16 August 2007

left to my own devices

another artist and i were atalking bout whether we felt supported by our community, and the answer we came up with was "mostly."

we've passed the mid-point of august already, and as time marches on, i am still reeling from the winter and spring. if we count september, summer is half over, and i try not to freak out over the impending holiday season. i know you don't want to hear it. i don't want to hear it. when i decided not to take on any more weddings, i fully believed that i would be able to make up for it in wholesale. i had my photographer(s) lined up, and aquired the software i needed to update my website. i had grand plans to have my look books out by february, and my website updated by march, then april. i still don't have all the photos for my look book yet. almost, but i am one photo shoot away. website? i can't really think about that.

did you know that most stores won't talk to your sales rep without seeing everything in beautiful fashion photographs? did you know that a good amount of stores in portland won't look at local designers, because the quality, design and craftsmanship of most of them are so poor? the stores here that do carry local designers want the locals to put their goods in their stores on consignment while they buy from designers out of town outright. it's like being punished for living here.

and please don't tell me that you wish you could afford my stuff. it is rude. most of my other artist friends would agree that they hate it when people tell them that, but are too nice to say it out loud. it implies that what we do isn't worth the price. if you knew what goes into this business, you wouldn't say that. i know it may not be your intention to imply that, but most often, that is how we take it. a simple "i like your work" will suffice. do you know how hard it is to sell things i created? how personal it is? (and i am not the most sensitive person out there) that doesn't obligate you to buy anything from me ever. i can't tell you how many sales i get are from people who "could never afford it." these are the sales that i appreciate most, because it exemplifies a foray into a new world of possibilites for that person. i love being their first major purchase!

that said, i have somehow managed to quell the panic i felt every day, of worrying myself sick over money and bills, of waiting to hear from my photographer, of trying to figure out how i would make it to next month with home, studio, company, self intact. would i have enough things for the next show, how to afford more materials when i am struggling with basic bills, and how to not let this completly kill my creativity. all of these issues still exist, but somehow, i can't get myself to panic over them anymore. there is my trying to make myself panic over not panicking, but that's another thing altogether.

somehow, i have managed to accomplish quite a lot this year, or at least start a good number of projects and product lines. i would think i could have figured all of this out by year nine. i have always known that i am forging my own path on my own terms. i am still learning. this can be frustrating at times. it is about faith. faith that i will be okay. faith that in myself and my abilites. and a bit of faith in humanity as well. it is a humbling process.

thank you to all who read my little rants, who take my words to heart, who make the effort to show up, to repy, to pass me along to their friends. thank you to my adversaries for forcing me to assert my boundaries. and most of all thank you to all of my studiomates at the egg; who are supportive and leave each other to their own devices to grow and find their own place. i am looking forward into the fall.

image: "portrait of kirsten as a bird" by brent wear acrylic on found wood copyright 2006

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