Friday, October 24, 2008

Formulating A Response

I am not famous. I think you probably already knew that, but it was the best way I could think to begin this morning, so back to it. I am not famous, however I have unwittingly become a public figure. This is not the first time in my life that I have looked back and realized that I was living at least part of my life on a stage. The first time, that statement was literal. In my school days I was a drama geek with a very small circle of friends. I was taken aback as I was recognized by people I did not know on a regular basis. Somehow it did not occur to me that acting in all the shows and having my picture in the paper monthly would make me a public figure.

I was just thinking about this yesterday as I was watching my twitter feed on my tweetdeck. I thought how crazy it was that I was essentially eavesdropping on dozens of conversations. I think we sometimes forget how many people can and do see and read our words. We are becoming increasingly public with our lives. The reason I bring this up is one of the many side effects of this phenomenon. I am dealing with an increasing amount of correspondence from strangers. These range from simple compliment and trade requests, to bizarre opinions and tatting questions.

This is forcing me to formulate responses to very unexpected questions, to gracefully accept compliments without coming off as conceited and the hardest one, refusing trades without sounding mean. I actually like to trade, but I find myself asked by people who either make things I can make or quite honestly make things I don't like. Now, I am generally a bluntly honest person, but it just isn't a good idea to tell someone you don't want to trade because you dislike their stuff. How do you let someone down nicely without sounding patronizing and without lying. I know scads of other etsians get asked more bothersome questions, like how they make something or where they get their supplies and luckily I don't get those questions. I assume it's because people either don't tat or assume it would be too hard to try to copy me.

But I digress, the point I was trying make was living life on a stage, even if it is a small one next to a million others means I have an audience. I may not have the paparazzi following me about, but I guess that people are beginning to recognize me and that means I've got to get better at communicating.

In tatting news, I'm afraid I've just been recreating sold pieces and have had little time for the fine art of design. I have started on a new scarf design, but it sits neglected on the table right now as I try to finish yet another mask. I still have another mask design I want to try out too, but right now I'm trying to decide if I should make tatted snowflakes to sell this year. I noticed that some new sellers are offering them at really low prices, so perhaps I should just let them have it this time around. I might make some black ones just because I've done it the last two years and I'd feel a little weird about letting a holiday go by without a set in the store.


Unknown said...

Hmmmm... you bring up a very good point! I do always try to be aware of what I'm saying in the public eye (blog, forums, twitter, facebook and all that) but sometimes, when everyone is just being themselves, I have to check myself and my opinions, as I don't want to mix my business with religious beliefs, politics, or too much personal stuff.

Just because I don't feel famous, doesn't mean I'm not a public figure - no matter how small of one I am.

Hope you get some time to design new stuff soon!

Anonymous said...

That is a something I think about alot, about creating for yourself and creating for a trend. It is hard to keep a balance and loose track in numbers of sales and I find that I have to ground myself and be true to my artistic integrity.