Thursday, January 2, 2014

Back at Work

This past Tuesday I went back to work after having a week off. Boy was it hard. I love staying home and there were a couple of days that I did not leave the house. I did not get as many things done in the studio as I thought I would as I did a little baking and straightening up as well as some long overdue chores, but it was great. It was like living the dream.

As I am trying to seriously focus on filling my Etsy shop, I have been carrying around a composition book for all of my ideas. I've always carried a sketchbook, but this is a little different as I feel free to jot down anything and don't treat the book like a sketchbook--my sketchbooks are filled with "good" drawings (or awful drawings that did not work out). The paper is treated with the fear of not messing it up and wasting it because it is usually expensive. I admit the composition book is very freeing. I've been lucky as I have had lots of ideas lately, I've been working out the kinks and really vetting a design concept until I love it.

I am also reading Kari Chapin's book, Handmade Marketplace. I have purchased many of these "self help" type business books in the past and never gotten through any of them, so I really trying to give this book a chance and read it through.

Often I see little exercises in these books that I skip, but somewhere (probably in a different book or website) I saw the question, "what do you like to do?" I know what I like to do, so I asked myself "what do you like to make over and over again?" My answer is: nothing. I like to make one of a kind pieces. Even though I may make the same thing more than once to get it right or improve it, once I get it the way I like it I don't want to make it again. Hmm, that could be a problem for someone who wishes to sell their handmade items and cannot afford to pay someone else to do the actual production.

This was an amazing thing I learned about myself.

I already knew that I don't like anything that I find too difficult--I don't like challenges like that. This applies to sewing, knitting and baking.

I don't like the project to be too time consuming as I get anxious and want to see the end result. I remember feeling this way in drawing class in college. I just wanted to be finished with a particular drawing so badly as it was weeks I was working on the same thing.

So now that I know this really important aspect of my creative personality I must find items that are a little different each time to keep me interested. If my goal was to make some extra money, I would be better off working a part-time job. My goal is to sell my designs and craftsmanship--not just give it away. People seem to like it when they receive my creations as gifts, which is great, but not enough for my ego. You never know if they are being polite or sincere.

Money = Validation. ...to me at least.

So I made a little something that I have been wearing around and have received many compliments on it (which always makes me smile), so I am starting with that and other designs within this genre.

This is the make it or break it year for me--that is, make it over and over and sell it, or break down and admit I don't really want to sell my things at all.

Baci e abbracci