Pages

This blog has moved.....

This blog has MOVED to a new location! Please visit my new site by clicking here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Breaking out, try again.....

dream big. a painting from last year....

BE prepared for a large dose of brain vomit here.....and proceed with caution....

As you may or may not have noticed, I've been scarce around these parts lately. I'd apologize but I have no intention of misleading you by posting crap in an effort to get you to visit just because I blog everyday.

I've been hunkering down and doing a lot of thinking....The world at large has me contemplating so much lately. The devastation that has happened and will continue to happen in Japan, the ongoing clusterf*ck in the Middle East and northern Africa. My basic need to worry about the world's problems and how I can better serve the world.

So I've had a hard time verbalizing what is going on with me and how I feel about it. I feel like a tool posting new things about my shop (not that there have been many) when people have had their entire lives and families ripped away in one foul swoop of mother nature's awesome power. Hey! Tens of thousands just died and there's an impending worldwide nuclear disaster! wanna see what's new in my Etsy shop???

Anyway, I digress....I hope in a good way. I've taken the several weeks off to contemplate all that is my business....whatever that is, because I'm not sure I actually know. I get glimpses sometimes about what it is, or what it could be, and what I do or do not like about all of those things.

I dislike production. and I don't want to feel like a bead making machine. Because that isn't enjoyable. Etsy, as of late, has really started to disenchant me. I love Etsy, from way back in 2005 when I first listed a few paintings and low and behold, after 3 months, I actually sold one. However, to become a successful shop and seller, there is a rote that I have become very uncomfortable with in order to keep selling. I love my customers. Please don't misunderstand me. But the constant production, the constant marketing involved with listing, social networking, blogging. It is exhausting and I know many of you can relate. If I am making handmade things, and the efforts exhaust me to the point where my joy is negating the actual pleasure of making them, what makes me different than any garbage you can buy at a big box store that comes from exhausted workers in third world countries who work ungodly schedules to provide basic sustenance to their families? Because in essence, that is what I'm doing. I'm constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul and deciding if we'll have a decent dinner.

In this vein, I constantly question capitalism and if it's really the answer. I research blogs, I find successful artists who are making it. How have they become successful? Have they enjoyed a lucrative licensing deal where there goods are then mass produced overseas? Many times this is the case.

This point hit home for me today. A few weeks ago, while visiting family, we were perusing gift shops. An artist I truly admire, who has a very successful licensing career, was prominently displayed in this gift shop. I had this moment, where I said to myself, HOW DO I GET TO THIS PLACE? Span forward, to today when I was at the Goodwill, and I saw one of said artist's mass produced items in the fray. Is that what I'm seeking? A piece of the pie? To be rich and find my stuff discarded at the Goodwill? After some reckless consumer has decided it's no longer their taste?

Not always, but a lot. And I'm not comfortable with that. I want to be at home, with my craft. I want to inspire others. I would like to write a book someday. But I want to be true and that is the reason for the break. I'm thinking about all this and where I fit in...to the grand scheme of things. of these things we call art. and how they are all just things. how they could all be wiped away in the blink of an eye and how they figure into this grand thing we call life.

If you read this far, thank you.

10 comments:

mairedodd said...

beautiful, relevant, thought provoking... thank you - d

Dee said...

so many relevant comments and questions. Well written and well said!

Deb said...

Very thought provoking, one of the most interesting posts I have read for a long time. Would it help if you went back to when you made your first piece of jewellery or painted your first picture, what were your thoughts and ambitions at that time? What motivated you to take that first step to creating?
Deb x

Kerry said...

thank you for sharing. you aren't alone, i think many of us share these same thoughts. it sounds like to you opening to the possibilities of the life you truly want to live. try to cherish that.

Kate said...

Such a heartfelt and relevant post. A pleasure to read and it actually encouraged me a lot. I have been trying to decide how I want my work to proceed and this post put many of my thoughts into words I hadn't found yet. thanks for sharing!

Elisabeth said...

Agreed - very thought provoking! Thank you!

Claire Maunsell said...

Well worth writing and posting because similar things have been passing through my head and have dried up my impulse to blog about anything. One thing I can't turn off and that is the excitement of making something that sings to me (for some reason) and how that makes everything I have to do easier. I hope that is true (even at some tiny level) for people everywhere while they recover their lives.

Marcie A. said...

Here's the thing...I don't know who the artist is that you are referring to, and I don't know how her work was being sold or produced, but to me, it seems that the farther you get away from the original, the worse it becomes. I don't make diddly selling jewelry and I've come to grips with that. However, it is worth it to me to hear a customer say..."Thank you, it's beautiful and I'm so glad to have met the person who made it."
I do believe the people who buy handmade understand the value in it, and that they aren't just buying an object, they are supporting a craft. Not that I would ever compare to Michaelangelo, but he was able to do his work because the church had the $ at that time to pay for it, and what is left for us are the amazing things that he created and the beauty that flowed from his hands. I think it's an amazing thing that we are in a place where each person can own a piece of art and they don't have to have the wealth of a nation at their disposal to do so. I know that everything that I have purchased from artists I cherish, and it means more to me than what I would have bought at a department store and because of that, I will hold on to it longer and it'll be pretty much falling apart before I replace it.
I don't think you should allow one object in a Goodwill store to affect your thinking. You don't know the story behind the person who put it there, and you can't control the behavior of each and every person. At the end of the day, everyone is responsible for their own actions, and you can't make a person value what they have, it is a lesson that they must learn individually.
I think we have to focus on what we can do and realize that I am just one person and I will do what I can and after that, it is beyond my power and must go to one greater.

graygirlstudios said...

Amen sista. you said the stuff I've been thinking of for such a long time. Not sure how to reconcile it all either. If you find out, let me know.

Pretty Things said...

Great food for thought. I will never be rich doing what I do, but I am happy knowing that the majority of my pieces will have a happy, lasting home. I know that all the beads I've received from you have not gone willy-nilly into a piece of jewelry -- I see those beads and pendants as works of art, and they deserve their time to shine.

I hope I do them justice.