lots of weird and wonderful stuff for sale!