Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm A Mean, Mean Person

Things are starting to settle a bit and I can see the end of the tunnel that is this large order. I received the thread I ordered yesterday at lunchtime which was much faster than anticipated and got my other small custom order worked out. Look, it's a picture of actual tatting that hasn't been seen before. The thread I was waiting for was the harvest orange there on the left. It's paired with a dark brown Lizbeth. Honestly I have very little Lizbeth as I find it a little too stiff for most wearables, but for pins it is perfect.

I did still spend the lion share of the day working on that large order, but not only did I have time for that custom, I had time for a few other things as well. I managed to schedule up the wunderkammer and spend some quality time on the twitter too. I even had time to troll the tatting listings on etsy to discover someone selling one of my designs again. This led to the awkward, 'please don't sell my designs' convo, which I hate. Then I added a facebook blanket statement regarding my personal thoughts on the issue. I will reprint that here just to cover all my bases.
Dear mostly new tatting friends, Let me state this for the record:
I don't care if you make something I designed for yourself, as a gift, to sell to your friend, neighbor, coworker or at your local craft fair especially if you give credit, but please I ask you kindly not to sell those pieces online where I make my only living. I hate sending mean messages asking you to take down listings. Thank You!
I really do want to encourage more people to learn to tat, but I fear the ease of learning as well as working from so many pictures available online without human contact has created a bit of a disconnect. I think people are just not thinking about the etiquette of creating from other peoples work.  I also still find it a bit odd that people feel so very comfortable selling something that they just learned how to do and somehow that seems to be the first thought for many. 'I'll learn this so just I can sell it'. Anyway, I guess that's a different rant. The point here was I don't want to be mean and hoard knowledge, but I do want to protect myself from competing with my own designs. I also don't want to have to feel like the bad guy, which I do every single time I have to send one of those messages, makes my tummy all upset.

So back to the large order today and hopefully there are just a few days left on that and I can get onto another project I've been sitting on and remake some things. Just got to keep swimming.


Gina said...

I see a lot of that, learning to do something and immediately thinking they're going to make easy money. Any kind of needle art is a learned skill and it does take some time and experience to be good at it. That's what buyers expect when they pay good money for something, so it does annoy me (even tho I'm not selling myself) to see that happening. At the same time, I realize the economy has made people a little more desperate to find ways to make money. I wish I knew the answer, but I don't. I think you're very generous in sharing your patterns and only asking that they not try to compete with you on the same venue. When they give so little thought to it overall, I imagine they will soon be disappointed in lack of sales or the problems incurred.

TotusMel said...

Thanks Gina, you're likely right on all counts.

jenilin said...

i have been an avid fan a follower for a time. i started my tatted journey when i was 16 i learned shuttle only. At 13 i had seen my first shuttle and was obsessed, but it was at 16 i knew the stitches patterns and what I was doing. Years later I learned needle, it is faster the technique is easier and because of that more things can be created. Then i saw your stuff on etsy for the first time while i was looking to see if there was a place i could sell my stuff. I am not steam punk or goth or neo victorian but i always liked my stuff. I also crochet but tatting has always been my go to for selling I sold on the street for a while, as it is not done around here. So i opened an etsy shop put some crochet stuff i do but I am afraid to do a tatting thing because i love your work admire the fact that you have put tatting out there on such a large scale and have actually had night mares of being the one called out in your blog or receiving one of your e-mails. the crochet stuff is not selling but i am very new and maybe i need to get into places where people would view my stuff my family loves it, but i really hoped to put some tatting up. I am sorry if i am ranting i guess i just want to give you another point of view i am a fan I read your blog every morning my 9 as that is when it is available here but i also want to give my tatting a chance someday without fear of another artists angst that i used the same medium which i began at 16. all my respect jenni

Unknown said...

Yo soy maestra de frivolite y al igual que Gina pienso que quieren aprender para ganar dinero pronto, pero eso lleva tiempo. Puedo enseñarles la técnica pero la cretividad y el arte eso no puede enseñarse.
Tu arte es único y cualquiera de tus piezas que yo veo en fotos de internet, inmediatamente reconozco tu mano.

CathlenKata said...

I do not speak in English unfortunately.
I learn it now the Needle Tatting, not to sell I would like it!

Thank you very much free pattern!


TotusMel said...

@Jenni I am so sorry that my drama has you worried at all! I welcome all tatters to sell their own designs. I have a few tatting friends on etsy that I have gladly shared selling tips and techniques with, so please do not feat my ire.
I only anger when I'm directly copied or mimicked heavily, but if you're ever unsure, do feel free to message me...I'm not really that mean.

God's Kid said...

Those pins look great! :)

Sherry said...

Just a question: does Etsy NOT have any RULES about COPYING someone else's work and selling it there?? One would think that they would patrol themselves and if an artist contacted them and said, "This person is DIRECTLY copying or selling my work" that THEY would pull that person's shop until they complied, of course, after verifying the infringement. If they don't, perhaps this could be encouraged!