Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I shot Myself In The Foot And It Hurts

So yesterday I was offered a small pile of money, but instead of stooping down to scoop it up, I looked at it and walked around it. Am I street rat crazy? I think that I might have even stopped, took out a cross bow or something and shot myself in the foot just for good measure.

What really happened was a custom order request. There are really two different kinds of custom requests. The simple modification request, color or size change, a slightly different take on an existing piece. Those requests are easy and I enjoy doing them, but then there is the other kind of request. These are the, 'This doesn't exist yet, can you do it?'. These are the kinds of requests that led to my mask line and my wrist cuffs. These are creative leaps that take a significant amount of time and trial and error. Yesterdays request was one of these and rather than leap at a sale, which due to house hunting, I desperately need, I decided to take a reality check first.

The request was for tatted opera length gloves. Sure, the idea is compelling, and if successful would probably be a stunning piece, but when I let reality in the door, it spat all over the idea with facts and math. The requester did not low ball the costs by any means, but after math was through with it, they would ultimately be nearly twice what was offered. The sheer logistics of creating a tatted piece the proper shape, smaller at one end then gradually larger is daunting and would require several failed prototypes before success was even remotely possible. The lack of any real stretch in the lace would mean very specific measurements. That would make it harder to make additional pieces for sale. The only solution there would be a lace up piece and don't even get me started on how to work around ones elbow.

Point is, I could have said yes, struggled for weeks and maybe come up with a finished project. I would have stressed myself out and still might have failed miserably all for far less money that the project was worth. Instead I realized that sometimes we just have to say no and hope that we get a few sales to make up for the loss. I'll be looking out for those make up sales, but even if they don't come I need to realize that I needed to say no to this one. Maybe in the future I'll work out a pattern for this idea, but not today.

7 comments:

TheClayMuse said...

Hope those make up sales come rolling in for ya! Tatted opera gloves sound extraordinary, I can only imagine how much work it would be to even figure ut the logistics of a project like that!

mermaiden said...

really sounds like you made the right decision, even if you are second-guessing yourself now. it's not like after all the frustrating time and effort that would go into creating the pattern, you'd have a top seller to add to your repertoire. they'd be one-offs that would have to be custom for every single buyer. so sigh and smile!

Gina said...

Good for you for setting some limitations for yourself. You can always expand them later, but it sounds like the right thing for now.

. c h o k l i t . said...

I can tell you from sewing opera-length gloves out of non-stretchy material that it's painfully challenging. I applaud those crafters that have the patience, I do not.

But how lovely they will be if you ever try them! I'm guessing since they seed has been planted they'll turn up one day...

Sarah Dungan said...

It sounds a bit like...wrong process for the project issues. You can crochet opera gloves that size, in all sorts of lacy patterns, probably with vintage patterns you could download from the internet.

The fingers seem...problematic, in tatting. (not that I tatt, and not that crocheting lave gloves is easy ;-) )

ArtSnark said...

I hear you - I used to do a lot of commissions but the often aren't worth the time they end up taking.

Rabid said...

Store the idea, and work on it in your own time.

I took a custom order (embroidery) a while ago and it took me 4 revisions on a pattern, including one complete revision, to get the one I wanted. What a PITA. At least I can change things with a computer program, but with the first one I decided to go oldschool with graph paper and the entire design is now in a drawer waiting for me to decide it's worth it to look at it again.

Such is the life of a designer.

Sometimes I love custom work. Fresh ideas from different perspectives, new colorways, a hearty challenge.

Other days? I'd rather shoot myself in the foot ;)