Thursday, May 14, 2015

Assemblages, Polymer Clay, Up-cycling and My Artistic Path

Hi Friends 
Please forgive today's blog post as it is going to be a bit rambling and some venting too. I'm doing some thinking out loud.  
  You could say that I have a bit of artistic attention deficit disorder. I like to do a lot of different techniques based on my mood, and inspiration pieces I find, and techniques I'd like to try. 

I love polymer clay, I enjoy putting together assemblages from broken and repurposed bits, I like doing resin, I like doing wire wrapping, I like repurposing old tin containers, sometimes I just want to string beads. Really, I enjoy doing it all and I tend to get a bit bored and so I move back-and-forth between the different techniques based on my boredom or inspiration at the time. 

  One of my recent goals has been to participate in higher-end juried shows. Much of the advice I have received from judges and people 'in the know' - has encouraged me to limit my spectrum and focus more on a smaller circle of techniques. To that end I decided to concentrate on polymer clay and on my repurposed tin necklace line. Polymer clay because I enjoy the variety and the repurposed tin necklace line because it is popular and sells very well. 

  Last week I participated in my favorite show, The Gosport Arts Festival in Portsmouth, VA. This is traditionally my biggest show of the year, financially. This year I was mildly disappointed on several levels. 
  Firstly the crowds were very light both days and my sales were literally half of what they had been the last two years. I do believe weather was a factor as we had a pop-up thunderstorm on Sunday but the weather on Saturday was beautiful so I don't really know how to account for the difference. I know it was not just me because the photographer next to me did not sell one piece on Saturday and only covered his expenses because he happened to be the winner of the award for distinction in photography which came with a cash prize. 
  Secondly because I focused my line on Polymer and repurposed tin I had several customers, who have purchased for me in the past, seek me out that day only to be slightly confused and somewhat disappointed by the fact that I no longer carried my assemblage line. One lady in particular who bought 4 pieces from me last year was horrified. She commented that she "had been looking for you all afternoon to get more assemblage pieces". When I explained that I had limited my line due to advice from other judges, and my desire to be accepted into high end shows she and two other customers were astounded.


A few years ago, but yes, my shop is MESSY!
  So, I've had a few days to process this situation and what I've decided is this-- If I am going to commit to being a 'real artist', then I need to be true to my muse, and do the work that it leads me to. If I get rejected from high end shows because of my work, then it wasn't meant to be.  Jewelry is already a saturated category. I cannot compete with everyone out there, so I need to be authentic to my talent. If I am honest, legitimate, sincere and bona fide in my creations, I believe that people will respond to it positively. God has blessed me with a makers heart and hands and I can't force it into a box of other people's expectations. So, I'm not a trained jeweler, I'm self taught and I need to respect that for what it is and not judge myself by someone else's yardstick. 
  All this rant means in a nut shell is this, I am going to make what I feel... and be happy in the fact that I can. Pure and simple. 
So today I am going into the studio. I'm going to say a prayer, thanking God for His gift of talent and then, I'm going to MAKE whatever I WANT to.
Whew!
Thanks for hanging in there~  I promise next time I won't be such a bellyacher. :-g

3 comments:

  1. I think that you are exactly right in making what ever you want! Yes, we all want to sell, but in the end the joy and satisfaction we get from the process is what keeps us doing it, I think. Have a great day in you studio.

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  2. You go girl! You are following your passion. Be you because you are fabulous.

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  3. I think you are absolutely right. Sounds like you are creating a loyal following of customers!

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