AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT CUSTOM ORDERS

I know many of you have been disappointed that I stopped taking custom orders last Summer. Well cry no more, because I will be taking a select number of custom orders in the months of June and July only. So if you have a watercolor painting or calligraphy piece you have been wanting to contact me about, now is the time! 

You can email me at anna@annatovar.com with your idea, and I will let you know my availability/timeline/pricing. 

LITTLE BUNNY

I've been playing around with a lot of linocut stamp ideas. For whatever reason, I've just been very inspired by the entire process of making block prints, and it's not slowing down. I started with this little bunny, which is inspired by Otomi prints. As you might have gathered from my last name, my husband is Mexican, and I am 1/2 Swedish, so those cultures tend to heavily influence my work and style. It's been really fun to work on these, and I have a lot more little creatures that I plan on making. What will I do with them? That is yet to be determined, but I'm having fun while I figure it out. 

Getting my ideas onto paper.

Getting my ideas onto paper.

The first of many test prints. 

The first of many test prints. 

FOR FUN

I've been making a lot of progress on my "maternity leave to-do list", which has left me with a little extra time on my hands during work hours. I rarely get this, so I try to take advantage of it by exploring new artistic outlets or researching the possibility of new products. 

Lately, I've become quite infatuated with block printing. I took a Printmaking class in college that was specifically focused on block printing, so it's not necessarily a new thing for me, but it has been over 9 years since I took that class, so let's just say I'm a little rusty. Despite that, I managed to save all of my leftover supplies from that time and have had so much fun picking it back up. Will this lead to something new? I'm not sure yet, but it's definitely something that I want to continue to explore!

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2016

This year is going to be big.

B. I. G.

Not only do I have big and bold business goals, but we are also adding another member to our family very, very soon. 

What does that mean for me? Plan. Plan. Plan... and then know that all the planning in the world doesn't mean things will work out like I imagine. I work to find a balance between being organized and goal-oriented, and realistic in unforeseen obstacles and limitations. After all, I am not in control. That may be something that is hard for me to remember at times, but true nonetheless. 

At the beginning of each year I take some time to sit down and write out any potential goals I may have. Some are big dreams and some are totally manageable. And then I ask myself... What worked last year? What didn't work? What were the impacts of my job on my family, and inevitably, what do I need to change? Who did I surround myself with that pushed me, held me accountable to my role as wife, mom, and artist, and challenged me?

After I've done some serious brainstorming, I start to narrow down all of the dreams into a manageable list that is good for me, my family, and the community that I am a part of. The last thing I want to do is focus so much on my job that I lose sight of how I can best minister to those around me as well. Sometimes, that means I have to cut out things that I know I could get done, but simply wouldn't be wise. 

From there, I create timelines to make those goals into a reality. I have a small planner that's always with me, as well as a large wall calendar that hangs above my desk. I also always have my sketchbook with me to make sure I have a place to jot down or sketch out any ideas. These tools help me stay focused. Otherwise, I would jump around all over the place without any real direction (which is totally how I functioned in the past). 

This year, baby #3 is top priority. He is obviously going to change the way that we function as a family in a tremendous way. Our schedules will change, our sleeping habits will change, and our hearts will grow exponentially because of him. I am having to tell myself over and over and over again that I have limitations. I can not do it all. I know that it's expected in our society for the woman to bounce back and be on top of things in no time at all, but I am trying to give myself a lot of grace in the coming months as I figure out how to balance this whole work/family thing. It's always difficult for me, and I know that it will be particularly difficult this go round. Why? Because this time I will be having a newborn right before Spring show season. (My other two were born in the summer, so I had a few months before the start of the Fall show season.) And I'm going to be really honest here, not doing shows is not an option. Maybe one day it will be, but for now, that income is a necessity for our family. Thankfully, I have an amazing support system and Luis is officially on team Anna Tovar now. He is in charge of wholesale accounts and really just helping in any way he can. I'm sure his role will be shaped more as the year progresses, but for now, I'm just thrilled he is willing to help. 

So what do you have to look forward to? A couple of collaborations, lots more new products that will be debuting seasonally (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Holiday), and more of this! I will be making a real effort to blog and Instagram more of the behind the scenes/day-to-day inner workings of this little business of ours. 

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to an amazing 2016!