Tuesday, September 30, 2008

time to think

I've been battling a cold lately that almost won, and in the process took over two weeks of time away from me. I normally don't fall victim to germs this easily, but too many hours of work took its toll. I'm doing pretty well now; it's just a nagging cough that's left.

The nice part about being sick (there's a silver lining in everything!) is that I gained valuable time to read up on fashion trends, professional insights, industry news - all the good stuff I usually only skim over. I even had time to reflect on my professional goals and the direction I want to go in. That's very satisfying... a luxury I don't get enough of. I've listed all my goals and am working on a time line to plan out how to meet each one - exciting! I'm already starting to see some returns on these efforts!

I feel much more organized, re-focused, and chompin' at the bit to forge ahead (excuse the pun!).

Several new shows have come my way (actually, I've worked really hard to be able to participate in them), filling up the holiday schedule and keeping me busy in the studio. I'll keep you posted on the dates. This will definitely challenge my time management skills and newly laid goals to balance production, creativity, and business.

Bring on the holidays!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

the upward climb

Well, I've done a few shows and worked my hiney off for the last month, so it's been awhile since I've posted. I've had mixed reviews about the shows this year. It takes time to learn what works and who appreciates my pieces, but I'm steadily getting an education in both! I've learned not to do art/craft shows that have the name of food or drink in their title, and any focus other than art almost always falls short of success.

This coming year I've committed to apply only to the better shows, and won't give in to emotions or nostalgia for the shows I'm leaving behind - even if there's a hole in my schedule that is begging for me to jump back into them. There. It's in print and I can't go back on it (my husband says he'll hold my feet to fire on this one anyway!).

Applying only to better shows is a bit intimidating for me - but that's where personal growth comes from, right? This means I need to be more organized and focused on doing what it takes to get into these shows. Much of my free time this summer (what is free time, really?) has gone to building a better booth, complete with custom made display tables, tent zippered sides, additional display forms like neck pieces and earring holders, coordinating fabric, and soon nice backdrop curtains. Next on the list will be professional cases and lighting, I think. All of this will give me a better public image and photo for the juries who choose which artists get in and which don't.

So much money and time goes into this, but I believe it will pay off. I've done amazingly well over the last two years and should be very proud of what I've done. I just got my first gallery check (it's official!), people are starting to recognize my name and work, and I'm developing a following of jewelry lovers who really appreciate what I do. Even with this, I'm still amazed when some one gasps over my work and wants to know how a real live person could actually make something so beautiful! That's the best part.

Since my last post I've also taken the plunge to get professional photos. This is another step in helping me compete for a place in the better shows. Since I've paid a lot of money for them, I figured I would share them with you and ask your thoughts on them! Feel free to write me here or email me personally...