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EBITDA, or I sold my first picture or bookkeeping discussions

Today’s illustration shows you me, blinking into the sun.

I started working on it April 18, after I took a quick photo with my phone in the morning, blinking into the sun. I used my digital drawing board starting with a 2 pixel pencil doing the contours and major areas and picked colors together with a larger brush afterwards. The colors just felt right. The captured moment, me looking into the sun, felt precious and full of joy, and for that I love the illustration:  I brings this moment back, to me. Here on the blog, the illustration comes with just 300 pixel width, in “reality” it is larger.

I did and do most illustrations for myself. “creativity and creation for whom” might be tomorrow’s blog post topic, too. If I say “most” illustrations: Here’s the breach: I sold my first picture!

Actually, it sold in Pascal’s shop Medieval art &vie. There, in this shop, about 9 years ago, I sold my first fragrance. It was Pascal’s idea, back then and still is true these days: “Why not sell it?”

Here are two reasons why to sell creations (perfumes, pictures, marmelade):

1) It makes money flow your way. Ha!

2) It is the ultimate accolade for your creation and yourself as creator.

Talk to creative folks and you will hear, quite often, phrases like “If they don’t get it, and don’t buy, then forget them.” , which makes sense, as otherwise we would all still do our cavern drawings. On the other hand, if folks don’t buy, it can be an invitation to think about why they don’t.

So I have sold this picture, and learned a lot. The picture was cool, I already miss it: a scanned red cabbage, photoshopped, printed on plexiglass, 20×30 cm. The place where it sold: not your average picture shop. Promotion: Not existing. Price: Well,well…  So there you go: The 4 P’s, Picture, Place, Promotion, Price (kidding: It should say “Product”, not “Picture”). Interested in McCarthy’s 4 Ps? Here’s the link to wikipedia. It is worth thinking in these terms from time to time. I guess I will have to come back to it again. Anyhow: I sold my first picture.

And you know what: It made me so happy. When I learned about this fact, I had to call Pascal. All excited. It was exactly the same 9.5 years ago, when Pascal sold the first Le Maroc pour elle. Pure excitement.

And the money for the picture: It went right onto the tauer perfumes sales account, which -actually- was a mistake as it does not belong there, but should be on another bank account. But then: Bookkeeping discussions are complicated already. Let’s not add another dimension there. Here’s an excerpt  from the discussion on Sunday morning with bookkeeping (I am so blessed: I have the best bookkeeper ever):

Bookkeeper: Hey, great news:  you earned so and so much money so far in 2014!

Andy: What do you mean?

Bookkeeper: You are writing black figures…

Andy: What’s my EBITDA looking like?

Bookkeeper: What?

Andy: Earnings before interest and taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

Bookkeeper:  hmmm…

Andy: EBITDA, really, tells you a lot about our current operational profitability.

Bookkeeper: you are such a bluffer!

Andy: True! And now, I want to buy more bottles!

Bookkeeping: Forget it!