It's not just me, I learned last night--a fellow artist was saying that yeah, it's been the worst month for her in a long time, too. I'm not sure what it is--January is always fairly slow, and being right up against Further Confusion doesn't help for people like me with one foot in the furry art market, but even with that in mind, I think I'm at about half the income of last year this time, and arguably the worst month overall in two years. (The month is not over, of course, and somebody could snag up a pricy original in the next week and salvage the month--it's been known to happen--but still, slow, slow, slow.)
Obviously, when one is dependant on sales, as I am, there's a lot of flex to one's income from month to month, and I did well enough at Christmas not to be suffering outright financial pain from this, but it's still kind've a drag. There's a certain degree to which one can't help but measure one's artistic worth by one's artistic income, after all--I know, art is supposed to be pure and unfettered by surly bonds of finance, but...well...art may be a meritocracy, but somebody still has to pay for the drinks.
I am hoping primarily that this is not the sign of an economic downturn this year, either in broad scale or in personal sales, because as soon as I start thinking this, my brain goes "AAGGH! And then we'll have to get a job at Wal-Mart!" and...well...y'know.