Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, the sounds of the rain for music. I read the news on CNN.com before posting this morning. The big stories are the debate last night, and the fed and other central banks worldwide joining to enact emergency rate cuts. Scary times. Today's post, to the sound of the rain, is all about the economy. I hope I can feel good by the end of it...
I got a call from one of my galleries yesterday about a past due invoice. They were frank and honest about not being able to pay it till at least the end of the month because their credit line is frozen, their rent is past due and all sales have to go to pay rent before paying artists.
Another gallery called and asked to exchange two large pieces of work they've had for over a year for several smaller pieces so they can stock new work in hopes of holiday sales without having to come up with as much cash for them.
About a week ago I contacted the only non-local gallery where I have work on consignment (almost $1,000 of work) about terminating our relationship as they have only sold one small piece during the past year they have had my work. The owner asked if I would be willing to leave the work till the end of October as they have a big event in October and more work might sell. A comment she made during the conversation referencing them having sold "a few pieces" makes me begin to fear that the time between now and the end of October is less for them to sell more work than to use to come up with the money to cover the work they've already sold and not paid me for--sales that will be obvious when I get the remaining work back. Or worse.
Finally, the gallery that closed its doors in the spring still owing me money has not made any payments on the outstanding amount yet, nor have they communicated any intention to. I know that most people are as honest as they can be, and they do what they have to do to minimize the impact of their losses. I just wish that, for once, I would not be in the last of the bottom pile of people who get an exhausted shrug and a dazed apologetic look when the financial dust settles.
I am especially focused on finances right now as I just ordered over 700 lbs of sheet glass and 500 lbs of frit from Bullseye that I have to pay for at the end of the week. A net 30 manufacturing type business means you are at the mercy of payment cycles while having constant expenses. In order to float it all you either need to have a big bank account or a big line of credit--either of which remain basically constant with the fill-ups and drains in the cycle. I don't have a big bank account, and, unfortunately, I think my line of credit might also have been frozen by the bank even though they never said anything to me about it.
However, I end on if not an optimistic at least a resolute note. I don't have time to be Chicken Little. Yes, the sky may be falling, but running around and flapping my wings about it won't change anything at all. The best I can do is to keep on going, follow my long-term plan, be happy with stability if not growth, and be able to weather (hopefully small) losses. This is not the time for radical, panicked changes and hoarding. This is the time to stay the course with grace, determination, and calm.
PS--Thank you, thank you to Ren for the lovely artwork above. I hope it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission because, well... *blush*