Sunday, July 20, 2008

Am I worrying just a little to much?

I think probably the 4 (possible as many as 5) individuals who read this blog will have some input on this, so we now take a break from your regularly scheduled program (Building Tiny Robot) for a bit of self-analysis. Its not as depressing as the subject makes it sound, I promise.

Lately, I've been not really finishing anything for my etsy shop, mostly because I've been experimenting with new directions and processes. Nothing wrong with that, really, but I've noticed that I've begun to put an enormous amount of weight on trying to include something "original" in every piece. By original I mean something completely crafted by me, rather then a store bought or recycled item. For some reason, not including something like that in a piece has become synonymous in my mind with 'copping out' or 'not giving it my all' or 'not being creative enough'. This is born mostly from an effort to try to step out from the crowd of Etsy sellers making necklaces out of wire and beads, but I wonder if I'm not going a bit to far. It means I don't have new items for my shop, which hurts both my sales and my ability to publicize. It means I spent more time generating pieces that aren't really up to the same quality as the bead and wire ones, while I try to perfect processes I haven't used in along time (or invent new ones wholesale). And I wonder if I'm not focusing all my energy on these new 'original' pieces for misguided reasons. Prejudice, if you will, against something that because I find it mechanically easy to accomplish I assume is worth less.
It should be said, I've always been a bit of a sucker for the harder path. I am after all, a 2d animator who refuses to work in digital 3d, and an artist who was arguably better at academics before university. But I wonder, am I putting value on something just because its more difficult to accomplish?

I'd be interested to hear other peoples thoughts.
In the mean time, I will be photographing a tiny clay squid, writing up how difficult it is to invent a way to clamp down a brass tube if you do not have a proper tabletop clamp, and pondering why a 1.5v battery will not light a 1.5 v light bulb.


Jack said...

I think there's definitely something to be said for creativity, and a lot of steampunk stuff looks the same - but at the same time, your stuff is already pretty unique, and you're not here to reinvent the meaning of jewelry after all. Just to make stuff people like.

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

I so understand what it's like to never be able to finish stuff or post new listings - I suffer from the same thing.

As for the uniqueness, I think you're on the right track. You just have to account for research and development time in your overhead - once you hit on some technique that works for you, you'll be able to make much more stuff and feel good about making it unusual and special. For me, it's worth the time. Patience, love!