Monday, April 9, 2012

Sorry For The Lecture.

More often than I would like I seem to be starting blog posts with some version of, I'm tired. Both Winter and Spring seem to do this to me. Winter for retail reasons and Spring for family and allergy reasons. Saturday ended up being two outdoor parties in a row as after ours, our neighbor, whose youngest was turning two, had one as well. So the day went: clean, wrangle children, presents and cake, clean and watch someone else do the same thing all on my feet. Yikes.

Sunday was more cleaning, candy and I baked my first solo ham. It was completed on time and it tasted good which was quite a relief. Otherwise though it was more child wrangling, and cleaning just this time with ham and pie. Still this morning I have dishes to put up and more dishes to clean. We had thought about starting our vacation adventuring today, but we will more likely use the day for recovery.

Normally I'd really complain about the drought in the shop immediately following the pendant deal, but I'm kind of glad for it given all the other things I was up to. I could do without the steady stream of custom request messages that have all, without fail, ended up with a resounding, never mind though. I'm starting to think I should stop answering them at all.  Not to mention a recent trend of people asking if it's okay to sell pieces they made after copying my designs directly or being 'inspired' by them. Don't get me wrong I'm still glad people are using my work to help them learn how to tat and I appreciate the asking, I just wish the thought would cross a few less peoples minds. Aside from my personal opinion about how it might affect me though, there is one point I'd like to make that should make more sense to those creators.

When you start an artistic endeavor with the intent to sell your work it is never wise to do so emulating another more established artist. It just just doesn't make good business sense. You will not have an identity of your own, something to set you apart from the pack. You will blend in. Even worse is that even if you have not copied directly, your work will likely be seen as derivative if not a complete rip off. It may seem like a good idea to sell the same sort of things that sell well for someone else, but it rarely works that way. I've seen people try to do that and undercut the prices of the original artist, but they're just selling themselves and the artist they supposedly admire short and they are training their customers to want things cheap. Their retail dreams are generally short lived.

Please understand, I have no desire to discourage people from tatting, nor selling their work. I just want people to understand the flaw in coming at it from this direction. The best advice I can give someone who wants to turn this hobby into something more, is to find your own identity and style, design your own pieces and find your own target audience. Being original is always better. Make others regret that they didn't some up with your idea first. These are the things that make it all worth the effort and believe me it is a lot of effort. Okay, the lecture is over, let the week begin.

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