we're happy, then again we're not, we shout through the endless doubt....
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
So far Autumn has been doing its best to make up for Summer here in SA. Its been very lovely and just a bit hard to stay inside. When I have been inside, its been to clean and rearrange the house. Change is as good as a holiday, so they say, but personally I'd like the holiday. Speaking of which I've started making plans for that. I will be 30 in a bit over a month and so I'm planning to travel, as I've never made it out of this country! Of course as there is a toddler to consider its going to take a lot more organising but that is the plan. Wish me luck :)
I've been selling my jewellery for what seems like forever. I feel like I've learned lots over this time, that I've grown as an artist. But mostly, it's been hard. I guess the latest lesson has been to value my work. That may seem like a strange thing to say, given I have just marked down most of my jewellery.
For many years now I have attempted to treat my art as a business. I read every blog, every business tip out there, I did the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (an Australian Government small business assistance plan), worked hard at getting my jewellery into shops and galleries. I did ok, but it was never successful and after NEIS ended I felt very disheartened. Ok, truth be told I had a minor break down. There is nothing that breaks you down as an artist quite like being told your work is overpriced. Its even harder to hear when its coming from gallery and shop owners who expect the right to take 30% or more. Its hard to stay positive when you can't sell your work.
So, over the last few months I've been really looking at where my time and energy has been going with this. I've had a massive creative block for close on a year now and I can see its tied in with how I feel about my art. Working from the soul, and creating one-off work just doesn't seem to be 'commercially viable'. But really, that's not the point. I want to create something you wear with pride, not just for a season. I have been doing this a very long time, I'm not a newbie. I am experimenting all the time, but that doesn't mean my work is somehow poorly finished. I love nothing more than custom work, creating something someone has dreamed up.
So why the mark downs? I have had my jewellery in several shops and galleries over the years while also selling online, and so I've had my prices at 30% commission prices online (roughly, some more or less depending on how salable I felt they were) to make sure my work was selling for the same price everywhere. In some situations this meant I was making a very slim profit, as the commission was 50%. But as I have realised that in the last year nothing has been selling in these shops and galleries, and I don't have the time to create (or follow up) like I used to, I'm turning all my attention online. It will (hopefully) give me more freedom to focus on creating for love, not on how affordable it is or if I will cover my costs.
So, hopefully change is a good thing once again. I already feel lighter, less pressured. Time to go with the flow I think.
Next week sees an event of great sadness for Adelaide, at least in my opinion. One of our stunningly talented immigrants will be leaving our shores to go study in England. Humna is a henna artist, and I have been blessed to know her and her amazing work.
Just before my son was born 1 1/2 years ago Humna created a stunning piece of henna art on my pregnant belly. It was such a stunning way to spend an afternoon, snacking and talking about stories and children and religion and faith and the world.
silk threads for a new project I'm working on
So, to lighten her load she held a garage sale on Sunday. I collected a few gems for myself and my Mum but really enjoyed the opportunity to play some music with Morgan and then also with Shell Kira and Dylan James of The Wandering Minstrels. It was lovely to be surrounded by music, fruit trees and children paying while Humna's students gave henna tattoo's to all who came. To top it all off the weather was perfect!
I said I would share with you my thoughts on the shows I went to see as part of the Fringe this year. It was great to get to go see a few shows, rather than just performing and following Morgan around to his shows.
This year was a bit surprising, mostly due to the unseasonably wet and cold weather. So bad that the parade on opening night was cancelled... and severe storm warnings issued for most of the state! It was rescheduled but I for one didn't get to it. By the sounds of things, it was a bit of a flop.
It's rare that the most promoted Fringe show is actually the best. (so promoted there was an advert on the Virgin in flight magazine when I went to Perth earlier this year.) But the highlight for me was definitely Cantina, in the Spiegel Tent. So good in fact that I went to see it twice! Its so hard to categorise the performance, but it was kinda like hanging out in the wee hours of the morning in a Berlin nightclub frequented but acrobats and exhibitionists in 1935. And it seems the reason it was so good may well be the extraordinary production company behind it.
Strut & Fret have been behind such shows as the Kransky Sisters, the Happy Sideshow and the Secret Death of Salvador Dali, with current works include the Tom Tom crew and pyrophone.
Their work is amazing and diverse, working with the artists and venues more than trying to create to a production company bi-line.
Next up was the beautiful and inspiring Amanda Palmer. Once again in the Spiegel Tent, the only thing that this show suffered for was being too short. One hour is just enough time for her to really get going, but luckily she continued the show in the Garden after, with the assistance of Jason Webley.
Sometimes its hard being a mum, I really wanted to go see her the next night too and follow her to Tuxedo Cat for the Ninja gig. But its just not possible at the mo. Can't do everything I guess but the next time I pay money to see AFP will be somewhere like the Gov again, where she can give a 2 1/2 hour show.
Lastly was the Harry James Angus Band. That's Harry from The Cat Empire and man was it smokin! Lots of old school jazz and blues, post war tunes. My favourite by far was 'Just a Gigolo'. 3 of the members of the band were guys Harry has been playing music with since high school. The Cat Empire are back in Adelaide in April.
So, as promised I'm having a sale for the next 2 weeks. It's a big 40% off for all my twitter, facebook and blog follower's. To get it, just enter the code 'fandiscount' at either my etsy or artfire shop at the checkout.
Have you missed me? Probably not, as no doubt you have been just as busy as me.
This is just a quick post to say hello and to let you know why I haven't been blogging.
This weekend sees the start of the festival season here in SA, and we party so hard the rest of the country must think we spend the rest of the year sleeping it off. I'm going to be seeing a few fringe shows and I will do my best to let you know what I thought.
Next weekend is my youngest sister's engagement party, last month was my little brother's engagement party and next month in my other sister's wedding in which I finally get to be a bridesmaid. So as you can imagine, life has been very busy. I hope to be able to share with you all some of the wonderful things my family and I are making for the wedding, it seems to have become a project for all of us.
I hope to get back into the swing of things soon, new clay work and beading to do, and starting next week I will be having a sale in both my shops as I will need to make room so watch this space!
Until then, back to the dance :)