Thursday 24 September 2015

Plans. . .

An attempt to reproduce a set of earrings the post office ate

Just a bit of musing on the creative process. . . I like a bit of a muse from time to time.

Having a Plan. You know, the process whereby you start off with a strong idea of what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.
I always feel it's something I should have, that if I was serious about what I am doing I would have it all worked out. So I make a plan and sit down to produce what I had planned to produce. Trouble is, though it starts well, after a while I find it all starting to feel a bit flat. The results are perfectly acceptable, but there's no spark somehow.
Maybe that's the trouble with plans, there's no room for distractions and discursions, or even abstractions and obfuscations. . . For me that's where the important stuff happens. The stuff you trip over in the back alley can lead to more interesting and satisfying things than you will find if you keep to  the clearly defined track.

Something I tripped over - an earring charm, probably.

This is my take on it anyway. But that said, I still get caught out by this little emotional trap despite supposedly knowing better. It happens to me when I have decided that I want to make copies of something that sold, or was quite popular. Sets of textured disk beads for example. I can usually remember the process, or at least reverse engineer 'how I did it' in my head, and consequently that process becomes the 'plan' I need to follow. So I follow it and usually manage to come up with something pretty close to the particular popular/strong selling thing in question. All well and good, but before long I find myself missing the excitement and satisfaction I felt making the original version.
It seems to me that when you make a copy of something you don't say to yourself, "I wonder how this will turn out.", instead you say, "I hope I don't mess this up." Which is a different emotion. Not curiosity, but anxiety. I know which I prefer so I don't try to make copies any more.

'In the same vein'

Not to say that I don't make things that are like things I have made before, things that are 'in the same vein as', things that occupy the same niche, that are the 'same sort of thing as', but not copies. A subtle difference maybe, but one that makes the process more enjoyable and satisfying for me. Which is a large part of the point of doing this art stuff. . .

I have to conclude that my particular buzz is the creative process. Ideas, diversions, creative meanderings. Following the Fascination ;-) Where have I seen that phrase?
It's a self indulgent approach I guess, and not sound commercial good sense, but it fits my idea of who I am, and that is important to me.
Finding something people like and are prepared to buy is a buzz too, but homing in on what is popular and exploiting it is not something I am driven to do. And as such not something I would be very good at. Nothing wrong with it, it's just not what I'm after.

 A variation based on a basic principle

So why am I selling stuff at all if that's the way I feel?
Because I love it when someone likes something I make enough to buy it. It's a very solid form of affirmation. And it gives me a reason to make things other than because I feel like it. However small, there is an audience out there. Artists want their stuff to be 'out there' in the world, being seen, and if they are lucky, appreciated. It's a pleasant kind of motivation.
Also, running an online shop is another learning curve. Another aspect of the Fascination I am following. I find it interesting, mostly. . .

I'm up to 150 sales now btw.

Go, me! ;-)


  1. So much of what you say sounds familiar to me. I can't remember techniques I've used before and I definitely don't write anything down on how I did whatever.

    Plus - I detest taking orders. And detest duplicating something even more. I like being a 'free spirit' and taking orders or reproducing makes me feel like I'm under someone's gun instead of my own.

    Being a solitary creative spirit is what puts a smile on my face and makes me feel satisfied at the end of the day. That's really what counts. The selling part is just icing on the cake.

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  3. Thanks for that ;)
    I guess there has to be some metric for the feeling of satisfaction, for me a part of it has to come from others approval at least. I also can tend to feel guilty if I spend time that is not at least in part financially productive. That's entirely my issue I know but it's not something I can rationalise away. So selling is a bit more significant to me.

    1. Well yes - selling is a necessity - especially to cover the costs of all the materials I've invested in and tools and space and ....ya. But the satisfaction I get from making something that turns out great is wonderful. Selling it - always surprises me for some reason. Weird....