Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So, maybe I'm done

I think I might be done with lampwork.

Don't get me wrong. I love it. Working with glass, making something with my own hands, having a rainbow of light and color at my fingertips. It's great. It's the best job I've ever had and I can't imagine not doing it anymore.

It's just that I seem to lack a knack. Not for beadmaking. I think I'm pretty good at that.
But there are some beadmakers out there who just know how to promote themselves. I'm not one of them. I don't have the ability for self-marketing. I'm not a salesperson and in this economy and this business, you really have to be one.

I just know how to create. The rest of it is hard. It's not me. I don't understand any of it.

Maybe I'm just being pouty because I just spent an alarming two hours pulling stringer and making murrini for a set that it will take me at least four more hours just to make. I'm hot and sweaty, my feet hurt and my back is killing me and I don't even know if the set will sell.

It's not just about money, either. It's about putting your heart into something, working as hard as you've ever worked at anything in your life and then.....well...?

I don't know. We'll see.


Deb said...

Laurie - not you are not done!

I know it's hard out there (I haven't had a sale in ages -lol), I know the competitions tough, I know that you have to promote yourself (something I'm not good at doing either - just seems to be so much else to do after creating a bead before it gets to be seen by many), I know the economy is sucky & so on.

I am pretty much like you - but I am refusing to let all the obvious negatives get to me & even when they do I wont admit defeat.

Why ? Because I believe that there will be someone out there that will eventually find us & that our style will be exactly what they are looking for. For that to happen we have to have our works of 'heart' out there for them to find....& be patient.

Just be quietly persistant - & patient. Your work is fabulous & (cliche... I know)if I werern't so broke right now I'd be shouting myself some coffee & donuts :o)

Laurie said...

Aww, thanks, Deb! You're so nice and it sounds like you understand. I have to say, the customers that I have a very sweet and loyal, too. They're great and if it weren't for them, and the emails they send me, I probably would have given in long ago.

angelinabeadalina said...

Hey, Laurie, what Deb said! Hang in there, chick. The coffee and donuts are too cute!! And you keep on creating, that's what's important because it means you don't let your creativity stagnate. And here's a piece of advice that came to me from my beancounter husband (yeah, him, the guy who has trouble seeing the value in art unless it sells for big moolah)-- You are not your sales. You are still you, no matter how much you do or don't sell. You can't let other people's pocketbooks make you feel bad about yourself. You know what? It's true. You are you, not your glass or your sales figures or any of that. Keep creating, because that urge is part of you. Be proud of it, let it be part of you. Don't let the stuff you have no control over define you.

Actually, what you wrote in this post could practically have come word for word from my brain last week. I suck at selling. Sometimes, I can make myself visible online, but as for selling? The things you have to do to promote yourself just feel false to me. I don't mind if someone else does it, but it just feels so hokey when I try to practice it. See, and I just broke a successful salesmanship rule right there-- always speak positively, and don't accentuate the negative or the "can't do". *big sigh*

Ack! Now I'm not sure I should even post this. Don't want to be a downer, just wanted you to know how much I empathize. I think Deb is definitely right about the patience, too. The thing is to find a way to hang on until the economy does change its course...there are people out there who are waiting til they have the extra spending money so they can buy your gorgeous glass! Be ready for them when the time comes :)

Bear Chick said...

Oh dear, you are not alone! We all go through those "dark night of the souls" about our work. And it's particularly hard in this economy, where everything is slow. It's overwhelming to think about marketing and selling and just getting ourselves out there. But we keep trying because we know that someday, the person who will really love and appreciate that certain piece will find it and it will be all worth it. We just wish they'd find us faster!

I found you in an Etsy treasury and I'm so glad I did!

Laurie said...

Thank you. I think sometimes we all feel like we are working at something and struggling and feel like nobody understands or goes through the same thing. That's one of the reasons I like blogging. Yeah, you have to put stuff out there, but often you get so much back!

grandmacarnes said...

You have to do this for the right reasons. I do it because I love it, my DH tells me that to do it because I love it. He isn't worried about me making money on it, he likes that I enjoy it. Good enough for me, it is an expensive hobby. You have to do it without the expectation of making money. I think that will 'free' your creative energy. Get involved in a glass forum, post your work there, it will drive traffic to your ETSY store.

Laurie said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.
I do lampwork for the love of it, but I think sometimes it becomes a drain, creatively and otherwise.
I know what you mean about being active in forums. I'm an active member of LE, LEST and The Bead Hive, all great groups that are full of supportive, talented folks.
This can be a very solitary job at times so it's wonderful to be able to reach out and connect with like-minded people.
TG for the Internet! :)

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