Saturday, January 28, 2017

NOT JUMPING ON THE "BRAND-WAGON"

I've been busy making things... lots of things.



ROSE PETAL SOAP

I normally make at least one thing every day, sometimes as many as 30 things, depending on how complicated they are. I love making things.



DAY AT THE BEACH MOISTURIZING HAIR SALT SPRAY


I'm great about going into the studio. I never really understand how people can have creative blocks. I just don't get them. If I'm blocked about making jewelry, I make bath salts. If I'm blocked about all of that, I patch a pair of jeans or make handmade chain. There's always something I can be doing. I love having a project in front of me.



ANCIENT FRAGRANCE BATH SALTS


I submit a lot of work to magazines and write a lot of articles. I'm always ahead of my deadlines. I love writing articles... no writer's block here either.



"DRESSED TO THE NINES" JUNK DRAWER NECKLACE


The thing I am bad about, and I am really bad about it, is actually selling things. I love making them, I love writing about them, I just don't enjoy the selling part at all.


SOME CREATIVE MENDING I DID ON A PAIR OF JEANS THAT BLEW OUT



I used to be in a dozen galleries and had an active etsy store. I did a ton of shows. Now I have two galleries, an empty etsy store, and I'm not doing shows anymore. I don't like doing them. I get too nervous and it makes me unhappy, so I've just stopped. Life's too short for that kind of stress.



PAPER FLOWER EARRINGS I MADE FROM RECYCLED CHILDREN'S BOOKS



It's easy to get lost in the vast ocean that is etsy these days. I used to list things, but I've stopped that too. It felt like a huge waste of time. I tend to use my etsy store as a place where people can pay for custom orders. That's about it. 



CAPIZ SHELL AND TAPE TRANSFER NECKLACE



I say I have inventory. What I should say is that I currently have a HUGE amount of jewelry inventory, over 300 pieces.



JEANS SEAMS BRACELETS WITH CHARMS AND POMPOM FRINGE



There's no real reason for it. I'm not particularly attached to my inventory. I would like to sell it. The problem is that when I get into my (now clean) studio, I get inspired to make things, not photograph them or sell them.


CERAMIC COLD-FINISH BEADS
(OK, I KIND-OF LIKED PHOTOGRAPHING THESE BEADS)



It's funny too. I used to own art galleries. I used to be a seller of things. I used to love that part of it, but somehow I've changed. Now that I know I can make things, it's all I want to do.



 EARRINGS HANGING IN MY STUDIO




MORE EARRINGS


There's a lot of pressure on artists to be fabulous photographers, amazing writers, stellar marketers, and of course we've all heard that we have to "create a brand." 



BEE BRACELET

I love not having a brand. I love listening to my inner voice and making things that I am inspired to make in the moment. I love what I do. I love learning new things and then writing about it. 



MEMORIAL HORSEHAIR NECKLACES MADE FOR MY FRIEND AND HER DAUGHTERS


I've been writing for a number of new Stampington publications. Right now I have work in the current issues of Jewelry Affaire, Belle Armoire Jewelry, GreenCraft, A Somerset Holiday, and Willow & Sage. Stampington is wonderful.


VELVET STRAWBERRY SACHETS MADE FROM VINTAGE UPHOLSTERY FABRIC



VANILLA JASMINE LIME BATH SALTS WITH VINTAGE MILLINERY FLOWERS




SHABBY CHIC BANGLE MAKEOVER




LAVENDER & ROSE HAIR MASK





"NOTIONS" COLLECTION


One of the reasons I have so much inventory is that I never want to make the same thing twice. I just can't do it. It kills my creativity. What that ultimately means is that I can't really create a brand. I've decided that's okay. 



"LOVELINESS" COLLECTION

I wake up in the morning and think, "What am I going to make today? Bath products? Jewelry? Do I want to mend something or make something for my guinea pigs?" In the end, what I really enjoy is figuring out how to make things, simplifying the process, and then writing about it. 



MELT AND POUR LEMON TEA TREE SOAP

I love the research and the experimentation, figuring out a new way to do something. Sometimes I feel like a scientist, or even an alchemist. I ask myself questions like, "Okay, that's how it's been done before, but what if...." 




NECKLACE MADE FOR TRACY CROSSMAN'S MATERIALS CHALLENGE

Then if my experiment works out, I get to share what I've learned with others. I find the sharing part particularly rewarding. 



"SUMMER JOY" BRACELET WITH POLYMER CLAY FOCAL


I have also written articles for Sew Somerset, Somerset Studio, Somerset Life, and even Mother Earth News. Whenever I make anything, the end-product for me is more the article and not so much the physical object, My main hope is that someone will be inspired to make something of their own. 




TEXTURED COPPER BRACELET


This view I have, about making things for the pure joy of it, and then sharing the process, does leave me with a lot of inventory. 




SOLSTICE NECKLACE MADE FOR BLUEBERRY COVE BEADS

I've decided that I'm okay with having so much inventory. I'm also okay with not having brand. I like to think there is some kind of cohesiveness to my work, but that might not be true at all. I'm okay with that too. 




ANOTHER COLLECTION IN AN ALTERED MUFFIN TIN


Because in the end, for me at least, it's not about winning or selling the most. It's not about making one cookie-cutter thing and sticking with it. 




CERAMIC COLD-FINISH POETRY BEADS


For me it's about finding my own voice, about making things that inspire me in the moment, and about sharing what I've learned... and for me that's enough. 



RECYCLED TIN NECKLACE, WITH A NAPKIN RING BEZEL



To sum it up, brands are great for people who want to sell a whole bunch of the same thing. They're also great for those wonderful superstars in the industry who excel at both creating and marketing. I love them for what they do to inspire all of us. As for me, I won't be jumping on the "brand-wagon" any time soon. I'm just going to keep finding joy in inspired experimentation. I'm sticking to my own path and I'm excited to see where it will lead. 


Leaving you with this quote:
"Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth." 
-Rumi

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Melinda...I am SO with you on the brand thing, as well as most of the rest of what you have said, so eloquently. I just don't happen to like writing about it either. But I'm so glad that you do!
    j

    ReplyDelete