Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Stop feeling guilty for the mess - you're an artist!

Something that I have noticed since I was a teen (and that was a subject of contention between me and Mom).

Super organization, tidy drawers, everything set nicely in pretty folders and arranged by size in drawers, go hand in hand with a mind that lacks creativity.

Creation has always been the result of something that went outside of the order and organized patterns.

Evolution was always that step outside the set perimeter of steps necessary to evolve, that primordially essential step in the other direction.In my life,

I have never encountered someone who was a real creator, who had a nice and tidily organized studio.
I'm not talking about diagnosed OCD, that one in itself has a different aspect and overflows into the creative pattern, as would be the case of Yayoi Kusama.

I am talking about regular organization like that one done by an efficient secretary or administrative assistant: lots of drawers, folders, everything where it belongs.

People with that kind of studio are generally exceptional technicians, if you want. They make marvelously clean-cut and superbly finished pieces.But their creation process will always need a "helping tool".

For example, in the case of a painter, they'd be stuck using the same type of paint with the same type of effect because they saw it once, they learned it and it "looks good". But because of how their mind is shaped they'll never be able to get out of the pattern and try new things.

The same, for a polymer clay artist, it would be, let's say, the same type of textures and mica powders and cuts, the same type of canes, or the same type of using metal bezels.

Do their creations look good? Most likely, and some of them might even become famous "for their style".

But they're locked in a rut. If they want to create something different, they can't. Because their mind can't process information differently and can't find new solution. It's not their fault. That is how they're wired.

You don't believe me?

Would you believe science then?
Many studies have shown this direct correlation in the patterns of thinking and organization of one own's surroundings. Here's just one example from the Association of Psychological Science:

Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits:

So, if your work table is full of pieces of scrap, the two acrylic paint bottles you've tried something with yesterday and you always have to make room for your current project, don't be upset.

All the geniuses in the history of humankind were messy people.

You're not just an artist. You're a CREATOR.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to design your jewelry

A very common complaint in the polymer clay jewelry makers' world (and not only) is "I don't understand what is going on? I'm making tons of jewelry, I even lowered the prices a lot, and I still don't sell! Others sell like crazy and I don't understand why, my jewelry is so much better!"

Well, a lot of times it's not the exposure. It's not Etsy growing so big that you get lost in the crowd or - in the case of your own website - your website not getting enough exposure in google searches.

It's just the fact that you did not do a proper market research.

Art jewelry is beautiful, it's exquisite, unfortunately it doesn't sell well. If your goal is to make a living - more or less decent - from selling jewelry you make yourself, you have to really study your market potential. And take into consideration as well the fact that the market is practically inundated with cheap jewelry (from China or not)

Let's say you make gorgeous elven pendants or Goddess pendants. Who is going to wear those? You have two groups here: late teens-early 20s and the wider age range of the Pagan/agnostic community (or somewhere in between). Also, your jewelry will be worn on special occasions, not on an every day basis. Both of the groups your jewelry is addressing, as a majority, do not make a lot of money. So it is more likely that they'll prefer a cheap Chinese made knock-off of a movie fad something so they have money left to get some of that awesome blue hair dye or do their nails with rhinestones.

Or you make absolutely breathtaking big statement pieces that take a couple of days to make, are pure art, but they just sit there in your store and nobody buys them. Why? Because, unless you have Lady Gaga as your established client, your potential clientele is either young and as such doesn't have a lot of money to spare, or, if they're women in their 30s and 40s, unless they are a Mecena and like to encourage artists as a habit, they'll choose a statement piece from a well known artist, even if they pay 10 times the price of your piece. This is not to say that your piece is not as beautiful as the one of the established artist, but you're not known, and as such, can't yet be a "statement" subject in a conversation.

Should you stop making your pendants or statement pieces that you love so much? Definitely not. Just, you know, diversify a bit. How?

It will take a bit of work, and you'll have to do it periodically, every month or at least every 6 weeks, because the market changes a bit.

First, establish your demographics by buying capability. With the internet being so in-depth informative nowadays, it's not hard to find out which age range of the population generally makes more money. Don't go for the higher income - you don't offer what they're looking for. Go for the average income, especially blue and white collar professions and customer service. They need to look pretty on a daily basis, and after paying all the bills, have some left over that they can funnel in that direction.

Then get the latest color and shape trends of the season. Get into a few forums that might discuss fashion and the latest trends. Start creating from there.

Let's say, this spring The New York Trend forecasting talks about these colors.

What about the patterns forecast for Spring 2018? Simple, there are several websites that can give you that. If you look HERE, you will notice that you can make a lot of those pattern trends easily in polymer clay. If you make your jewelry in tone with the trend, it will sell better.

Give it some thought. Then maybe you'll want to revamp your whole approach to selling jewelry online.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Book Review: "400 Polymer Clay Designs: A Collection of Dynamic & Colorful Contemporary Work "

This book is an absolute delight. Art piece after art piece, in the most diverse styles possible, in a way, it is also a history of polymer clay. Great names of the polymer clay art, from Nan Roche to Barbara McGuire to Kathleen Dustin to Sandra McCaw - and many many others - take you through a journey of inspiration and delight. Pieces made in imitative techniques, pieces inspired by the Art Nouveau or Art Deco movement or by the carvings of the neolithic man, alien looking plants by Jeff Denver, Kathleen Dustin's handbags, figurines, tables, decorative objects, canes like you've never thought a cane may look like before, exquisite jewelry - you will be hooked for hours.

A must have.